January 25, 2011 § 3 Comments
J: As soon as I saw this recipe on Smitten Kitchen, it was like I put blinders on every other kind of dessert. I HAD to make these, and I would not be satisfied until I had made them and consumed as many of them as my body could hold (surprisingly few, as it turned out; these are absurdly rich!). I am, as I have admitted, a chocolate-peanut butter addict, and as a consequence most Reese’s products are my kryptonite. But these little spheres of ambrosia have simultaneously helped and irrevocably damaged me: Reese’s just aren’t as satisfying anymore, which I suppose is good considering all the preservatives and chemicals that go into them, but now I can’t get my chocolate-PB fix without something as amazing as this. So, you have been warned. Now, I present to you: the most melt-in-your-mouth self-contained bits of heaven that you’ve ever had.
(original recipe here)
1/4 c (2 oz) cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 c smooth peanut butter
1 c graham cracker crumbs (about 14 graham crackers; we used chocolate graham crackers for a little something extra, which is what gives the dough its speckles)
Pinch of salt
3 c powdered sugar
10 tbsp butter, melted and cooled
12 oz dark chocolate, chopped (we used part 72% and part 99% because these are so sweet that they can handle going a bit darker)
So, we’ll start off with the peanut butter part — the filling, if you will, though it really comprises the substance of these treats. Using an electric mixer, combine the cream cheese and peanut butter thoroughly. Mix in the graham cracker crumbs and salt, and then add the powdered sugar and butter; do this last step on the lowest setting at first, because if you go too high, as anyone who has ever worked with powdered sugar will tell you, everything within a 20-foot radius will be covered in sugar. Once it’s mostly blended in, you can bump up the mixer a notch or so, though you don’t really need to put in a huge amount of power to get this combined properly. You’ll want your mixture to be somewhat dry but not crumbly.
If you’ve got more than one person working on this, as we did, one of you can get started rolling the dough into balls and one of you can get started making the chocolate coating. If there’s just one of you, I’d recommend rolling the dough into balls first and just letting them hang out while you make the coating; there are quite a few balls to be made, so rather than risk the chocolate solidifying while you’re working, it’s probably safer just to do the dough balls first.
So, let’s talk about rolling the dough. Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper, and use about 1 tbsp of dough per ball. We went ahead and just used a measuring spoon to scoop the dough out — makes things easy and consistent. Roll the dough into balls between your palms and set them on the lined baking sheet. Since these aren’t being baked, you can put them reasonably close together, but make sure they’re not touching.
On to the chocolate coating. In a double-boiler or microwave, melt the chocolate. If you’re using the latter, do it in increments, starting with 30 seconds and then going to 10 seconds, and stir between each interval. Melt until totally smooth, and let it cool until just slightly warmer than room temperature.
Now comes the only tricky part about this whole endeavor. The object is to dip the peanut butter balls into the chocolate coating, leaving a small circle of dough uncoated. The best way we found to accomplish this is by taking a skewer-like item (we used a chopstick), stabbing a dough ball with it at a slight angle (instead of coming straight in from above), and tilting the bowl of chocolate to make it easier to coat the ball. Rotate it in the chocolate a bit, trying to get the stab-hole immersed so that it gets sort of concealed, and then lift it out of the chocolate, let the excess drip off, and place it back on the baking sheet from whence it came. If you like, feel free to patch up the stab-hole a bit with more chocolate.
When all of your candies are dipped, place the baking sheet in the freezer or refrigerator (hint: freezer gets the job done faster so you can eat these sooner) for 20ish or 30ish minutes, respectively, or until the chocolate has set.
Side note: it’s a prudent idea to store these in the fridge when you’re not blissfully devouring them, because as they warm up they tend to get a little melty.