I love giving—and getting—edible gifts and so Sarah Kieffer’s Baking for the Holidays: 50+ Treats for a Festive Season with recipes for Christmas, Hanukah, and New Year’s Eve get togethers, cookie swaps, and stocking stuffers is just the thing. Kieffer, author of 100 Cookies, is also the creator of The Vanilla Bean Blog, and inventor the “bang-the-pan” method. The latter is a technique she originally used for her chocolate chip cookies.
But before you get the idea that you’ll be able to slam pans around—which would be a wonderful way to let off steam during the busy holiday season—realize it’s Kieffer’s term for the way she shakes up the cookies while they’re baking in order to create a crispy edged cookie with gooey center cookie. She calls them her “Pan Banging Chocolate Chip Cookies.”
See her blog for that recipe and more.
Peanut Butter Cups
- 16 oz semisweet or bittersweet chocolate
- ½ cup creamy peanut butter
- ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Pinch salt
In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the chocolate, stirring frequently until smooth. Pour
the melted chocolate into a medium bowl and let cool for 10 minutes.
In another medium bowl, mix together the peanut butter, sugar, butter, vanilla, and salt until combined and completely smooth.
Place about a tablespoon of chocolate in the bottom of each circle in a silicone mold (you can also line a mini muffin pan and use that instead). Tilt and twist the mold around so the chocolate coats the sides of the circle.
Scoop out a scant tablespoon of the peanut butter mixture and gently roll it into a ball between your palms (if it is too sticky to do so, refrigerate the mixture for 10 minutes to help it firm up). Place the ball in the center of each mold and top each one with some of the remaining chocolate.
Smooth out the tops by gently tapping the mold on the counter, then chill in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 hours to set. Once set, pop each peanut butter cup out of its mold and bring to room temperature before serving.
Peanut butter cups can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 1 week.
Cacao Nibs Topping
Melt 1 ounce of chocolate.
Place about ½ teaspoon of chocolate on top of each set and unmolded peanut butter cup, carefully smoothing out the tops. Sprinkle with chopped cacao nibs and let set before serving.