Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Homemade Peanut Butter Cups!

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I am a huge foodie!!!  I love to cook and bake as much as possible!  Often times my husband has to give sweet treats away at his work because we can not finish eating all the baked goodies in our house!  The only problem... is that it's hard to bake with a toddler. I have quickly learned that Rory is just like her mom and her aunts; she loves to pick at dough!  However, if the batter has any egg product, it's not going to touch Rory’s mouth.  So today, I was thinking of doing a “no-bake-sweet treat (yet not all complete sugar) that Rory could help with, and what is better than a Peanut Butter Cup!
For the peanut butter cup you will need: 
  • 2 cups Peanut butter *
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 3 cups rice krispies cereal
  • 4 cups of Powdered sugar
  • cookie sheet with waxed paper
  • freezer
  • candy melts or Chocolate chips (for this recipe I used one bag of vanilla candy melts since my husband doesn't like chocolate and one bag of dark chocolate chips, since I love it!). 
  • device to help you dip the balls (we used left over skewers from our grill nights) but candy dipping spoons work wonderfully too!

* I decided to use homemade peanut butter for this recipe- you can use store bought if you like, it works just as good; however, I watch Rory’s sugar intake closely.  To make your own homemade peanut butter, just take a jar of peanuts and put it into a food processor and grind it. I added a little peanut oil at times because it does get a little thick. But that is it!
First, we had to wash hands.  Rory knows before we cook anything we have to wash hands, and her hand washing process normally takes about 15 minutes!   After the hand washing was done, we melted the butter in the microwave and added in the peanut butter.   I made sure to let Rory know that the butter was hot and to ONLY stir with the spoon only.  To help get her mind off sticking her hands in the bowl and eating a whole handful of dough, we made a game out of stirring;  we decided to stir in circles, then stir in straight lines, and finally we stirred in she shape of squares.  Rory loved going crazy with the spoon!   We also discussed texture when we made these.  We talked about the SMOOTH peanut butter while we stirred.
Once the peanut butter and butter was smoothly stirred together we got out the rolling pin an crushed the rice krispies.  We talked about the CRUNCHY krispies again reinforcing texture.  Rory loved crushing the krispies!  We played around with the rolling pin, going forward and back and then rolling side to side.  Once they were crushed nicely, we added them to our butter mixture and also added the powdered sugar and mixed.  
Once it is well mixed you get to form the balls!  This was by far Rory’s favorite part because she could sneak a pick in her mouth, and did so frequently!  We mostly made circles, but on occasion Rory would want to make ovals or squares.  Once all the balls were formed, we “put them to sleep,” or let them chill in the fridge for a few hours.  We sang them sleeping songs and checked on them to make sure they were sleeping soundly.
When you are ready to dip be very careful with your toddler, the chocolate gets very hot!   I melted the chocolate in the microwave, but you can always use a double boiler.  If you are using a bag of chocolate chips you may want to add a tablespoon of shortening to help thin it out a bit.  Just dip the balls in the chocolate and take them out making sure they are completely covered in the chocolate.  
Then you can decorate them!  Rory loved dumping sprinkles on them, and we tried to make them look like eggs!  We then talked about the SMOOTH eggs, adn the colors of the sprinkles we put on them.  
For more fun activities go to Rory’s blog!

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