This past week, since writing to you guys about our recent feast on Soul Cake, we have feasted on the glorious stuff even more. Our oldest surprised us with a visit home from Colorado, and now she is home again, back in Colorado. She is at home with herself, really, and with her sweet pup Bridget, but that is a whole other blog post. Anyway, to say that Christmas came early to the Lazy W is quite an understatement.
Today, while the details are fresh, I want to share with you a recipe she taught me this week: Tiger Butter. You just might find it useful for an upcoming holiday party! Then soon, more Soul Cake stories, because my gosh… xoxo
Background: The Girl worked a brief stint at a well known candy shop, The Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. While there she learned all kinds of great tricks and secrets about candy making and has been eager to share it all. Most notable to me is how she learned to measure ingredients by weight, not volume. I had read a little about this in Julia Child’s book My Life in France but never really considered the practical differences until Jocelyn stood in front of my Oklahoma stove puzzling out her chocolate-peanut butter ratios. After a few moments she declared with that signature doe-eyed confidence, “We’re just gonna eye-ball it.” Okay! And it turned out so good.
Tiger Butter is a bark-style candy flavored like Reese’s and named for its stripes, which you achieve by dragging a knife through contrasting flavors/colors of molten yumminess. It has precious few ingredients and comes together more easily than I expected. Tiger Butter is so rich that you must nibble it slowly, in tiny cold pieces, so a batch seems to last forever compared to, say, a big heap of chunky oatmeal cookies that can double as a meal for yours truly. According to Joc, and I heartily agree, a mouthful of Tiger Butter requires a chaser of ice cold milk. I would suggest strong dark coffee too, but the combo of high sugar with high caffeine might be… Shaky.
What You Need:
- 2 microwave-safe bowls, one medium and one small (Yes, you could certainly do this stove top instead.)
- a shallow freezer-safe dish lined with waxed paper (we used a petite glass one, somewhat smaller than 9 x 13)
- about 2 cups your favorite peanut butter (We used just less than half of a 28-ounce jar of Peter Pan smooth. She said crunchy is also delicious if you like added texture.)
- 1 bag white chocolate chips
- 1/2 bag your favorite chocolate chips to supplement the white chocolate (I think she chose semi-sweet. This was part of the confident eye-balling in lieu of weighing out the ingredients, so you should do the same, knowing that this chocolate will blend with the peanut butter and white chocolate flavors.)
- up to but not necessarily a whole bag of dark chocolate chips (for the top layer)
That is a lot of richness, right? Straight peanut butter and at least two bags of chocolate chips. But to my surprise you need neither butter nor evaporated milk like with pralines, no eggs, etc. Tiger butter is a rich, dense, straight to the point, focused indulgence. A lot like my girl, if you ask me.
What You Do:
- Line the shallow pan with waxed paper and set aside.
- In medium bowl, combine peanut butter, white chocolate chips, and extra chocolate chips (as needed) then cook in the microwave, stirring occasionally, melt some more, get it smooth and shiny. (Joc said the proportions should be approximately 1:1 peanut butter to chocolate, but she also tasted it and adjusted between melting sessions. You can scarcely make this wrong so no worries.)
- Pour this pale colored lava into your prepared dish/pan. Admire the sheen and the shimmer. Set aside.
- In smaller bowl, melt the dark chocolate to the same glossy gorgeousness.
- Dollop this second chocolate onto the pale layer gently, maybe on alternating sides. Think of this step as your chance to be creative. You are staging the origins of your stripes.
- Now use either a butter knife or a toothpick or a chopstick (something more delicate than your finger, though you will be tempted) to drag slow, deliberate lines from one dollop to the next, leaving drag marks as you go. Drag all the way across the pan then start again, going in opposing directions. Again, get creative and have fun! Joc said she once drew her name in the chocolate. So somewhere out in the world a stranger has enjoyed handmade chocolate with my daughter’s name frozen in the face of it. If you move in an even, checkerboard pattern your dark chocolate layer can achieve a feathery effect, which is beautiful.
- Once you like the look of your creation, place the whole thing in the freezer for a couple of hours. It will harden nicely without changing design at all. Later, if you lift it out by the waxed paper hammock, you can then cut it uniformly with a sharp knife or break it into irregular, craggy shapes. It packs great for gifts or a potluck party or a dessert bar, whatever your plan. Remember a little of this rich treat goes a long way!
That’s it! Some chocolate chips, some peanut butter, your microwave and freezer, and a little time. You will be elbow deep in homemade candy and also have a cool connection to the Rockies and my beautiful firstborn.
Thanks for checking in, friends. I hope your December has been filled with surprises and miracles like ours. I hope you try making your own Tiger Butter! And I hope to see you here again soon. Lots more fun stuff on the horizon.