If there’s one thing that unites all immigrants/expats, it’s the occasional craving for a food item you just can’t get in your new home country. One of the challenges is trying to recreate a beloved recipe when you know you can’t get all the exact ingredients. You start to get creative, determining different substitutes to get you closest to the general idea.
I recently came across this recipe for peanut butter truffles and immediately bookmarked it. I don’t have a strong sweet tooth and I’m not much of a baker, but these aren’t too sweet and they don’t require any baking! Perfect! Now that the little Easter chocolate eggs have all been finished, I’ve been wanting a little something to fill my brief sweet cravings.
Unfortunately, as I looked at the recipe, I couldn’t help but notice it called for graham crackers. We don’t really have graham crackers here. It’s not the first time I’ve come up against this ingredient. I wanted to make a graham cracker pie crust for a southern-food-themed dinner party I hosted, so I had to find another type of cookie to substitute, since I didn’t want to make a regular pastry crust. I used a vanilla cookie of some sort, but it’s going to take some fine-tuning of the recipe to have it work perfectly. This time, to make these peanut butter truffles, I used simple digestive biscuits. Of course, the recipe calls for 18 sheets of graham crackers, which meant I had no idea how much of the digestive biscuits I was going to need. Fortunately, a friend in the US came through for me and gave me the weight in grams of 9 sheets of graham crackers. Which reminds me … I really should write that down somewhere so I don’t forget!
In the end, with only a few alterations, I was able to make these delicious little treats. If you like peanut butter, definitely give them a try. For those of you in the US — or anywhere that has graham crackers — just use the original recipe in the link above. If you’re living somewhere without graham crackers, you can try my variation. I also made only about a quarter of the recipe, since I’m only cooking for two people and don’t need that much temptation. I ended up with a baker’s dozen of the truffles. Apologies in advance for the mix of metric and imperial measurements. That’s just how I roll these days! Fortunately, it’s a forgiving recipe, so you don’t have to be too exact.
75 grams digestive biscuits, ground in the food processor
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
a smidge of ground nutmeg
1 tbsp (approximately) honey
1/2 cup peanut butter
1-2 tbsp melted butter (I’m not sure how necessary this really is)
1/3 to 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
100 grams dark or milk chocolate
I added the cinnamon, nutmeg and honey to add more of the graham cracker flavor, at least, as I remember them. You can add more or less of the spices to suit your tastes. I’m still not sure how necessary the butter really is. I might skip it next time and see how it goes. It seems like the peanut butter would be enough of a binder as it is, and my addition of honey seems like it could replace the butter. As for the chocolate, I just used a 100 gram bar of dark chocolate that I melted up. It seemed to be just enough chocolate for the amount that I made. After taking the peanut butter balls out of the freezer, I simply tossed three or four at a time into the pot with the melted chocolate and rolled them around. That seemed to be the easiest and cleanest way of getting them coated.
If you make them, eet smakelijk!