Be the queen of DIY this year. All you’re going to need is a little chocolate, some crafty hands and a whole lot of soul. Enjoy mamas! xx ck
Chocolate Peanut Butter-Crunch Cups
Makes 20 peanut butter cups
One bag (11-12 ounces) semi or bittersweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
3/4 cup creamy all-natural peanut butter
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 cup crispy rice cereal
20 mini cupcake liners
Place the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave it at 100 percent power in 10-second intervals, stirring between each, until the chocolate is melted. Set aside to cool slightly and then scrape it into a large bowl. (You can also melt the chocolate in a large bowl over a pan with 1 inch of barely simmering water, stirring the chocolate occasionally, until it is completely melted.)
Using a small paintbrush or pastry brush, coat the bottoms and 3/4 of the way up the sides of the liners with some of the chocolate (set aside the rest for later). You want the coating to be fairly thick, so that when the liners are peeled off, the chocolate shell doesn’t crack. Place the filled liners on a plate and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes or up to several hours.
While the shells chill, make the peanut butter filling. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the peanut butter using a wooden spoon and then add the confectioners sugar and rice cereal. Mix until well combined and gooey looking (it should look like slightly melted chunky peanut butter). Allow the mixture to cool slightly; about 10-15 minutes should do it (if the mixture is too hot, it will melt the chocolate shells).
Remove the chocolate cups from the refrigerator. Use a teaspoon to fill each shell 3/4 full with peanut butter filling (you can use a wet finger or the back of a spoon to smooth out the top if you like). If the remaining chocolate in the bowl has hardened, re-melt it in the microwave in 5-second bursts. Spoon some chocolate over the peanut butter filling, spreading and turning the shell so the chocolate seals the cup. Return to the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes (or up to 2 weeks in an airtight plastic container) to harden. Serve chilled.
Dark Chocolate Lollipops
Makes 12 lollies
2 1/2 cups pure dark chocolate, finely chopped
1 package wooden craft or lollipop sticks (6 in. sticks recommended)
Toppings: crushed walnuts or almonds, sea salt, chopped dried cranberries, candied orange peel, crushed peppermint, lavender sugar or chocolate covered cocoa nibs.
Use a double boiler (or create one by placing a heat-proof bowl over a medium saucepan of simmering water). Melt chopped dark chocolate, stirring slowly. Use a baking spatula to scrape melted chocolate into a large zipping plastic bag.
Line two or three baking sheets with parchment paper and arrange lollipop sticks on each.
Once chocolate has cooled in bag for approximately one minute, snip off one of the bag’s bottom corners with scissors. Gently squeeze chocolate onto stick, starting at the center of the top of the stick and moving outward in concentric circles.
Lightly sprinkle or dust desired toppings on each lollipop.
Set baking sheets in refrigerator until completely cooled.
Dark Chocolate Cocoa Nib Granola Bars
Makes approximately 12 large bars or 24 small bars
2 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup almonds or cashews
1/2 cup unsweetened dry coconut
1/4 cup sesame seeds
2 cups chopped dried fruit (cranberries, chopped apricots, blueberries, currants, cherries, your choice!)
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup Cocoa Nibs
1 cup of unsalted, natural crunchy peanut butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Spray a 9 by 9-inch baking dish with non-stock cooking spray and line it with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Spread the oats, almonds/nuts onto a sheet pan. Place in the oven and toast lightly for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add in coconut and sesame seeds and toast it for another 2 minutes.
In the meantime, combine the honey, peanut butter, vanilla and salt in a saucepan and place over medium heat. Cook until everything is combined.
Once the oat mixture is toasted, remove it from the oven and immediately add it into the peanut butter mixture. Add the dried fruit and cocoa nibs, mix it all in to coat evenly.
Turn mixture out into the prepared baking dish and press down, firmly and evenly distributing the mixture in the pan.
Let the tray cool off and cut into squares and store in an airtight container for up to a week.
With love & holiday hugs xx ck
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