I always hate my house a little bit after the holidays. I’ve taken down the bright tree, dripping with glitter and shine. I’ve packed up the rosy faced Santas, the sparkling mercury glass trees, and the stoic, but festive nutcrackers. I’ve tucked away the ribbons and bows, the reindeer noses, and jingle bells.
And the halls are no longer decked.
At first, I breathe a deep sigh of relief at the open space left from removing the Christmas tree. I revel in the glitterless floors. I celebrate the freedom of not trying to keep little fingers, puppy dog tails, and kitty paws away from the delicate baubles.
Then something happens. I start to realize how little glitter I actually have in my daily life. I miss having ribbon bedecking my mantle, and candles glowing behind the sheen of Christmas glass.
In short, I see how boring my regular home decor is.
That’s when the greatest tragedy of the holidays strikes…the Post-Holiday Redecorating Frenzy, a.k.a. PHRF.
I start planning and scheming. I start Pinteresting and window shopping. I gather up all of my new found ideas, and I set about trying to make them come to fruition…until…
…I realize that it’s two weeks after Christmas, I’m exhausted, I spent my decorating budget on new Christmas goodies, and I have to live real life for a while.
It’s depressing, and it inevitably makes me hate my house for at least two months after the new year begins.
This year has been no different, except that maybe it’s worse than usual, because we had significant loss and damage caused by the movers from this summer, and we’re still in the process of replacing and whatnot.
So I’m suffering from the worst case of PHRF I’ve ever encountered, and there’s no known cure. I’m doing what I can to get through; avoiding my favorite craft and home design blogs, steering clear of TJ Maxx, Homegoods, and Pottery Barn, and, most importantly, pinning like crazy so that when the time comes, I will be ready.
Meanwhile, I can still bake and cook and make yumminess to share with you guys, and after taking almost two weeks off, I have so many fun things to share. Starting with peanut butter and chocolate. Because…wait. That needs no explanation.
I used milk chocolate in my ganache, and these ended up tasting like schmancy little peanut buter cups. If you don’t have time to make homemade ganache, or just don’t want to, you could also use chocolate sauce or hot fudge.
The peanut buter cookies were the perfect finishing touch. When I have puddings, custards, or creams, I like to add a little crunch with nuts cookies, or candies, so the bite sized cookies worked perfectly. Again, though, if you want to save a little time, you could replace the cookies with chopped peanuts, or use ready made cookies.
Except for the baking and chill times, these come together very quick, and their easy as pie.
No. Scratch that. They’re easier. Enjoy!
Chocolate Peanut Butter Pots de Creme
Makes 6 Â 6-ounce custards
6 ounces creamy peanut butter
3 ounces (90 grams) milk chocolate, chopped
4 egg yolks
1 1/2 cups (375 ml) heavy cream
1 cup (250 ml) milk
1/3 cup (grams) granulated sugar
Preheat oven to 325 degrees (165 C), place an oven rack in the center of the oven.
Place the peanut butter and chocolate in a large bowl, set a fine mesh sieve over the top, and set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and egg yolks; set aside.
In a medium saucepan, combine the heavy cream, milk, and sugar. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil, whisking to dissolve all of the sugar. Remove from heat.
In a very slow, steady stream, whisk half of the cream mixture into the eggs. Be sure to whisk constantly and pour slowly to prevent the eggs from scrambling. Once combined, whisk in the remaining cream mixture. Pour the mixture through the mesh sieve, over the peanut butter and chocolate. Let sit for 3 to 4 minutes, then gently whisk until smooth and thoroughly combined, about 1 minute. If all of the chocolate isn’t melted properly, heat in the microwave for 15 seconds, then whisk to combine.
Divide the custard between six 6-ounce ramekins. Place the ramekins in a roasting pan. Pull out the oven rack and place the pan in the center of the rack. Carefully fill the pan with enough water to reach halfway up the sides of the ramekins, being cautious not to splash or spill water on top of the custard.Â Place a piece of foil over the tops of the custard cups. You may need to cut it to fit inside the pan to lay on top of the ramekins.
Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until only a small circle in the center is still liquid.
Carefully remove the ramekins from the roasting pan and place on a cooling rack. Allow to cool for about 45 minutes, then transfer to the refrigerator and chill for 4 hours.
Recipe by Darla