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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Homemade Country Vegetable Soup

I’ve had some mixed vegetables in the fridge for quite some time, not knowing what to do with half of them.  I’ve never eaten a parsnip, let alone use one for cooking, but all the veg was going off, and so I thought it was about time that they get used.

Ingredients

1l vegetable stock

4-5 carrots

1 medium sized onion

1 parsnip

1/2 swede

4-5 medium sized potatoes

Some of your favourite herbs

Method

1.  Mix your vegetable stock together in a large pan.  I used 2 veg OXO cubes and 1 litre of water.  Bring to the boil.

2.  Whilst waiting for the stock to boil, prepare your veg.  Peel and dice all your vegetables into approx 1/2 inch cubes.

3.  When the stock is boiling, add the prepared veg.

4.  Bring back to the boil, and then turn the heat down to a simmer.

5.  Allow the stock & cubed veg to simmer for 20-30 minutes.  When you are able to insert a sharp knife easily into some of the cubes, you’re ready for the next part…

6.  Remove from the heat completely.  If you are going to add some of your favourite herbs, now is the time to do it.

7.  Using a hand-held blender (or any alternative you have), blitz away the veg until it becomes really thick and creamy looking.

8.  Ta-da!  You’re done.  For serving, I just put some in a bowl and wolfed the whole lot down, but for that added extra, why not garnish with a small sprig of parsley?

**Once completely cooled down, if you are not going to eat any more within the next two days, you can pour the soup into an airtight sealable freezer bag.  This will keep nicely for up to 3 months…  Just ensure that you reheat the soup until it is piping hot.

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