I wasn’t aware that making candy wasn’t actually that difficult–it takes some time to tweak out the imperfections, but it’s pretty straightforward. And this filling makes homemade candy worth it. In fact, I used to just make this recipe at Christmas to pass out to friends, but last year, I made it for Valentines, Easter, Halloween (into eyeballs) and of course Christmas too. A Reese’s just isn’t the same after trying one of these . . .
Peanut Butter Filling for Dipped Chocolates
1 stick butter, softened
1 c. peanut butter (I’ve used natural and the other [unnatural?], both work fine)
1 1/2 c. confectioner’s sugar
1/4 c. light corn syrup
chocolate for dipping (the better the chocolate, the better the candy. Look for Guittard, Ghiradelli or Callebaut in block form)
In a mixing bowl or standing mixer, combine butter and peanut butter until well incorporated (about 2 minutes). Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula, and mix for another 30 seconds. Then, add the sugar; mix for 30 seconds, then the corn syrup, and mix until incorporated. Divide the filling (it will be really soft) into two separate storage containers and refrigerate for at least one hour.
When ready to roll the balls, line a baking sheet with wax paper or parchment paper. Remove one container (the other will get too soft if you take it out now, so leave it in the fridge), and roll the filling into 1/2″ balls (or whatever size you prefer). Place on the cookie sheet. Continue until all the dough from both containers has been rolled, then place in your freezer for at least one hour.
When ready to dip, temper your chocolate (I won’t get into this process too much here, but tempering involves melting the chocolate and cooling it to about 89-90 degrees, depending on the type, just prior to dipping. Your chocolate will get streaky if it’s not tempered correctly. This, of course, takes practice and it helps to have an instant-read thermometer. There are several helpful websites and cookbooks that can help, too). Line another cookie sheet with wax or parchment paper. Using a fondue fork or other dipping instrument, spear a peanut-butter ball, and dip in the chocolate, then place on the cookie sheet. Continue until the chocolate is too cold (then you must retemper) or fillings are all dipped. If the filling gets too warm before it’s all dipped, place in the freezer for 15-20 minutes before continuing.
When finished, keep the chocolate in the fridge until serving. As the chocolate warm to room temperature, a little bubble of peanut-butter filling forms on the top. This makes them easy to identify–and I don’t know how to prevent it :). Since the filling is soft, it literally melts in your mouth, and is a lot less sugary than Reese’s.
This process sounds involved, but really takes no longer than a batch of cookies with a little experience. And it’s really fun to have homemade candy. I’m pretty sure you’ll love them.