Every year, I say I’m going to make homemade Christmas cards. Never mind the fact that I end up not getting it done – it sure is fun dreaming up ideas! This year, I thought I’d do a Brady Bunch style card with pictures of the family and different farm critters wearing a Santa hat.
I got some cute ones like this one of Bandit:
and Lily the Goat:
You get the idea. So, what does this have to do with Peanut Butter Trees?!
Well, getting the various critters to pose with a hat on their head took lots of coaxing and treats and praise. I saved the hardest critter for last, that elusive creature called The Husband. He proved to be very difficult to convince that I NEEDED a photo of him, wearing a Santa hat! However, The Husband happens to have a weakness for my homemade Reese Peanut Butter Cups. In honor of my festive spirit, I decided to turn his bribe into tree shapes.
It worked. (Not enough to get permission to post a photo of him in a Santa hat, but it worked.)
These Peanut Butter Trees are just as yummy as the ones you find in the store this time of year, but don’t have things in them like soy or TBHQ (which is kind of creepy stuff, if you read up on it.)
The problem I ran into, is that even though I made a stiffer peanut butter filling, it was hard to dip a tree shape in chocolate and have it still look like a tree. I finally decided on the method below which leaves it having a layer of chocolate on top and peanut butter on the bottom. If you really wanted to, you could flip the tree over once one side firms up and repeat the chocolate layer on that side. Totally up to you. I knew they would eat them faster than I could make them, so didn’t try to get too fancy.
Homemade Reese Peanut Butter Trees
- 1 cup peanut butter (or almond or other type if allergic)
- around 1 cup powdered sugar (make homemade in order to be corn free)
- 1 bag of milk chocolate chips (or use Enjoy Life brand to be dairy & soy free)
Mix about 1/2 cup of powdered sugar and the peanut butter together. Gradually add more powdered sugar as needed to make a stiff peanut butter dough. Stir until thoroughly combined. Press out into a rectangle on a piece of wax paper. I gently lay the cookie cutter over the surface, without pressing, to get an idea of the shape to make it, in order to get the maximum number of trees from one rolling.
Put this peanut butter dough into the freezer and let it get very firm. Press out some tree shapes and put them back on some wax paper in a single layer and pop them back in the freezer. I took the leftover pieces and just made little peanut butter balls with them (photo will be somewhere below) but you can reroll and make more if you’d like.
Melt your chocolate over low heat or in the microwave at 50% power. Watch it closely so that it doesn’t burn! I put a pinch of coconut oil in my melted chocolate chips to give it a smoother pouring texture, but that’s optional.
Take a single tree out at a time, place the cookie cutter back over it and pour a bit of melted chocolate over the top, filling the cookie cutter shape. Add a few sprinkles here if you’d like too. Pop the tree, cookie cutter and all back in the freezer for a few minutes until the chocolate has hardened. Press the tree away from the cookie cutter and move on to the next one.
Here’s what I made with leftover peanut butter dough & melted chocolate chips:
Homemade peanut butter trees should be kept in the refrigerator or freezer. A batch is lucky to last a day in my house, but I assume they should stay well frozen at least a few months. They’re a bit messier to eat than the kind you buy in the store, but oh so much better!
For other candy recipes, check out my Recipe Page!
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