Chocolate covered aunts.
Cannibalism aside…who doesn’t love chocolate covered things? I know I do. Chocolate raisins, peanuts, strawberries, bacon…the flavor combinations are endless.
As an American, one of my favorite chocolate flavor combinations involves peanut butter; as in the classic peanut butter cup. The brand that usually comes to mind is a Reese’s. I know it does when I think of a peanut butter cup (well, that and my Mimi’s homemade ones). I used to adore Reese’s as a kid. Just chomping away on them.
But now, as a (sort of) adult, who watches what she eats, and has a very low tolerance for low quality food, I can’t eat them anymore. When I do have a weak moment and chomp down on one of those bad boys, I am transported to my childhood, sitting in the movie theater, watching Mulan. But afterward, I am doubled over, feeling nauseous, with a headache.
This sick feeling makes me very sad. I don’t enjoy anything enough to put up with that kind of nausea. So, I set out to make a better version of the classic treat. One with all of the “Mmmmmmmmmm” and none of the “Uggggggghhhhhhhhhh”.
Enter Hello, Jell-o!: 50+ inventive recipes for gelatin treats and jiggly sweets by Victoria Belanger, a book entirely about classic treats made with gelatine. Sounds weird, but is actually awesome–if you like jiggly foods (which I do).
There is just something fun and summery about jello. Maybe because it’s cool, but not cold, and refreshing.
Whatever the reason, I used the book, which I took out from the library, to create a fantastic tasting, and much better for you peanut butter cup. All of the “MMMMMMM” and none of the “uuuuuugh”.
While the texture of these little bad boys is weird-really weird-the flavor is dead on. I mean, everything you ever hoped a chocolate covered peanut butter cup would taste like. With none of the regret.
Pure gastronomical delight.
Non-traditional Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Cups
2 1/2 c whole or 2 % milk
1/3 c unsweetened cocoa powder
1 c sugar
1 3/4 c peanut butter chips
2 tbsp (2 envelopes) unflavored gelatine powder
1/2 c cold water
1 tsp vanilla extract
foil baking cups
- In a sauce pan, whisk together the milk, cocoa, and sugar.
- Bring just to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Decrease the heat to medium, add the peanut butter chips.
- Whisk until the chips are melted and the mixture is smooth.
- In a bowl, sprinkle the gelatin evenly over the cold water and allow the gelatine to absorb the water for 2 minutes.
- Add the hot milk mixture and whisk until the gelatin is fully dissolved. Stir in the vanilla.
- Refrigerate until thickened to a pudding-like consistency (about 90 minutes to 2 hours.)
- Spoon into foil baking cups or individual molds. Refrigerate until firm.
- Unmold (if using baking cups, it might be helpful to dip them in warm water for just a moment before peeling away the foil) and serve.
It was my experience that they cups pretty much just popped out of the foil when I peeled it back. Not much was lost to the side of the cup.
Giggle, wiggle, jiggle and enjoy!