So I guess this is sort of becoming a tradition, me posting indulgent chocolate peanut butter recipes on my bloggiversary.
I don't have as many inspiring words as last year, and I'm bringing you a much simpler recipe. These chocolate pretzel peanut butter cups have 4 ingredients, require minimal dishes, and are made using only your microwave and freezer.
These are super quick to put together, minus the hour that they need to solidify in the freezer. Don't worry, you can do the dishes while you wait.
Maintaining the blog this past year has been harder than ever before. Life is just so dang busy, and many weekends I've found myself questioning why I spend so much time on something that (1) doesn't bring in any income and (2) isn't usually read by many people.
Other weeks, I get caught up in the blog comparison game. There are soooo many food blogs out there in the universe, many with stunning photographs and eloquent writing and unique recipes. And then I think, "what am I really adding to the already over-saturated world of online recipe content?"
Yet, whenever I voice these concerns aloud to friends or to Adam, they always respond, "Why did your start your blog in the first place? Was it to make money or have millions of people read it?"
The answer to that last question is always no. Those would be lovely benefits, of course, but the real reason I started the blog was to have an outlet to write creatively, a space to connect with others, and a means to express my creativity by creating and photographing recipes. This blog may not always provide those things for me, but for now it does, so I'll continue to post.
The older I get (and I guess the older this blog gets) the more I realize that comparing yourself (or your blog) to others is a lose-lose scenario. It really doesn't make sense to look to others to see who we should be. Our internal feelings of inadequacy and deep-seated fear of being outcast or alone fuel these comparisons. I think the impulse will always be there, but it will not always rule us. The more we can let go of the us/them cycle, the more we can focus our energies on developing and achieving the things that deeply matter to us. Not because someone else has them, but because we truly desire them.
The tricky problem, of course, happens when our deeply held desires are being realized by someone else. I have found this is especially true along the continuum of serious relationship--engagement--marriage--professional success--house--baby. Jealousy and comparison can be particularly devastating in these areas, as noble and wonderful as all those desires are.
But the thing is, jealousy and comparison doesn't achieve anything, other than making us antsy and depressed and more likely to say un-kind things to people we care about.
So how do we stop the comparing? We practice being present, being thankful, and letting go. We remind ourselves of our achievements, and our worth, and the many things that make us happy right this minute. Yoga helps with this. So does chocolate, I think.
I'd love to hear your thoughts on this. Thank you so much for reading and cooking along, friends. You're the best, for real.
Four-ingredient Chocolate Pretzel Peanut Butter Cups
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (vegan if necessary)
2 tablespoons coconut oil
handful of pretzels
creamy peanut butter
Place the chocolate chips and coconut oil in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 1 minute and 30 seconds, stopping every 30 seconds to stir. (Err on the side of less microwave time if possible. You don't want to burn the chocolate!)
Place 8-10 mini muffin liners on a flat plate.* Use a spoon to pour a small amount of chocolate into each muffin liner. You only want to cover the bottom. Place muffin liners in the freezer for about a minute or until chocolate hardens.
Place one pretzel into each chocolate-filled muffin-liner. Fill one spoon with about a teaspoon of peanut butter. Use the back of another spoon to gently drop the peanut butter on top of the pretzel. Repeat with remaining muffin liners.
Press a second pretzel gently into the peanut butter, so that the two pretzels are perpendicular to each other. The pretzels may tilt to the side. Just gently push them back up. Repeat with remaining muffin liners.
Using a spoon, gently pour the remaining chocolate around the pretzels until all the peanut butter is completely covered. You will probably drizzle some chocolate over the top pretzel. That's ok! I drizzled extra chocolate on at the end to make it look purposeful.
Freeze for a minimum of one hour before eating. Remove the peanut butter cups from the muffin-liners and store in a ziploc bag for weeks.
*If you have a mini-muffin tin, use that. It will help the peanut butter cups be more uniformly shaped.
- to make vegan, use vegan chocolate chips
- to make gluten-free, use gluten-free pretzels
- to satisfy a sweeter sweet-tooth, add a tablespoon (or two) of powdered sugar to the chocolate/ coconut oil mixture