Peanut butter and chocolate treats

Now that the holidays are officially over, it’s time to get out of the kitchen and back to our regular lives.

Peanut butter and chocolate treats (photo credit: PASCALE PEREZ-RUBIN)
Peanut butter and chocolate treats
(photo credit: PASCALE PEREZ-RUBIN)
Now that the holidays are officially over, it’s time to get out of the kitchen and back to our regular lives.
But no one can resist delicious chocolate and peanut butter treats, so below you will find three recipes for these mouth-watering creations, the first difficult, the second medium and the third easy.
For the first one – which I received from Inbal Lavie and her blog The Cookie Fairy – you will need to make a trip to a specialty baking store, but it will be well worth your time and effort. Also, you must follow the instructions exactly. The next two are a little more relaxed. The second recipe was graciously sent to me by chef Chani Asor, who leads baking workshops. I guarantee you will enjoy the products of all three recipes.
May the rest of the year continue to be sweet and full of joy.

PEANUT BUTTER CUPS

Makes 30 small or 15 medium candies.
Icing:
100 gr. milk chocolate, chopped
100 gr. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 Tbsp. oil or melted cocoa butter
Filling:
60 gr. butter
30 gr. (3 Tbsp.) demerara sugar
250 gr. (1 cup) peanut butter
100 gr. (1 packet) powdered sugar, sifted
¼ tsp salt
To prepare the icing over a bain-marie, melt the two types of chocolate. Mix until smooth. Add the oil or melted cocoa butter and mix.
Arrange the paper muffin liners in a muffin pan. Brush a thin layer of chocolate in the bottom of each muffin liner. Put tray in the freezer for 10 minutes.
To prepare the filling, melt the butter in a small pot. Add the demerara sugar and mix. Add the peanut butter and mix until mixture starts to bubble. Then, remove it from the flame and add the powdered sugar and the salt. Mix until smooth. Let it cool until you can touch it.
Take the tray out of the freezer and fill each cup with the filling. Then, cover with more chocolate. Return the tray to the freezer for 20-30 minutes. Carefully pull away the paper liners and store in an airtight container.
Level of difficulty: Medium.
Time: 40-50 minutes.
Status: Dairy.
Peanut butter and chocolate treats (Credit: PASCALE PEREZ-RUBIN)Peanut butter and chocolate treats (Credit: PASCALE PEREZ-RUBIN)
SNICKERS PRALINES WITH CARAMEL AND PEANUT BUTTER
Use a 20-cm. x 20-cm. pan.
Praline layer:
30 gr. cocoa butter
100 gr. milk chocolate
140 gr. praline cream
150 gr. puffed rice
Caramel and peanut butter layer:
150 gr. sugar
150 gr. sweet cream
100 gr. crunchy peanut butter
3 gr. pectin
Gold/blonde ganache layer:
2 gr. gelatin + 12 ml. water
250 gr. sweet cream
180 gr. gold or blonde chocolate
10 gr. honey
Chocolate icing layer:
90 gr. cocoa butter
300 gr. milk chocolate
To prepare the praline layer, put the cocoa butter in a pot and melt over a medium flame. Take the pot off the flame and add the milk chocolate. Mix well until almost all of the chocolate has melted. Add the praline cream and puffed rice and mix until all of the puffed rice pieces are covered with chocolate. Transfer to a pan and spread out evenly. Place pan in the freezer for 30 minutes.
To prepare the caramel and peanut butter layer, add the sugar to a pot and melt over a medium flame until it turns an amber color. Add the cream and mix until smooth. Add the peanut butter and pectin and mix well. Let cool for a few minutes. Take the pan out of the freezer and spread the peanut butter mixture on top of the puffed rice layer and flatten. Return to the freezer.
To prepare the ganache layer, add the gelatin and water to a bowl and set aside. Pour the cream into a pot and bring to a boil over a medium flame. As soon as it begins to boil, remove from the flame and add the gold or blonde chocolate, honey and dissolved gelatin. Mix with an immersion blender and put in the fridge for 5 minutes. Remove from the fridge and whip with an egg blender until smooth. Spread evenly on top of the peanut butter layer.
To prepare the chocolate icing, put the cocoa butter in a pot and melt over a medium flame. Remove from the flame and add the milk chocolate. Mix until smooth. Transfer to a medium cup and dip the Snickers bars into the melted chocolate and then place on a rack with a tray underneath to catch the extra chocolate that drips off. Store in the fridge until serving.
Tips for preparing Snickers bars:
• This recipe requires patience and time, so make sure you have both before beginning. Do not try to rush things.
• It’s important to buy the exact ingredients listed in the recipe. Do not try to cut corners or substitute ingredients. Go to a specialty baking store and buy the exact ingredients listed. The only ingredient that can be swapped is blonde chocolate, which can be used in place of the gold chocolate.
• You need a scale to prepare the Snickers bars. If you don’t have one, go buy one. Otherwise, just move on to the next recipe.
• It’s extremely important to put each layer in the freezer between each step so that it will be solid before you add the next layer.
• When making the caramel layer, don’t worry when you add the cream and it seems like it’s not the right texture. Just keep mixing and slowly it will all get mixed together.
• Use a large, quality knife to cut the Snickers into pieces. You can use two loaf pans instead of one large one.
• You can add oil or cocoa butter to chocolate icing if you want. Use a fork to lift the bar out of the chocolate icing instead of your fingers, so that you won’t leave fingerprints in the chocolate.
Level of difficulty: Difficult.
Time: Two days.
Status: Dairy.

CHOCOLATE CRUNCH CANDIES

Use a 22-cm. pan.
Crunch layer:
1¾ cup puffed rice, cornflakes or granola
70 gr. sugar
60 ml. water
4 Tbsp. corn syrup, glucose, honey or silan
50 gr. soft butter or margarine
1-2 drops vanilla extract
Peanut butter layer:
200 ml. milk or bittersweet chocolate
1 cup smooth or crunchy peanut butter
Chocolate icing layer:
200 gr. bittersweet, white or a combination of the two chocolates
2 tsp. corn syrup
70 gr. butter
1 tsp. chocolate or rum liqueur
To prepare the crunch layer, melt the sugar, water and corn syrup in a pot for a few minutes until it turns into caramel.
Add the butter and mix. Add the puffed rice, cornflakes or granola and mix well. Transfer to a pan and put in the fridge to cool.
To prepare the peanut butter layer, melt the chocolate in a bowl in the microwave for a few seconds at a time. Mix until smooth. Add the peanut butter and mix well.
Pour on top of the crunch layer and put back in the fridge to set.
To prepare the icing, melt the chocolate, corn syrup and butter in a bowl in the microwave a few seconds at a time. Mix until smooth.
Pour the icing over the peanut butter layer and put tray back in the fridge for an hour. If you want, you can sprinkle some coarsely ground peanuts on top. After it’s set, cut into 1-cm. strips or small cubes. Serve at room temperature.
Level of difficulty: Easy.
Time: 60 minutes.
Status: Dairy or parve.
Translated by Hannah Hochner.