Ritz Peanut Butter Cups

Growing up, Ritz crackers with peanut butter were a popular snack in our household. And if you were rally lucky, you might even get Ritz peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. YUMMY! I love the classic combination of peanut butter and jelly. It just brings back so many memories of brown bag lunches and white bread (before we knew it was bad). The only thing I like more than peanut butter and jelly is peanut butter and chocolate! So last night I took to the kitchen and made some delicious treats to bring into work today – Ritz Peanut Butter Cups that I found here.

You only need 3 ingredients: Ritz crackers, chocolate (I used semi-sweet Ghirardelli chips) and peanut butter.

First, line a muffin tin with cute cupcake liners. I purchased mine at New York Cake – the most wonderful store in New York City.

Next, melt you chocolate. I don’t have a double broiler so I melt mine in the microwave. The microwave that came with our apartment is awesome and has a “melt” function specifically for chocolate. It heats the chocolate at a very low temperature and seems to work perfectly every time. I only wish that I had discovered this function earlier (before I burned multiple pounds of white chocolate during my holiday baking fest.

Pour 1-2 tablespoons of melted chocolate into each cupcake liner. I had to bang the tray against the counter to even out the chocolate. Place the tray in the freezer for approximately 5 minutes (of until the chocolate hardens).

While the chocolate is cooling, smear approximately 1-2 teaspoons of peanut butter onto the crackers. I didn’t measure this – I just tried to make sure the cracker was coated similar to a double stuffed Oreo like the recipe suggested.

Take the tray out of the freezer and place one peanut butter topped cracker in each cupcake liner. I did mine peanut butter side up, but I don’t think it matters (sort of like Dr. Suess’ Butter Battle).

 

I melted the second half of my chocolate and added another 1-2 tablespoons into each liner. I popped them back into the freezer to cool for another 5-10 minutes.

As you can see, the treats came out pretty well but I have a few suggestions/comments:

1. I think I prefer using milk chocolate (as opposed to semi-sweet) when melting. I have done a little research and it doesn’t look like one is suggested over the other. If anything, people suggest using semi-sweet so feel free to disagree.

2. I would probably add a teaspoon of vanilla to the melted chocolate. I find this helps thin it out a little and gives it an interesting flavor.

3. Ideally, I would have preferred to make these using a mini muffin tin — each cup is rather larger. However, you would need to find mini Ritz crackers and I have no idea if these, or something similar, exist.

4. Make sure you get chocolate on the side of the cups so it surrounds the entire Ritz cracker. You may be able to see in my final picture that the bottom chocolate part separated from the top. I think it was because the two chocolate layers didn’t touch – essentially gluing the sandwich together.

5. I wish I had put sea salt on the tops. It just makes everything better!

6. Matt was my guinea pig last night. His comment was that the chocolate was super melty. I am not sure why as they had been in the freezer for a while. I am not sure if a different type of chocolate would fix this.

Nothing Says Love Like Homemade Meatballs and a Teddy Bear

Yesterday was Valentine’s Day. Matt and I have a tradition where we go out to breakfast to celebrate before work. For some reason (I think that reason being that I am fighting off a cold) I wasn’t really feeling into that idea this year. So we decided to forgo the breakfast and didn’t plan anything special.

When I got home after work I received a phone call from Matt informing me that he was on his way home and was going to make a Valentine’s dinner. Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised.

He came home with grocery bags in each arm and a box of chocolates from Jacques Torres, one of the best chocolate stores in NYC. He also carried up a package that his father had sent me. It was a Vermont Teddy Bear and the world’s cutest note:

“Thank you for marrying him. Happy Valentine’s Day. Love, Dad #2”

I immediately understood where Matt got his “moves.” Thanks Dad #2!

I sat on the couch as Matt chopped, measured and stirred. I saw a box of spaghetti but couldn’t figure out what else was going on in the kitchen…

I was impressed when Matt brought over a plate of spaghetti and homemade meatballs. I was blown away when he insisted that he would do all of the dishes and clean up the kitchen.

This morning as we were getting ready for work I was telling Matt just how impressed I was with his Valentine’s Day surprise. His response, “I bet you wish it was Valentine’s every day and I cooked and cleaned all the time.”

Umm, yeah. Like it is for you?