Peanut butter bites

I have to admit, I am not a fan of peanut butter.  Peanuts are ok, but when they’ve been made in to a spread, I’m not keen.  My husband and eldest son, on the other hand, love the stuff.

Several months ago, I tried out a recipe for peanut butter truffles, but they just weren’t the same as a regular truffle should be, so I changed the name to peanut butter bites.

This recipe is SO simple, and can be made using vegan friendly products (if you are a vegetarian / vegan).

There’s no baking involved, and very little “heat” needed, so give it a go.  I think it took me about an hour to make them – from start to finish; and the whole outcome cost less than £2.

If you have any fancy boxes, you could even pop a few of the bites in to a box, tie a ribbon around, and you have an amazing, homemade, frugal gift.

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Ingredients

270g (9.5oz) peanut butter (smooth or crunchy)

40g (1.4oz) unsalted butter

140g (4.9oz) icing sugar

Chocolate (I used 300g / 10oz, but I had some left over)

Sprinkles (optional)

Method

  1. Line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper.
  2. Ensure that you have enough room to fit the baking sheet in to your fridge – this is very important!
  3. Put your peanut butter and butter in to a microwavable bowl, and heat on full power for 15-30 seconds.  I checked after 15 and 20 seconds, but needed longer, so I allowed for the full 30.
  4. Transfer the butter mixture in to a mixing bowl, and mix thoroughly, until the butter and peanut butter have combined.
  5. Carefully sift in the icing sugar, bit by bit, and mix well.  I used about a third at a time.  Ensure that you have thoroughly mixed in the icing sugar to the butter mixture.
  6. Using your hands, break off a little of the peanut dough, and roll quickly in between your palms to make a ball, approximately 1 inch in diameter, and place each ball on to the lined baking sheet.  If, like mine, towards the end of the dough, it stops wanting to stick together, squeeze it a little in your palms to soften, and roll into a ball again.
  7. Place the baking sheet in the fridge for about 20 minutes.
  8. After about 20 minutes, break up the chocolate in to small pieces, and place in a glass bowl – be sure that the glass bowl can sit on the top of a pan of water.  The base of the bowl should not touch the water.
  9. Bring the pan of water to the boil, and allow the chocolate to melt completely.
  10. When the chocolate has fully melted, switch off the heat, and bring out the peanut butter bites from the fridge.
  11. Roll each bite in the melted chocolate, allowing any excess chocolate to drip off.  I used two forks, and gently tapped the fork on the edge of the glass bowl to allow the excess chocolate to come away.
  12. Place the now chocolate covered bites back on to the baking sheet, and repeat until you have covered all peanut bites.
  13. When you have completed covering the bites, if you wish, you can cover them in sprinkles, or (as I did) just sprinkle a couple on the very top.
  14. Return to the fridge for approximately 20 minutes, or until the chocolate has set.

Enjoy!

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Custom Chocolate Slabs – Pic Heavy

This is certainly one of the easiest recipes ever!!!  They are so simple to make, and take about 15 minutes to do (apart from the cooling time).  Just imagine the possibilities…

I am also pleased to announce that making these 2 chocolate bars in to 4 extravagant chocolate slabs cost me about 90p in total!!  Much cheaper than buying a bar of Dairy Milk, or a Mars bar…

Ingredients

Chocolate (white, milk or dark) – I used 2 bars of Asda’s own brand dark chocolate

Toppings (sugar sprinkles, hundreds & thousands, raisins, nuts, chilli flakes, mini marshmallows, etc.)

Method

1.  Place a glass bowl on top of a pan filled with water.  Ensure that the bottom of the glass bowl does NOT touch the water.  Line a baking tray, or somewhere flat (I used a glass cutting board this time around) with baking / greaseproof paper.

2.  Break your chocolate in to small pieces, and place in the glass bowl.  Turn up the heat.

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3.  Using a metal spoon, constantly stir the chocolate until it is fully melted.  **You need to keep stirring, as the chocolate can, and will burn if you leave it to its’ own devices.  **The glass bowl will get VERY hot, so ensure that you are using an oven glove / tea-towel to secure as you stir.

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4.  Once fully melted, using the metal spoon, scoop out the melted chocolate on to the baking / greaseproof paper in to slabs…  Try to ensure that the slabs are not too thick, as you don’t want to wait around forever for them to set afterwards.

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5.  As soon as you have used all of the chocolate up, get the glass bowl in soak, quickly…  Trying to wash dried on chocolate is not as fun as it sounds.

6.  Decorate your chocolate slabs as you see fit – whether you use dried fruit, nuts, sprinkles, chilli flakes, etc.

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(the sweet mixed spice was being mixed gently in to the chocolate here)

7.  Allow the slabs to cool for a minimum of 30 minutes…

8.  Peel off the baking / greaseproof paper and enjoy x

Basic Vanilla Biscuit Recipe

I needed an alternative recipe to impress my work colleagues, and as it’s the middle of the year (and nowhere near Christmas), I didn’t think the spiced stained window biscuits would be suitable.  Instead, I have adapted the recipe to make a simple, basic, vanilla biscuit base for you to enjoy.  You can even add your own twist to them!  Suggestions for alternatives are lower down in this post…

Ingredients

250g butter, softened

140g caster sugar

1 egg yolk (from a large egg…  Sorry, you’ll have to waste the egg white on this one)

2tsp vanilla essence

300g plain flour

Decorations:  hard boiled sweets, sprinkles, chocolate chips, whatever you like!

Method

1.  Preheat your oven to 180C (170C for fan assisted).

2.  Line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper.

3.  You’re supposed to use the back of a wooden spoon for all this, but I used an electric whisk on the slowest speed…  It worked perfectly fine 🙂  Cream the butter.

4.  Add the sugar and cream together.

5.  Add the egg yolk and vanilla essence .

6.  Gradually add the flour…  I continued to use my electric whisk with no problem here.  Towards the end of adding all of your flour, you will notice the mixture not sticking together…  It’s ok…  Now is the time to get your hands involved.

7.  Put some flour on your hands, and knead the dough together into a ball.

8.  On a floured workspace, roll out the dough to approx. 1cm thick.

9.  Use cookie cutters to cut out your biscuits, and lie them on the papered tray.  Alternatively, cut out your desired shape with a knife (careful!).

10.  Decorate your biscuits any way you please…  Push in the chocolate chips, sprinkle with sprinkles (ha!), cut out smaller shapes in the middle and add a hard boiled sweet…  Whatever you please, but bare in mind that whatever you decorate them with will be baked!

11.  Place in the centre of the oven for 20 minutes.

12.  If you’d like to decorate your biscuits with icing, ensure that they are fully cooled down before doing so.  This can take approx. 30 minutes.

Enjoy them!

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**Try adding lemon juice instead of vanilla essence…  Yummy

**  Replace 1 tablespoon of the flour for 1 table spoon of cocoa powder…  Mmmm