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I can’t quite explain what led me to believe that Flamin’ Hot Cheetos belonged in chocolate bon bons, but, alas, here we are. All I can say is these are the kinds of things I think about.
The idea was to create a unique Valentine's Day-worthy treat for those who don't really dig sweets -- and like a kick of heat. These certainly deliver on all fronts. The center is a deliciously odd combination of Flamin' Hot Cheetos, a little powdered sugar, and peanut butter chips -- an amalgamation that took some testing to arrive at. Finding the right baking chip to pair with Flamin' Hot Cheetos was a super weird process that didn't end the way I thought it would.
My go-to chocolate is, and will always be, dark. But I can say with unwavering certainty that Flamin' Hot Cheetos and dark chocolate should never, ever, never be in your mouth at the same time. Somehow the alchemy of these two individually delicious things results in one terrible thing. In case you're wondering the results of our experiment, these are the findings, in order.
- Peanut butter chips
- White chocolate chips
- Milk chocolate chips
Peanut butter and white chocolate chips were almost equal in our minds, except the peanut butter chips were a little less sweet and a better blend with the spiciness. I chose to coat them in milk chocolate because the smooth mellow flavor paired really nicely with the spicy bonbon and because of the dark color. You know what happens to your fingers when you eat Cheetos? Well, that happened to the white chocolate when I tried dipping the bonbons in it. Let's just say it was a Flamin' Hot mess.
What started out as a "Hmmm ... I wonder if it will work" venture ended in chocolate bon bons I would be happy to gift to anyone who is on the fence about sugary desserts, appreciates the juxtaposition of sweet and savory, and enjoys a treat that packs a spicy punch.
Here's how you make them.
Flamin’ Hot Bonbons
- 1 cup Flamin' Hot Cheeto crumbs, packed For one cup of crumbs, you will need to start with at least 3 cups of Flamin' Hot Cheetos
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- ⅔ cup peanut butter chips
- 1 cup milk chocolate chips
- 2 teaspoons shortening
- In food processor, pulse Cheetos until reduced to fine crumbs.
- In large bowl, combine crumbs and powdered sugar.
- Melt peanut butter chips in microwave-safe dish. Heat in microwave on high for 30 seconds, stir, continue at 15-second intervals until melted and smooth.
- Add melted peanut butter chips to large bowl, stir mixture until completely combined. You may need to get in there with your hands and knead until it comes together in a soft dough.
- If dough is too soft to form into balls, refrigerate it for 5-10 minutes. Prepare a plate with a sheet of waxed paper. Portion dough into balls using ½ tablespoon measuring spoon and place on waxed paper. Set in refrigerator to cool and harden.
- Make the chocolate coating. Place chocolate chips and shortening in microwave-safe dish, heat on high for 30 seconds, stir, continue in 15-30 second intervals until chocolate is melted and smooth.
- Drop balls into chocolate one at a time and set on wire rack to cool. Sprinkle with sugars or embellishments while chocolate is still wet.
- Once chocolate has cooled and hardened, remove from waxed paper and store in refrigerator. Then try not to eat one every time you open the refrigerator.
MY KITCHEN ESSENTIALS
Cuisinart Mini Chopper
This is what I use to pulverize Flamin' Hot Cheetos down into a fine crumb. I love this little thing because it chops and grinds small portions in a jiffy and doesn't take up much space in my cupboard. It's great for chopping all kinds of things, making salsa, etc.
Pyrex 2-Cup Measuring Cup
I have a set of 3 of these in 1 cup, 2 cups, and 4 cups, which is handy to have because sometimes all of them are full of melted chocolate -- which is a wonderful thing in my book. This one makes melting, running back and forth to the microwave, and dropping and retrieving the bonbons super easy.
Magnetic Measuring Spoons
The ½ tablespoon measuring spoon on this set creates the perfect ball - which, I realize any rounded measuring spoon will do. But I love these because they nest and stick together so they aren't scattered all over hell in my kitchen drawer. Which is nice.