Sunday, February 10, 2008

Beyond the Peanut Butter Cup

Since the peanut butter cups were such a success I thought I would try to make a few variations. Two of John’s favorite candy bars are Almond Joys and Turtles. I figured I would have a go at making a home made version of each, along with more peanut butter cups at Evan’s insistence.

The Almond Joy’s were fairly simple. I had looked up a few Almond Joy copy cats recipes to try and get the coconut filling right. I boiled ¼ cup of Karo syrup and added it to 2 cups of coconut. It looked and tasted like the inside of an Almond Joy.

When I went looking for caramel squares to melt I couldn’t find any. I did find Kraft Caramel Bits. I haven’t seen them before. The bag even said “unwrapped for easy melting”. I placed 1 cup of the caramel in a measuring cup, and micro waved it in 30 second intervals until it was melted. The mixture was sticky, gooey and very hot.

I also toasted the almonds and pecans in the oven for about 8 minutes before I began assembly.

So I had all my baking cups lined up on a baking sheet. A little of the same chocolate mixture that I had made for the peanut butter cups went into the bottom of each one. Evan helped me with the assembly line I had going. I topped each cup with either half teaspoon of the coconut or caramel mixture. The caramel was a pain in the butt to work with. It was hardening up really fast. Evan was right behind me putting 2 of the toasted almonds on top of the coconut mixture and a pecan on top of the caramel. They all got topped with more chocolate and either an almond or a pecan (so we would know which one was which). We made about 15 of each but I didn’t have hope for the Turtles using that caramel. Looking back I think I should have added something to it, like cream or milk. Oh well.

We then made another batch of chocolate and made about 30 peanut butter cups.

We set them in the breeze way to cool. When they were finally set I cut one of the Turtles in half. Just as I had suspected, the caramel was hard as a rock. Back to the drawing board on those. The Almond Joys came out really good. I didn’t really know how much of the coconut mixture to put in, so I started off with half a teaspoon. I think I could have used a little more.

I can’t believe I am about to type these words, but I am so sick of chocolate at this moment I can’t even look at it right now. My whole afternoon was filled with it and just the thought of it is turning my stomach. I’m sure tomorrow I will feel totally different.
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