Thursday, March 18, 2010

Pizza & Peanut Butter Cups!

Last night a few of us celebrated a friend's birthday with a homemade PIZZA night! Wow, every peice that came out of the oven was unbelievable! Every inch of the kitchen counters were covered with a variety of fresh ingredients like artichoke hearts, sundried tomatos, figs, prosciutto, italian salame, and delicious cheeses like parmigiani reggiano, fresh mozz, and goat cheese. We bought dough from a local pizza joint, Nicolitalia Pizzeria and went to town with ingredients, throwin together and making some of the most fabulous tasting pizzas. My favorite among the many (i think we made a total of like 7!) was my all time favorite pizza in general: tomato sauce, mozzerella, prosciutto, goat cheese, and arugula. The combination of fresh ingrendients, friends, and the pizza stone made every last bite utterly sensational.

Unfortunately I haven't been able to get ahold of the pictures of pizza from that night but because it's been a week since my last post, I'm gonna go ahead and publish this now, with the absence of those pictures! As soon as I get them I'll 'fill in the blanks' ;) enjoy!
(oooh delicious picture of pizza here)Italic

We actually used a homemade dough for a couple of the pizzas as well, it wasn't actually a pizza dough, but turned out fabulous anyway. Look at how much it rose in the oven!

(huge-mongous pizza with homemade dough pic here)
Of course I had to contribute, not only with my rediculously amazing pizza tossing skills.. :P but with DESSERT. The main course if you ask me. I actually didn't have too much time to throw something together because I ended up having to work late, so I decided to make homemade Peanut Butter Cups! They were a lot of fun to make, and even more fun to eat :) These are a great (and easy) last minute dessert or anytime dessert, and so versatile, the filling possibilities are endless! I made 4 different "fillings": chunky peanut butter, peanut butter & caramel, caramel, & my favorite; caramel & pecans!
Adapted from The Hungry Mouse

Homemade Peanut Butter Cups

For the candy shells: 3-4 cups chocolate chips (4 if you like em' texas size big like me)
For the peanut butter filling: 1 cup peanut butter1/2 cup powdered sugar1 tsp. vanilla extract

I used my normal caramel sauce recipe just because I didn't have time to research a more "chewy" caramel recipe. The outcome was a delicious ooey-gooey caramel consistancy when chilled. A more solid caramel recipe would be great here (and less messy) as well.

Caramel Sauce

1/2 c butter

1c brown sugar
1/3-2/3c heavy cream

1tsp. vanilla

Melt butter, add brown sugar whisk 2 min, add cream whisk 2 min, mix in vanilla. (Make sure you test the consistancy and be sure the sugars are completely dissolved, otherwise you can end up with a grainy caramel. )

Melt your chocolate:
Grab your chocolate chips. Set a pot with an inch of water on the stove over high heat. Bring the water up to a boil, then drop the heat to low. Set a large, heat-proof bowl on top of the pot.
Add your chocolate to the bowl. It should immediately start to melt. Stir with spatula until completely melted, remove from heat, set aside.

Make your peanut butter filling:
Put ingredients into a bowl fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix together until combined. (I did this for about 5 minutes so the consistancy of the peanut butter was more fluffy, you can also use a different flavor extract here if your imagination says so :)

Make the chocolate cups:
Grab your cupcake liners. I put mine in the actual mufin pan to help with stability but you definitely can do it without. Use a big spoon and poor into bottom of cup, use 2 big spoonfulls for thick cups. Use the back of your spoon to push or spread chocolate up onto sides on cupcake liners. Once all done, place in freezer or fridge to chill.

Add your filling:
Spoon your filling into chilled chocolate cups and press down with finger (if using peanut butter) until even. (if your using caramel, be sure it has cooled to atleast room temperature so it does not disturb the chilled chocolate or peanut butter. Poor over filling.) I would set the cups in the fridge for another couple minutes if your filling is still hot that way when you top it off the chcocolate is not disturbed. Spoon enough chocolate over the top of the filling to create a "seal". Once all done, chill for atleast 20min to make sure the chocolate has set.
Wallah! Delicious homemade peanut butter cups, a great ending to a truly delicious night


Kristin Ann said...

mei-mei!! i love it!! the recipe, the blog, all of it!!

Meili said...

hey you!! Thanks so much! And CONGRATS on getting married!!!!! I am sincerely so HAPPY for you! I LOVELOVELOVE youe blog, you gave me inspiration! Miss you!