Last Friday morning, my son and I were stuck in a cab in the most horrific traffic jam I have seen in months. I couldn't figure out why we were going nowhere until my cell phone rang and my husband was calling to make sure we were okay...
Very long story short: the crane that collapsed in downtown New York--the one that you probably saw on the news at some point over the weekend--was next to our son's school. Forty five minutes after leaving for school that morning (it's a journey that typically takes less than ten minutes in a cab) we finally arrived at school only to find that our school was being evacuated and that the entire neighborhood was consumed by chaos and fear. We looked down the block from his school doors and there was crumpled red metal from the crane lying in the street, and flashing lights from numerous emergency response vehicles lit up the grey winter morning in every direction.
I will be completely honest with you: it was scary and very serious. These "only-in-New-York-moments" have taken on a completely new meaning since having a child. I used to laugh them off...they made great stories after the fact, but now that I hold another human's life in my own hands, I don't think they are so funny. Now they just feel stressful and exhausting because even though we were totally fine the entire time, the endless list of what if's that my mother's mind can conjure in the blink of an eye went into overdrive...What if we had walked to school that morning? What if we had stopped at the Starbucks that was right next to the crane's location? What if we had left our house earlier that morning? I could be writing a different post right now...
And to complicate things even more, it was snowing! Nearly every block between the school and our apartment was closed and subways were closed, so we started a long and freezing walk home. (With a hot chocolate and pancakes stop to warm up on the way home.)
When we finally made it home, we needed to do something. Something fun...something that would lift the mood. At the request of my super hero son, (who never once complained about the three hours we spent going to and from school that morning in the freezing cold, the evacuation, the crazy bystanders who refused to let us pass thru, and symphony of sirens we heard all day long) we made one of his favorite treats: peanut butter filled chocolates. They are so delicious, easy and require so few ingredients...I felt like I was seriously getting off the hook with this project. I was fully prepared to build a life size Bat Cave out of paper mache or something like that...so we got right to it before he could change his mind!
They are as easy as one...two...three!
Before we go any further, I should mention that the only special item you will need for this project is a silicone mold. I bought mine on Amazon but they also sell them at Michael's or any other baking or craft store. I love these things...we have made crayons, candies, soaps, and candles with the help of these amazing little molds. If you cook or craft or just make a lot of messes like me I highly recommend you buy one of these!
Chocolate chips (we used dark but milk and white chocolate work too)
Smooth Peanut Butter
Sea Salt (optional)
First melt about a cup of chocolate chips in a double boiler or the microwave, making sure not to over-heat the chocolate. Once the chocolate is melted, use a teaspoon to add a small amount of chocolate to each mold. You need just enough to fill the bottom of the mold with about 1/4" chocolate. Now carefully move the mold around or gently shake it from side to side so that the chocolate covers the edges of the mold, creating a chocolate cup as above. Put the mold in the refrigerator or freezer for about five minutes so that the cups will set a bit. They don't have to be rock hard, but just firm enough that the chocolate is not moving.
Add about a 1/4 cup of smooth peanut butter to a plastic sandwich bag and cut a small hole in one corner, creating a pastry bag. Fill each heart with peanut butter. Add as much or as little as you want to each cup...we like a lot!! Add the hearts back to refrigerator or freeze for just a minute or two.
Use your remaining chocolate to top the hearts off. Place them back in the refrigerator for about ten minutes or until the chocolate shell has completely hardened.
We decided to top ours off with some milk chocolate swirls, sea salt and red sprinkles and then we added them to a cute little box that we lined in parchment and wax paper...
Tied a cute little bow...
And then we ate them!
It turned out to be a sweet day after all...