by Mike Baron
How To Celebrate Sweetest Day - Today is Sweetest Day -- an occasion to remember not only those less fortunate but also friends and family.
Sweetest Day originated during the 1920s when a guy from Cleveland assembled many people together in an effort to provide a small token of friendship to the underprivileged, shut-ins, orphans and the homeless, according to card company American Greetings.
Today, the holiday has branched out to include small tokens of appreciation to friends and neighbors. These tokens of appreciation should be small gifts or random acts of kindness. So give out chocolate. Below is a recipe
CHOCOLATE-COVERED PEANUT BUTTER CUPS (Courtesy Of Columbia Tribune)
1 cup creamy organic peanut butter
1 cup confectionersí sugar, sifted
3 tablespoons very soft unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 tablespoon milk
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 ounces semisweet chocolate, cut into small pieces, or milk chocolate plus 1 tablespoon flavorless vegetable oil
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the peanut butter, sugar, butter, milk, vanilla and salt. Using a rubber spatula, stir and mash the ingredients together until evenly combined and very smooth. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least one hour.
Put the semisweet chocolate, or the milk chocolate and vegetable oil, in a medium metal bowl large enough to rest inside the rim of a medium saucepan. Bring about 1-1/2 inches of water to a boil in the saucepan, and reduce the heat to maintain the barest simmer. Rest the metal bowl on the rim, making sure its bottom does not touch the simmering water below. Stir the chocolate with a wooden spoon as it melts. When it is almost completely melted, turn off the heat and let the chocolate continue to melt, stirring occasionally, until completely melted and smooth. Keep the bowl over the warm water.
Arrange 28 or so miniature paper or foil candy cups on a baking sheet. With a teaspoon, scoop up about 1/2 ounce of the peanut butter mixture and, with your hands, gently roll it into a smooth, bite-size ball slightly smaller in circumference than the height of the cups. (If you like, check the weight on a kitchen scale.) Set the ball inside a cup and repeat with the remaining mixture.
Using a small spoon, carefully spoon the melted chocolate into each cup to cover the peanut butter balls. Transfer the baking sheet to the refrigerator and refrigerate until the chocolate is firmly set, about one hour. The cups will keep at least two weeks, refrigerated in a covered container.
Makes: about 28 miniature cups.