Dip creamy peanut butter fudge hearts in decadent chocolate ganache to make these amazing heart-shaped candies for Valentine’s Day, a bridal shower, or a wedding.
Chocolate and peanut butter are definitely one of my all-time favorite flavor combinations.
Many of you are familiar with a traditional Ohio candy, called a buckeye, made with peanut butter, powdered sugar, and butter. I used a variation of this recipe to make my Pink Fuzzy Slipper Cookies and some Peanut Butter Fudge Hearts dipped in Chocolate which are both wonderful recipes.
But, my favorite peanut butter fudge is not made using powdered sugar and butter. It’s made using peanut butter, peanut butter chips, white compound chocolate (or white chips), and a pinch of salt.
I developed this recipe back in the 90’s after I opened my candy shop in Ohio. Buckeyes are the most popular candy in Ohio and I wanted my buckeyes to be the best.
Everyone in Ohio makes these candies using the traditional powdered sugar recipe. As much as enjoy traditional buckeyes, they can be overly sweet, lacking in peanut butter flavor, and overly dry.
After a lot of experimenting, I came up with what I consider to be the ultimate peanut butter fudge to use in my buckeye recipe. It has the best peanut butter flavor, is incredibly creamy, and melts in your mouth. Plus, it’s just as easy to make.
Unlike the powdered sugar-based fudge that is dry and thick, this fudge is thin when it’s warm, so it can be poured into a mold.
To make these fudge hearts you’ll fill a heart shaped-mold with the liquid fudge, then pop the mold in the freezer to allow it to harden. Once it’s un-molded and allowed to thaw it softens into a creamy fudge.
You can serve them plain or dip them in chocolate or chocolate ganache.
Let’s make some peanut butter fudge hearts.
- 16 ounces white compound chocolate (also known as confectionery coating)*
- 1 – 10-ounce bag Reese’s Peanut Butter Chips
- 16 ounces (2 cups) creamy peanut butter (I suggest Jif Peanut Butter)
- a pinch of salt
*I personally use Peter’s White Caps to make my peanut butter fudge which you can usually find at cake/candy decorating stores, but here are some other options:
- Nestle Premier White Morsels – they taste pretty identical to Peter’s White Caps, so this would be my second choice
- Merken’s white coating
- Ghirardelli White Melting Wafers
Compound chocolate, which is also known as confectionery coating, candy melts, almond bark, or melting wafers, contains palm kernel oil, which helps the chocolate harden easily. If highly recommend using it to make this fudge, so the fudge firms up properly. It also has a very mild vanilla flavor which allows the peanut butter flavor to shine through.
I don’t recommend using pure white chocolate that contains cocoa butter for this recipe.
Chocolate Ganache (optional):
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon corn syrup
- 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
- microwave-safe mixing bowl
- rubber spatula
- Use one or more of these types of molds:
- heart shaped candy molds
- heart shaped cookie cutters
- Wilton Silicone Heart Shaped Mold
- heart shaped silicone ice cube trays
- polycarbonate chocolate molds – hearts
If you don’t have much experience working with these confectionery coatings or other types of chocolate, you might want to read my Chocolate Making Tips.
Peanut Butter Fudge Hearts
Melting the peanut butter chips and white wafers.
- Place white confectionery coating wafers and peanut butter chips in a microwave-safe mixing bowl.
- Heat on high power for 45 seconds.
- Remove and stir the chips around or they will burn.
- Heat for 30 more seconds, then stir.
- Heat for 25 seconds, then let it sit in the microwave for 2-3 minutes, then stir vigorously.
- If all of the chips are not melted, heat at ten-second intervals, stirring in between each, until completely melted.
- Stir in peanut butter and salt.
- Make sure to mix really well, scraping the bottom of the bowl.
- If you don’t stir the peanut butter into the candy, you’ll end up with clumps of hardened candy coating in your fudgy hearts.
Pour the fudge into molds.
- I filled my Wilton Silicone Heart molds about 2/3 of the way and the same for the cookie cutters.
- I filled the candy molds to the top.
- The number of hearts you’ll be able to make will depend on the size of the molds you use.
- You can also make one large heart by pouring it into a heart-shaped springform pan.
- You could even use an aluminum heart pan.
Freeze the fudge.
- Freeze the peanut butter fudge hearts until solid.
- The small molds took about 15 minutes, while the larger ones took about 30 minutes.
- Un-mold. If using candy molds, turn the mold upside down and tap it and they should fall out, if not, press on the heart allowing each one to fall out of the mold.
- The hearts should just pop right out of the cookie cutters.
- If you are using silicone molds, turn them upside down and peel the mold away, turning it inside out, pressing the heart out.
- Unlock a springform pan, and remove the heart.
- Allow the fudge hearts to sit and thaw at room temperature for at least an hour before dipping them or drizzling them with chocolate.
These candies are delicious plain but they taste even better paired with some semi-sweet chocolate. You can coat them in pure chocolate or drizzle them with chocolate ganache. Ganache is creamy and smooth like the fudge, so that’s what I chose to use.
Chocolate Ganache Recipe:
- Place chopped chocolate in the bowl of a food processor.
- Pulse until chocolate is fine crumbs.
- Heat heavy whipping cream and corn syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat.
- Stir often until it just starts to bubble.
- Pour the hot cream over the chocolate, put the lid on the food processor bowl and pulse for 2 seconds.
- Scrape down the bowl, then place the lid on top.
- Let the chocolate rest for 2-3 minutes.
- Then pulse for 2-3 seconds, just until the chocolate looks creamy and smooth.
- Don’t’ over-mix your ganache or it will turn grainy as it sets up.
Note: A food processor makes easy work of creating a chocolate ganache.
If you don’t have one:
- Finely chop your chocolate and put it in a microwave-safe mixing bowl.
- Heat the cream and corn syrup to a simmer (just begins to bubble) then pour it over chocolate, making the chocolate is completely covered by the cream.
- Let it sit for about 3 minutes.
- Then, begin by stirring just in the center of the bowl.
- As the chocolate and cream come together in the center of the bowl, start to move towards the outer edge of the bowl until all the chocolate and cream are combined.
- Stir just until combined and the ganache is smooth.
- If you have chunks of chocolate remaining, place the bowl of chocolate ganache in the microwave and heat on high for 5-10 seconds, or use an immersion blender to break up the chunks.
- Stir until melted.
NOTE: The corn syrup will add gloss and shine to your ganache.
Trouble Shooting Ganache:
- If your ganache gets too hot, the cocoa butter from the chocolate will separate and rise to the surface.
- The cocoa butter will harden as the ganache cools and you will have chunks of cocoa butter throughout.
- This can happen if you add cream that is too hot or you get the ganache too hot in the microwave.
- If your ganache does separate or looks oily, check out my Chocolate Ganache tutorial for troubleshooting tips.
Drizzle or cover with chocolate ganache.
- Allow the chocolate ganache to cool until it’s not so thin that it will drip off your hearts.
- Pour the chocolate ganache into a pastry bag and snip the tip off then drizzle it over the chocolate hearts.
- Or spoon it over top of the fudge hearts and allow it to drip down over the sides. Do not coat the bottom, as the ganache will not harden and it would be too sticky underneath the fudge hearts.
Dip in chocolate.
- You can also choose to dip these fudge hearts in melted and tempered pure dark chocolate.
- Melted and tempered chocolate will be 90°F so it won’t melt the fudge hearts.
- You cannot dip these in compound chocolate (candy melts) unless you allow them to cool to 90°F as the fudge hearts would melt.
- See my Chocolate Making Tips page for instructions on melting and tempering pure dark chocolate.
Storing your fudge hearts.
- Store your plain peanut butter hearts in an airtight container at room temperature for about a month.
- Chocolate peanut butter fudge hearts that have been drizzled or coated in chocolate ganache will keep at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.
- You can also store the candies in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then place them on your counter and allow them to thaw at room temperature for at least 2 hours before taking them out of the container.
- Serve at room temperature.
Creamy peanut butter fudge is poured into heart-shaped candy molds, frozen, then drizzled or coated in chocolate ganache.
- 16 ounces white compound chocolate *also known as confectionery coating)*
- 1 - 10- ounce bag Reese's Peanut Butter Chips
- 16 ounces 2 cups creamy peanut butter, (I suggest Jif Peanut Butter)
- a pinch of salt
- *Peter's White Caps, Nestle Premier White Morsels, Merckens White Wafers, or Ghirardelli White Melting Wafers
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon corn syrup
- 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate finely chopped
Place the white compound chocolate and peanut butter chips in a microwave-safe mixing bowl.
Heat on high power for 45 seconds.
Heat for 30 seconds, then stir.
Heat for 25 seconds, then let it sit in the microwave for 2-3 minutes.
Remove and stir vigorously.
If needed, heat for 10-second bursts of power, stirring after each, until melted.
Add the peanut butter and pinch of salt and stir until very well blended.
Pour the fudge into heart-shaped molds.
Freeze until firm 15-30 minutes.
Un-mold the fudge hearts.
Bring the heavy whipping cream and corn syrup to a simmer on the stove over medium-high heat.
Pour over the finely chopped chocolate.
Let rest 3 minutes then stir until well blended, starting the center of the bowl, and moving out to the edge of the bowl.
(See the tutorial for the food processor method.)
Drizzle or pour some chocolate ganache over the fudge hearts.
Let air dry.
Store at room temperature for up to 2 weeks, if covered in chocolate ganache, or up to 1 month if plain.
This recipe was originally published on Hungry Happenings on February 11, 2012.
If you like these chocolate covered fudge hearts, you might also like these other recipes…
Conversation Heart Hot Chocolate Bombs filled with white chocolate hot cocoa mix and marhsmallows.
Chocolate Hearts filled with Rice Krispies, toffee bits, or Dulce de Leche
are topped with Valentine’s Day M&M’s and sprinkles.
Did you make this recipe or do you just think it is super cute? Let me know by leaving a comment and rating the recipe below.
I love making fun food for parties and special occasions and sharing my creative ideas with you.
If you make this recipe and share it online be sure to link back to this post and use #hungryhappenings.
If you love making chocolate be sure to check out my Chocolate Making Courses at The Sugar Academy.
Thanks and have a sweet day! – Beth