“It’s a peanut butter cup!” My dad enthuses, clearly proud of the box of Chocolate Soldier chocolates he has bought his three grown up children for Christmas.
My brothers and I exchange glances.
“It’s a biiiiig peanut butter cup.” We respond in unison.
Despite my appreciation for almost all things chocolate (excepting egregious Whitman’s Samplers and chalky Hershey’s bars from the drug store), I can’t fathom how to eat the oversized confection. Do I bite into it like an apple? Gnaw on it like a fried chicken drumstick? Eat it Seinfeld-style with a knife and fork?
I’m not sure.
So I wait, eating the chocolate turtles my dad also purchased us first, avoiding the giant peanut butter cup like I avoid polyester and the Valley. It isn’t until two weeks after Christmas that I finally decide to engage my stomach’s worthy opponent.
While I am tempted to jack hammer the thing into pieces and blend it into vanilla ice cream for a massive Dairy Queen-esque Blizzard, ultimately, I decide to cut the chocolate monstrosity into four reasonably sized pieces to enjoy over the course of four days.
The high-quality Guittard dark chocolate shell cuts easily under the pressure of my knife – there will be no need for gnawing action to consume it. I’m slightly fearful of the ample amount of peanut butter filling however, imagining that it will cement my teeth together like the poor bloke eating a peanut butter sandwich in the “Got Milk” commercial.
I push the unpleasant images out of my head, and press on, slicing the first quarter of the cup in the middle so that I can ensure to get a more balanced bite of both chocolate and peanut butter. I brace myself for peanut butter overload, so am pleasantly surprised when I discover the filling is somewhat reminiscent of a Buckeye. It isn’t sticky or cloying in the mouth – it’s smooth, the glue-like texture has been tempered by the application of what I imagine is powdered sugar. The resulting flavor is decidedly more refined than I’d anticipated – particularly when paired against the satisfyingly bitter dark chocolate. It’s a grown-up version of a Reese’s, in both size and taste.
I eat the rest of the giant peanut butter cup over the next three days, no longer fearful of the confection’s girth. I still prefer the Chocolate Soldier’s turtles, but, ultimately, it proves to be a nice change in my regularly scheduled chocolate routine.
Next time, however, I’m going for the jack hammer method.
1200 South Coast Highway
Laguna Beach, CA 92651-3183