I wanted to make something for my sweetie for valentine's day, and remembered I had seen these cute chocolate peanutbutter hearts at Sunday Baker and Mommy's Kitchen. Thanks to coupons, I scored some free Peanut Butter, so I knew I had to try this recipe.
OMG. There are no words. You know those Chocolate Peanut butter eggs and trees that the stores have during the holidays? They taste like those. Only better. Much better, 'cause they're homemade, and fresh, and creamy, and you get to decide what goes into them!
Warning: Don't make these when the house is quiet and the kiddos are at school. You may save yourself some sanity, but at what cost to your waistline? Make 'em when the kids are at home, and running in circles, and you're too busy trying to keep the monkeys off the ceiling to bother tasting more than one...don't say I didn't warn you :)
Chocolate Peanut Butter Hearts:
1 regular-sized jar of peanut butter
1 stick of butter (or margarine)-softened
3-5 c. of powdered sugar
1 bag of semi-sweet chocolate morsels
3 Tbsp. shortening
In a large mixing bowl, combine the peanut butter and stick of butter. Stir until very creamy.
Slowly start to stir in the powdered sugar, one cup at a time. Eventually you can just use your hands to start mixing it in. You want the mixture to be the consistency of play-doh. It should not stick to your hand at all and you should be able to easily form a ball with it (I divided into about 4 medium-sized balls because it was easier to work with). Once it's to this point, you won't need to add anymore powdered sugar (don't do what I did - I did 4 cups and it was too stiff and crumbly...if this happens, just slightly wet your hands and knead that water into the dough to encourage all the crumbles to stick). Also a good idea to use food prep gloves (wal-greens, $4 for 80 disposable), to keep off the peanutbutter grease.
Sprinkle a clean surface with a dusting of powdered sugar (I roll in between parchment paper sheets, less stick and less mess). Flatten some of the peanut butter dough on this surface, and slowly roll it to about 1/2" thickness (it should be very easy to roll. If not, add more powdered sugar). With a 1-1/2" heart cookie-cutter, cut out the heart shapes:
Place the hearts on a cookie sheet lined with parchment or wax paper. Refridgerate for at least an hour or freeze for 30 minutes (I stuck mine in the freezer overnight because I didn't have time to do them all in one sitting).
In a microwave-safe bowl, heat the chocolate morsels with the shortening for 1 minute. Stir frequently and the chocolate will start to melt more. Reheat for another 15 seconds, stirring again afterwards. Continue to do this until the chocolate is completely smooth and the shortening is melted (should not take more than 1 1/2 to 2 minutes). If the chocolate seems too thick and fudgey, add a bit more shortening. You want it almost at a runny consistency.
Remove hearts from the fridge. Using a large fork, dip the hearts in the chocolate one at a time. With the covered heart sitting on the top of the fork, bang the fork against the side of the dish removing any excess chocolate. Place the heart on the wax paper to set.
I like to re-use some of the left-over chocolate to drizzle across the finished hearts, or melt a contrasting color chocolate and drizzle. You can have fun dressing them up with different sprinkles, sugars, and colors/flavors of chocolate, or even use chunky peanut butter. I put the finished hearts in cupcake liners, but there are some SUPER CUTE packaging ideas at the Sunday Baker post!
This recipe made 66 for me, but yield really depends on how thick you roll the filling, (I aimed for the suggested 1/2 inch, but it wasn't perfect or exact), what size heart cutter you use (I went with the suggested 1 1/2 inch heart), and how many you eat in the process...just sayin'.