Peanut butter and jelly is one combination that America has stamped its name on. A sustenant combination of non-perishable spreads, it’s the poor man’s wonder and the picnicker’s joy.
Quite honestly, I don’t care too much for peanut butter, but when mellowed out with just the right sweetness it certainly strikes my fancy. Jelly works, but chocolate is my preferred match. Something about the salty peanut butter with sweet chocolate is clearly addictive. So much so, that without Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, my life is devoid of all purpose. Motivation dwindles and the threshold of enjoyment is pushed to an unacceptable level.
Since moving to Korea, I have sought to get my PB & C satisfaction wherever I can – stocking up on visits to the army base and relying on imports from my dearest friends. I can’t deny the fact, however, that it’s still not enough.
Last spring, we made a somewhat groundbreaking discovery. It was that if you put granulated sugar into a blender and pulse, you actually end up with a blender full of powdered sugar (a rarity here). This lent itself wickedly to cream cheese frosting, and now is making a return appearance.
With this little kitchen trick, it’s 100% possible to make your own version of peanut butter cups in Korea. And, in under 15 minutes. Known at home as “buckeyes,” I’m afraid to say it, but they may even be tastier than Reese’s. Super soft and creamy, you can even freeze a batch to keep around for later.
Note: The recipe calls for the peanut butter mixture to be balled and individually dipped into chocolate for the full effect. I’m lazy and operate typically in a craving-fueled frenzy, so I just slapped mine in a dish as layers. Either way suffices.
JIF Buckeyes from allrecipes.com
Makes 5 dozen
1 1/2 cups peanut butter
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups powdered sugar
1 12-ounce package semi-sweet chocolate chips / 6 bars Ghana chocolate
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening / butter or margarine
1. Combine peanut butter, butter, vanilla and salt in large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on LOW until blended (I mixed with a fork) . Add 2 cups powdered sugar, beating until blended (Wear out your arm muscle with that fork). Beat in additional powdered sugar until mixture, when shaped into a ball, will stay on a toothpick. Shape into 1-inch balls (Or, spread in an even layer in a dish of some sort – I used a large Tupperware). Refrigerate.
2. Place chocolate chips and shortening in microwave-safe bowl (Break Ghana bars into chunks, place in microwave-safe bowl along with butter or margarine). Microwave on MEDIUM for 30 seconds. Stir. Repeat until mixture is smooth. Reheat as needed while coating peanut butter balls.
3. Insert toothpick in peanut butter ball. Dip 3/4 of ball into chocolate, leaving top uncovered to resemble a buckeye. Remove excess. Place on wax paper-lined tray. Remove toothpick. Smooth over holes. Refrigerate until firm.
3. Smear that chocolate goodness all over the layer of peanut butter, refrigerate until firm, then cut into squares.