Weather: 28 degrees, gusts of wind and cloudy skies
What I’m listening to: the slosh of the dishwasher
Happy Halloween everyone. I’m returning from two days of “food silence” as our continent was pounded by Hurricane Sandy, earthquakes, and tsunamis. Why food silence? Well, the truth is that I was on Twitter, following the storm, and I was struck by something. There was post after post of flooding, power outages, death tolls, and widespread destruction… all peppered with posts about the best Halloween snacks and to-die-for filet mignon. The food seemed out of place, just noise. Even the political jibber-jabber had quieted down significantly. I mean this as absolutely no offense to my food colleagues who were simply just doing their jobs all over the world. But personally, I wanted to do something different than the everyday thing. I wanted to find a way to demonstrate that I care deeply about what our neighbors are going through, a means of being in solidarity with them, as best as a food blogger in far-off Alaska can manage. So, I chose food silence. I took two unplanned days off of blogging and didn’t post a single thing food-related to any of my social media outlets, but rather used it as a time to check in with my readers and show my support that way. Because, food, for me, is so much more about the people who eat it, the people who make it, the people who inspire it, than it is about the food itself. All that’s to say: you matter.
This recipe has been a long time coming. Since last December, to be exact, when I wrote Happy Accidents in the Kitchen, my story about how I made dark chocolate peanut butter cups with pretzels via one kitchen mistake after another. And, since today is Halloween, and peanut butter cups are the most popular Halloween candies this year (and arguably all-time), this homemade version is right on target.
For me, the added crunch and saltiness of the pretzels makes these even better than the original famous candy (not to mention how impressive it makes them look). Also, I made half the batch in milk chocolate and the other half in semisweet chocolate. They’re both amazing, the former is the more classic choice, but the latter is perhaps the more trendy option. We have both milk and dark chocolate lovers in our house, so they were all equally devoured. Keep these in mind as food gifts and festive treats as we turn the corner into the holiday season.
Pretzel Peanut Butter Cups
Adapted from [Brown Eyed Baker|http://www.browneyedbaker.com/2011/08/02/homemade-peanut-butter-cups/]
Yields: 24 mini peanut butter cups
- 1/2c creamy peanut butter
- 2T butter
- 2T brown sugar
- 2/3c powdered sugar
- 2c chocolate chips (I used 1c milk chocolate and another 1c semi-sweet chocolate in two separate batches, for variety)
- 2T shortening
- 24 bite-sized pretzels
- Other items you'll need:
- mini muffin pan*
- mini muffin liners
Line your muffin pan with muffin liners. Set aside.
To a small saucepan over medium heat, add the peanut butter, butter, and brown sugar, stirring until melted, smooth, and well-combined. Remove from the heat and begin to gradually add the powdered sugar, mixing well until the mixture comes together. Set aside and cool while you continue with the next step.
Melt the chocolate chips and the shortening in a microwave safe dish (I use a glass measuring cup), in 30 second increments, stirring between each go. When smooth, use a teaspoon and spoon chocolate into the bottom of each muffin liner.
Using a small cookie scoop or a teaspoon, get a small amount of the peanut butter mixture and roll into a ball. Flatten the ball into a disc. Place the disc of peanut butter on top of the melted chocolate and press down gently to encourage the chocolate to come up around the sides of the peanut butter.
Spoon more melted chocolate on top of each of the peanut butter discs to cover. Press a pretzel gently into the top of each candy.
Refrigerate about 30 minutes until set. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for serving. Or these also keep well in the refrigerator or freezer.