August 29, 2009

Black-Eyed Peanut Butter Peas

These festive peanut butter candies, similar to Buckeyes, contain a special chocolate surprise and are decorated to resemble black-eyed peas. Perfect for a New Year's party!
Prep Time: 90 minutes

* 1/2 stick (4 tbsp) butter, softened to room temperature
* 1.5 cups granulated sugar
* 1 tsp vanilla
* 1 cup smooth peanut butter
* 1/2 tsp salt
* 1/2 - 1 tsp milk
* 1 cup Nutella or other chocolate spread
* 8 ounces white chocolate
* 2 ounces dark chocolate


1. In a mixing bowl, combine the softened butter, peanut butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt. Mix on medium speed for 1-2 minutes, until very smooth and well combined.

2. While mixing, add ½ tsp milk. Stop the mixer and feel the texture. Ideally, the candy should be firm and not sticky, but pliable and not crumbly. If mixture is too stiff, resume mixing and add an additional ½ tsp milk.

3. Using a teaspoon, pick up a ball the size of a quarter. Flatten the ball in the palm of your hand.

4. Add a dab of Nutella (or other chocolate spread) in the center of the disc. The dab should be small enough that you can fold up the sides of the peanut butter disc and completely encase the Nutella. Once the peanut butter is wrapped around the Nutella, roll ball in your palms until smooth, and place on a cookie sheet covered with foil.

5. Repeat procedure with remaining peanut butter and Nutella. Once finished, place the candy in the refrigerator to chill for at least 30 minutes. Candy can be covered with plastic wrap and left overnight, if desired.

6. Melt white chocolate in a bowl in the microwave or over a double boiler.

7. Using dipping tools or two forks, dip the balls one by one in the white chocolate to cover completely. Replace chocolate-covered balls on the cookie sheet and return to the refrigerator to firm up.

8. Melt the dark chocolate in a bowl. Holding a candy by the sides, dip the very top in dark chocolate, so that only a small circle is immersed and candy resembles a black-eyed pea. Remove from the chocolate and replace the candy on the cookie sheet.

9. Repeat with remaining candies and return to the refrigerator to set completely.

Notes: The Nutella can be omitted from the recipe, resulting in a more traditional Buckeye candy.

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