I'm obsessed with Reese's peanut butter eggs--everybody knows this. It is an established fact. People who love me are undoubtedly weary of my tiresome explanations of their appeal. I wrote about the RPBE's over two years ago and quoted my friend Melinda, who crystallized my thoughts perfectly:
Let's face it: the RPBE is sort of sloppy, really...There's something almost homemade about that aspect of the RPBE.
Homemade. YES. That is exactly it. They are lovingly crafted by someone who cares about them. They are the best thing in the Reese universe. I buy them (and their pumpkin and tree hybrids) all the time and mourn them during their Easter-to-Labor Day off season.
A couple of days ago I was looking around on Pinterest--apparently there's some kind of chicken and crescent roll casserole that's electrified this mighty nation. Yes, I'm on Pinterest because I am a girl and it's fun. You should totally check out my Greatness board and admire my exquisite taste in things that are great.
Somebody had pinned a recipe for homemade Reese's peanut butter eggs, I blacked out for a while, and the next thing I knew, I was making them and live-tweeting the process, a first for me. That picture up there is not an actual RPBE. I made it. It is an EPBE!
And what do you know: they're easy and fun to make. You probably have all the ingredients in your kitchen right now. I altered the recipe (from The Whimsical Princess) just a bit for greater RPBE accuracy and added a lot of my own italicized notes. What you see here is a half batch. It made 14 full-sized eggs for me, and unless you're having a party or something, you probably shouldn't be making 28 of these.
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 3/4 cups creamy peanut butter <--we had store brand, very so-what peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons butter, soft or melted
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt <--original omitted the salt, but you've really got to have it because that is a huge part of the RPBE's appeal. Add it a little at a time to taste. You will know when you've added enough.
- 1 to 2 tablespoons milk <--depending on your powdered sugar dipping technique, you may need more
- 1 1/2 cups milk chocolate chips <--original called for semisweet, but I'm sorry, RPBEs are covered with milk chocolate
- 1/2 tablespoon shortening <--regular white Criso, not butter flavored, which I guess you could try in a pinch, but I didn't feel like screwing around with this.
Mix together the powdered sugar, peanut butter, and butter. I used a stand mixer and was glad I did, but you could use a tough hand mixer, a spoon, or probably even your bare hands. Add the milk one tablespoon at a time until it becomes a nice workable dough. It will be just like Play-Doh, and it will be really easy to work with. Form the dough into egg shapes.
Some of your eggs might be a little on the dry, crumbly side. Those will create more accurate eggs, texture-wise (see note at the bottom of this post). But really, this dough should stick together and form eggs without a whole lot of effort on your part. I'd imagine that kids would totally get into this. Little surface cracks are okay (see photo below), but if the dough is falling apart as you work with it, you need to add more milk. I got 14 out of this batch and ate about a teaspoon of dough during the salt-tasting process.
Place in the freezer for about an hour. Do not skip that step.
Place the chocolate chips and shortening in a glass measuring cup. Microwave 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between until completely melted, about 90 seconds total. (You can also use a double boiler if you prefer.) Adding the shortening is weird, I know, but it's just a tiny bit, and it seemed to make the chocolate silkier and maybe a little glossier.
Dip each egg in the melted chocolate and place on waxed paper until set.
Use a skewer or similar thin pointy thing if you have them. Stick it into the fat end of the egg until it feels stable, then dip! This is where the hour-long freeze starts to make sense. It's like the chocolate wants to be on that egg. I spread it around with a spoon for a few seconds, sort of scraping off most of the excess that wanted to collect on the egg's underside.
Once the eggs are on the waxed paper, remove the skewer with a slight unscrewing motion and gentle assistance from another skewer. You can then smooth over the hole with the egg's existing, wet chocolate or add more. Or you can leave the hole as is because (a) who cares and (b) it reminds you of your cat's ass and that's hilarious.
I apologize, Bun, and also to you, the reader.
Once they are set you can trim any excess chocolate off that may pool at the base with a knife to make them look pretty. You could also decorate them with royal icing and make a really special Easter treat.
I had no pooling issues, and as far as decorating them further goes, I yell BLASPHEMY.
You will not be able to resist cutting into one a few minutes after they've all been dipped. Just give in. The chocolate will be a little melty, like a RPBE on a hot spring day or a RPBE in a warm car. I advise you to make these in the evening, have your too-soon egg, put the rest in a plastic container and store them at room temperature. Go to bed and dream about them--I did--then have one for breakfast!
Re: taste accuracy. Jeff and I shared the too-soon egg and proclaimed it 90+ percent accurate. Somehow, that rating jumped to 95 percent overnight. Our only issues:
- The texture of the peanut butter was a tiny bit too solid. RPBEs are slightly more granular and airy. This is unavoidable, as you are forming the eggs with your hands and thereby compressing the peanut butter. Your less-fooled-around-with eggs will be crumblier inside but harder to dip.
- The chocolate, according to Jeff, was somehow better than Reese's. I thought it was dead-on.
SO YEAH. Just about perfect, you guys. 14 RPBEs will cost around $11 if you buy them separately. 14 homemade EPBEs will cost around $4, and if you already have most of the stuff on hand, they're basically free.
If you're still reading, I urge get on board with this. And once again, please buy my prints!