Introduction: Spicy Chocolate Peanut Hearts
I wanted to make something sweet for my wife this Valentine's Day that was just a bit different. This is what I came up with.
Step 1: Get Everything Ready
You'll need some heart shaped cookie cutters or molds, a small saucepan, a bowl large enough to cover he pot completely (a.k.a a double-boiler), a spatula or wooden spoon, a cookie sheet lined with buttered parchment paper or a silpat (silicone baking mat.), some Cajun seasoning and some spicy peanuts. (I have the perfect recipe for Spicy Salt-Roasted Peanuts on my cooking blog. (left out here for lack of photos, but the nuts are wonderful!)
Add about 1" of water to the bottom of the pot. Get the pot on the heat an' get the water simmering. once that's going, pour one bag of semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips into the bowl and place it over the top of the pot. Don't go far, it will need your attention very soon.
In the meantime, arrange your cookie cutters or molds on the lined baking sheet. Add a single layer of nuts to the bottom of each mold.
Better check on that chocolate now...
Step 2: Load 'em Up
Stir your chocolate well, making sure to remove it from the heat as soon as it's completely melted.
At this point, Add 1/2 teaspoon of Cajun Spice Mix tot he chocolate. (I used Cajun Magic, but any brand will do, as long s it has a kick.)
Keep stirring for about 1 minute, this will "temper" the chocolate and allow it to set firmly when cooled, which is a good thing with candies, as well as distribute the spices throughout, ensuring nobody blisters a tongue!
Spoon chocolate into molds and smooth as well as possible. It's a good idea to tap the sides of the molds with the sides of a spoon to help any air bubbles escape.
Once all molds are filled you may notice you've got left-over chocolate. You can either pour this over ice cream, just eat it with a spoon or dump a bunch of peanuts in with it, give it a good stir and spoon them onto the sheet as well. (As shown)
Take the entire sheet and place in the fridge for at least two hours.
Step 3: Time to Eat!
After 2 hours have passed, remove the chocolate from the fridge and very carefully press the chocolate's out of the mold from the top side. (There will likely be a bit of a bead at the bottom of the mold, so it won't play nice going from the back, trust me.)
If desired, sprinkle with a bit of powdered sugar or just a tiny bit more spice, and serve 'em up!
(If you have any left over or are saving these for a get together, store refrigerated in an airtight container between layers of parchment paper to prevent sticking, they'll last up to a week.)
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