A gluten-free, homemade version of peanut butter hearts--perfect for Valentine's Day!
It's the time of the season when love runs high. As such, I thought I'd share a few things I love with you. For starters, I love geeky things--logic problems, crossword puzzles, data analysis, dorky guys in square glasses, grammar (I took a course in it 'for fun' in college). Though I unabashedly still geek out today, the crowning moment of my dorkdom was probably being elected my high school's Latin Club President two years in a row.
Maybe it's because my birthday is the Ides of March that I had a natural proclivity toward Latin, or maybe I just love me some epic, twisted tales of the Roman empire on 8 VHS tapes (WARNING: slightly NSFW!). Whatever the case, I took five years of the language and every year, it was my favorite class. At some point, we translated Catullus, whose poem Carmen 85, gave me one of my favorite and most-loved phrases in Latin, "odi et amo," or, "I hate and I love."
What does all this non-sense have to do with peanut butter hearts, you ask? Well, remember how I told you I was a peanut butter addict? And remember when we made a homemade version of Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs together? Well, I want to let you in on a little secret: You can use that SAME recipe and adapt it for Valentine's Day and make yourself some chocolate covered peanut butter hearts, meaning you can have homemade copycat Reese's hearts in about an hour. I know, I know. I'm a genius... and yet, you hate me a little bit. See now would be the appropriate time to recite in an exasperated tone, "Odi et amo, Kelly!" (We've come full circle!) And, in the words of Nas, You can hate me now. Don't worry--I'll still love you :)
Homemade Chocolate Peanut Butter Hearts
Prep time: 1 hour
Cook time: 5 mins
Total time: 1 hour 5 mins
Makes: 8-12 hearts, depending on how big you make them
The perfect way to show the peanut butter addict in your life how much you care. Or, just make them for yourself. Who better to love you than you, you peanut butter fiend! :)
- 1 1/3 cup confectioners sugar
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter (if using crunchy peanut butter instead, omit peanuts)
- 3 tablespoons peanuts, chopped very fine (optional)
- 2 tablespoons salted butter
- 10.5 ounces milk chocolate, chopped
- 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
- Line a cookie sheet with parchment or wax paper.
- Add the peanut butter and butter to a medium size bowl. Working in 30 second intervals, microwave 1-2 minutes or until butter is completely melted and peanut butter has softened, being careful not to let the peanut butter burn! (If you've got a high-powered microwave, try microwaving at 15 second intervals.)
- Remove from microwave. Stir in peanuts, if using. Working in 2 batches, stir in half the confectioners sugar, until well combined. Repeat with the other half of the sugar. You should have a thick dough.
- Roll a walnut-sized ball of peanut butter dough into a ball or scoop using a small ice cream scoop (or a medium one. #treatyoself. We don't judge here at kellybakes.com). Place each ball onto the parchment-lined cookie sheet. Shape each ball into a heart shape. Once all hearts have been formed, place the cookie sheet into the freezer for 1/2 hour.
- When the hearts have been in the freezer for 25 minutes, prepare the chocolate by chopping it and placing it in a medium bowl. Add the shortening. Microwave on medium for 15 seconds. Stir. Repeat until the chocolate has melted. This took me 1 minute 30 seconds total. (It's tempting to not microwave in intervals, but it's also easier to walk away, get distracted and come back to burnt chocolate. Trust me on this one. I speak from way too much experience :)
- When the chocolate is melted, give it a final stir, making sure that no hunks of chocolate remain.
- Remove the peanut butter hearts from the freezer. Dip each heart into the chocolate. Flip over with a fork or a miniature off-set spatula to coat completely with chocolate. Allow any excess chocolate to drip off each heart. Place each heart back onto the parchment lined sheet until the chocolate sets up (approximately 30 minutes).
- Remove from parchment once set. Share with someone special or don't. Like I said, no judgement ;)