On three day weekends like these, I tend to take my cooking a little more seriously, and take the time to actually make things that sound good. After that pasta, I needed something sweet, and a chunk of chocolate just wasn’t doing it. I decieded to make these simple but great peanut butter cups.
The filling is easy–about equal volumes of peanut butter and powdered sugar with a pinch of salt (depending on if your peanut butter is salted or not). Also, you can add some peanut oil (or canola oil) if your peanut butter is too dry. The mixture should hold together in balls.
Meanwhile, melt some chocolate. I use a glass bowl over a pot of simmering water. It doesn’t need to be fantastic chocolate–I use the bitter sweet “pound plus” bars from Trader Joe’s. The only trick is to “temper” your chocolate–necessary if you want nice, shiny cups with that chocolate snap. Without getting into the science of it, you basically need to get the chocolate to crystallize in a regular pattern. You can do this by continually stirring as it cools, or by adding some “seed” chocolate–unmelted, finely chopped chocolate that has its original crystalline structure.
Just make some little disks of the filling and dip in the chocolate. After coating my cups, I had some melted chocolate left over, so I put in a handful of almonds, mixed them up, and scooped them out onto some plastic wrap.
The chocolate takes a while to solidify–they only really get shiny and nice a number of hours later, in my case the next morning.