3cupssemi-sweet chocolate chips,or a combination of semi and milk chocolate chips
For The Drizzle
½cupwhite chocolate chips,or pieces
Line a jelly roll or half sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside.
Using a hand mixer, beat together melted butter, peanut butter, granulated sugar, and vanilla extract until smooth and creamy.
Beat in powdered sugar.
Press peanut butter mixture into sheet pan spreading to about ½-inch thickness.
Place sheet pan in the freezer for 15 minutes.
Lift the parchment paper to remove the chilled peanut butter layer from the pan. Place a new sheet of parchment paper on the pan.
Use a cookie cutter to cut out ½-inch thick heart shapes from the chilled peanut butter layer.
Place cutouts on a parchment-lined sheet pan. Freeze for 30 minutes.
Scoop up the remaining peanut butter mixture, repress to ½-inch thickness, and cut out additional shapes.
After cutouts have chilled for 25 minutes, prepare the chocolate coating.
Place milk chocolate chips in a heatproof bowl. Dollop 2 tablespoons of shortening over the top. Heat and stir in 30-second increments in the microwave until the chocolate is smooth and melted completely.
Using a fork, lift one peanut butter cutout at a time and coat it completely with the melted chocolate. Tap excess chocolate off of the cutout and place it back onto the parchment paper.
Work in batches if the peanut butter cutouts become soft quickly.
Allow the chocolate to harden.
For optional drizzle, microwave white chocolate chips or chopped pieces and shortening (½ teaspoon per ½ cup) in 30-second increments until melted and smooth.
Scoop the melted chocolate into a plastic bag or piping bag. Snip a tiny corner off of the bag and drizzle in a zig-zag motion over the chocolate covered hearts. Immediately sprinkle with heart sprinkles.
Allow the chocolate to set for about 1 minute.
The number of finished hearts that you end up with will vary depending on the size of your cookie cutter. Here we made 12 hearts because our cutters were quite large.
The shortening added to the melted chocolate makes it easier for coating and prevents any discoloration of the chocolate surface. It also makes it soft and will melt or imprint easily if it’s touched. You can reheat the chocolate in short bursts to keep it smooth and easy to use for coating the hearts.
To keep the peanut butter hearts from softening too quickly, keep the pan in the freezer and only take out a few at a time for coating.
The white chocolate drizzle cools and hardens quickly. If you want the heart sprinkles to stick, add the drizzle to just one heart at a time and immediately add the sprinkles.