Creamy peanut butter and jelly chocolate candies are a chocolate lovers dream! Bittersweet dark chocolate filled with apple jelly and creamy peanut butter.
Chocolate seems to pop up almost everywhere I go during the holidays, especially those beautiful golden boxes of assorted candies that I keep finding around the office. Peek a boo, I’m gonna eat you! I’m not shy to proclaim that I am a fan of anything chocolate. It’s probably because you can put it in almost any sweet or savory food or beverage and the opportunities for enjoyment increase.
My favorite treat is in the form of a luscious chocolate cherry mousse cake, filled in a flaky croissant, or a nice big bite from a dark chocolate bar, mmm hmmm.
The best thing about chocolate is you can choose the type based on your taste buds or cooking needs, like super sweet white chocolate, bittersweet or rich dark, it’s quite the crowd pleaser. I really can’t resist chocolate when it presents itself, especially when it’s simply a piece of gorgeous dark chocolate and filled in the center. That’s why I combined my favorite childhood ingredients into one addicting combo, peanut butter, and jelly chocolate candies. With only three simple yet decadent ingredients, it’s sure to make anyone smile!
To make my peanut butter and jelly chocolate candies I use a flexible plastic chocolate candy mold to make medium sized pieces. I use a bon-bon shape, but you can also buy peanut butter cup shaped molds as well.
I love 60% cacao dark chocolate, so I use Ghirardelli bittersweet chips for the candies. Now for the fun part, I use an apple jelly for the filling, but a classic grape, strawberry or even apricot would be yummy too. It’s easier to pipe a smooth peanut butter, so I use Skippy natural peanut butter, but I’m sure a crunchy version or a homemade peanut butter would add a nice texture too!
These molded chocolates are made in several stages
- Temper the chocolate.
- Fill the mold with the melted chocolate to create the outside shell and then pouring out the excess.
- The chocolate is chilled until hardened for the first cooling. Steps 2 and 3 can be repeated if the first layer is too thin.
- The fillings are then equally piped into the chocolate shells, the jelly first and then the peanut butter. A thin layer of the tempered chocolate is used to seal the candies.
- The chocolates are then chilled for a second time before unmolding (it’s much easier to remove the chocolates from the mold right after it is taken out from the refrigerator!).
These peanut butter and jelly chocolate candies are the perfect balance of rich, sweet, creamy goodness; you won’t be able to stop at just one bite! You can place them in paper cups and package them in small boxes or bags for a delicious gift or serve them on your holiday dessert table if guests are visiting. Although if you’re like me, you will save them for yourself to enjoy each day until you gobble them all up, ha. Your inner kid will be thanking you!
Why is it important to Temper Chocolate for molded candies?
Tempering chocolate is a controlled process of melting, cooling and reheating chocolate within set temperature ranges based on the type of chocolate you are using (white, milk or dark chocolate). The dark chocolate used in this recipe is melted to 113-120°F, cooled to 78°F, and then tempered to 86-90°F. Melting chocolate causes the fat molecules and solid crystals in the chocolate to become unstable and unchain. Tempering rechains and stabilizes the cocoa butter crystals to make the chocolate a smooth mixture again. If tempered correctly, your chocolate will have a high gloss and crisp, sharp snap when eaten. If you don’t temper the chocolate, it will appear crumbly, streaked with gray and not have a nice snap. (Source: On Baking, A Textbook of Culinary Fundamentals)
Peanut Butter and Jelly Chocolate Candies
- 8 ounces chocolate chips, (bittersweet) 60% cacao recommended
- 1/4 cup peanut butter, creamy
- 1/4 cup jelly, (apple, grape or strawberry)
- Temper chocolate: Place two-thirds of the chocolate chips to be tempered in a dry bowl. Melt the chocolate over barely simmering water. When the chocolate is melted to 118°F, remove from the heat and seed with remaining one-third of the chocolate. Stir the mixture using a rubber spatula until the lumps are dissolved. Check the temperature with an instant-read thermometer, the chocolate must stay below 90°F while using.
- Ladle the tempered chocolate onto the mold. Spread the chocolate over the surface of the mold with an offset spatula, filling each cavity. Tap the mold a few times to remove any air bubbles.
- Turn the mold upside down, and then tap the sides of the mold with a rubber spatula to remove the excess chocolate. The coating should be no thicker than 1/16 inch.
- Invert the mold and scrape the excess chocolate from its surface with a metal spatula. Place the mold, chocolate side up, on a paper-lined sheet pan and chill it in a low refrigerator at 50°F. Leave mold in the fridge only until the chocolate shells loosen.
- Remove the molds from the refrigerator. Using a pastry bag fitted with a small plain tip, carefully pipe the jelly into the shell, and then the peanut butter, adding equal amounts of each filling. Leave 1/16 inch space from the rim of the mold.
- Cover the shells with tempered chocolate melted to between 86-90°F. Scrape excess chocolate from the surface of the mold with an offset spatula. Transfer chocolates to the refrigerator until hardened.
- After the chocolate has hardened and the shells have shrunk slightly from the sides of their molds, the chocolates are ready for unmolding. Firmly tap a corner of the mold on the table to loosen the chocolates, then invert the mold. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.