Saturday, April 19, 2014

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups


Easter is almost here! Just one more day until we'll be celebrating the resurrection of Christ by hiding eggs and digging into colorful baskets of goodies (wait, what?). I've always felt that Easter should be my favorite holiday. After all, spiritually speaking, as a Christian, it's the centerpiece of my faith--Christ's death to redeem the world followed by His triumph over the grave. Just thinking about that gets me excited. But I am, of course, a product of my culture and my generation, and Christmas has always taken the gold as Holiday #1 in my heart. Still, the older I get, the more I appreciate Easter--both its spiritual significance and its laid-backness as compared to the frenzy of Christmas. 

This year, as I did during the Christmas season, I've been considering ways to combat the excesses of this holiday. No, it's not as commercialized as Christmas, but it's always nice to simplify where you can. From the non-biodegradable Easter grass that gets everywhere to the pointless junk the grocery stores want you to put in your kids' Easter baskets, there are a lot of things our family could do without. So this year, here are a few changes I made to make our Easter just a little more moderate and eco-friendly:

  • used shredded colored printer paper instead of purchasing Easter grass. In fact, I did this last year and kept the shredded paper in the kids' baskets in the garage. Work involved: ZERO!
  • didn't buy anything non-consumable for my kids' Easter baskets (just candy and egg-shaped sidewalk chalk)
  • bought my daughter's Easter dress second-hand (for $6, thanks, Love Child!)
  • homemade one of the candies for the kids' baskets
The homemade candies were--you guessed it--these chocolate peanut butter cups. And my kids are lucky that I only made them yesterday, because I tell you, one more day and these things would not have made it to Easter. They are absolutely decadent. So even though Easter is tomorrow, it's not too late for the Easter bunny (aka Mom) to make a quick batch of these--for the kids or for herself! 

Happy Easter!



Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
(Inspired by Allrecipes.com)

Ingredients:

1 11.5-oz. bag milk chocolate chips, divided
3/4 c. creamy peanut butter
1/3 c. powdered sugar
3 Tbsp. crushed graham crackers
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Directions:

1. Lightly grease a 12-cup mini muffin pan. (Or 2 pans--the recipe yielded 15 peanut butter cups for me.)

2. In a microwave-safe bowl, microwave about 2/3 of the chocolate chips in 30-second intervals until melted. Spoon melted chocolate into mini muffin cups, filling halfway. Use the spoon or a small spatula to draw the chocolate up the sides of the muffin cups. (It helps to let the chocolate cool slightly before doing this to keep it from sliding down.) Refrigerate until firm.

3. In a medium bowl, mix together peanut butter, powdered sugar, crushed graham crackers, salt, and vanilla. Divide into chocolate cups.

4. Melt remaining chocolate and cover peanut butter mixture, spreading to the edges.

5. Refrigerate until firm. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Makes about 15 peanut butter cups.

Ready to go in Easter baskets!

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