CHEW THIS! Nancy’s Homemade Crunchy Peanut Butter Cups

CHEW THIS!

Nancy’s Homemade Crunchy Peanut Butter Cups

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The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, September 3rd 2017 edition. By: Blaise Doubman 

Sharing Fabulous Memories and Recipes
Blaise Doubman

My Grandma Deloris was lucky enough to be selected for the “Live a Dream” program through Glen Oaks Health Campus, right here in New Castle! What happens is that a resident will be approached about “living their dreams” and Glen Oaks makes whatever they wish for a reality! I was in awe over this program and wanted to know more about it and I did so by actually being involved in the process! My Grandma Deloris belonged to several leagues over her 48 years of being a bowler but some of her greatest memories are those that she made at “Rose City Bowl” in New Castle. Bowling under the league name “Davis Chrysler” she held several records, both team wise and personally, at the bowling alley for many years. So naturally, when it came time for her to “live a dream” she immediately thought of her days in bowling. Glen Oaks Health Campus worked with her, my family and the local bowling alley to make her dream a reality and it touched my family and I in ways that I can only imagine in terms of how it made my Grandma Deloris feel. All day long she had a smile that I had not seen in many months.

The day of the party she was nervous but those nervous quickly disappeared when she entered the bowling alley and was acquainted again with the familiar sights, sounds and smells. Friends from all stages of her life stopped by to celebrate with her. Church friends, childhood friends, old bowling friends, Glen Oaks Health Campus friends and family all came out to watch her bowl. “Rose City Bowl” and Ann Knott from Glen Oaks Health Campus put together one of the most memorable bowling and pizza parties my family and I had ever been a part of. Grandma had the miraculous experience of bowling again, seeing friends both old and new, and making memories in a place in which she never thought she would see again – the bowling alley. While there of course we swapped stories and recipes. The recipe I am sharing today comes from my friend Nancy McCormack. She works for the “Senior Living at Forest Ridge” area in New Castle and these crunchy peanut butter cups are far better than anything you can buy. Great memories, great times, great stories and great recipes – who could ask for more!?

Nancy’s Homemade Crunchy Peanut Butter Cups

Feel free to substitute the crushed pretzels for graham crackers and feel free to substitute the semi-sweet chocolate chips for milk or dark. Also sprinkle a little sea salt on these before chilling for an even bigger sweet and salty flavor. Crunchy peanut butter also works for those who would prefer it. A very versatile recipe and perfect for making ahead! These pair nicely with popcorn as well as with a cup of coffee.

For the base…
2 cups pretzel sticks
1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 ¾ cup confectioner’s sugar
1 cup smooth peanut butter

For the topping…
1 ½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
¼ cup smooth peanut butter

Start by placing the pretzel sticks in a large plastic food storage bag and crushing them with a rolling pin. Be sure there are no big chunks of pretzel – these need to be crushed fine.

Place the crushed pretzels in a large bowl and pour in the melted and cooled unsalted butter, confectioner’s sugar and smooth peanut butter. Stir until everything is combined.

Line a 9×9-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil and spray lightly with non-stick cooking spray. Pour the combined mixture into the prepared pan and spread evenly.

In a large microwave safe bowl combine the semi-sweet chocolate chips with the smooth peanut butter and microwave on high for two minutes, stirring every 30 seconds. Remove and stir the mixture until smooth and glossy.

Pour this mixture over the prepared base and smooth out the top.

Place in the refrigerator to chill for one hour before removing and cutting to serve.

Ask and Answer: There have been a few questions about adding tarragon to the chicken salad that I wrote about in my previous column. A couple of emails expressed concern over the strong flavor and someone else mentioned that it was a very hard herb to find. The trick with tarragon is to use it in small amounts. It is a very strong herb but it pairs nicely with chicken to allow the chicken to taste more chicken like. It can usually be found in most supermarkets in the fresh herb section in the produce area. If you would rather leave it out all together, that is fine! Just use a little parsley and squeeze in some fresh lemon juice. Experiment and have fun!

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