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Monkey Balls! It's almost Valentine's Day! (Recipe for Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups)

One of the many Hedgeapples (aka Monkey Balls) found on the farm last month.

It's that time of the year again! The time of year you start banging your head against the wall trying to think of a Valentine's Day gift or gesture that isn't cliche, boring, or scripted. A few months ago Scrapple commented on how tough it will be to think of gifts to give each other when we're on the farm. I told him he could just pick me a bouquet of wild flowers, but then remembered that V day is in February. Maybe a hedge apple bouquet? 

Here in the city, there have been a few years where I've had an inspiring idea a few months in advance (mainly of the concert ticket or interesting experience variety), but, admittedly, many of Scrapple's V day gifts have been of the "light bulb in the head a few days before" variety. I'm also big into homemade cards :)

In the case that you're having one of those years and stressing, you may find the following recipe of some help. It's the recipe for the first Valentine's Day gift I made for S - Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups. Yes - they're chocolates and a little scripted, but they're homemade and deliiiiicious chocolates that can be customized to your beloved's liking. Scrapple happens to love dark chocolate and very little sugar so I left the 2 optional ingredients out when I made them. If you want to go for a classic Reese's flavor though, try adding them in. You could also swap the PB for another nut butter if you'd prefer.

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

  • 1 cup dark chocolate chunks
  • 1/2 cup organic crunchy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar (optional)
  • 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs (optional)
  • mini muffin wrappers
  1. Heat 1" of water over low to medium heat, set the chocolate in a pyrex measuring cup or other heat safe container into the water to create a double boiler... Or just use a double boiler. Slowly melt the chocolate while stirring occasionally. Be careful not to get any water in the chocolate or it may seize. 
  2. With a small paint brush, coat the inside bottom and walls of the mini muffin wrappers evenly bringing the chocolate almost to top of cup, but not over edge. Put the cups into the refrigerator. If your cups are floppy it can be helpful to put them inside of several plastic containers or a casserole tray to create support.
  3. Melt the peanut butter in a saucepan over the stove (or in the microwave in glass) and if you prefer a sweeter and crunchier mixture - like the actual candy, stir in the confectioners' sugar and graham cracker crumbs. 
  4. Press  or pour the melted peanut butter or filling mixture into each chocolate cup.
  5. Return the cups to the fridge so the chocolate doesn't melt with the addition of the peanut butter.
  6. After about 10 minutes, spoon additional chocolate over the top to seal your cup.
  7. Refrigerate for at least an hour before bringing up to room temp and packaging
What have been some of your favorite home made Valentine's Day gifts? Let's help each other out!