January 16, 2018

Homemade Fudge Chip Peanut Butter Boppers (with Cookie Crunch Variation)


Ingredients:

3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
5 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
2 cups confectioner's sugar
2/3 cup crisped rice cereal (i.e. Rice Krispies), lightly crushed
1/2 cup semisweet miniature chocolate chips
8 oz dark melting wafers*


Directions:

Line a baking sheet with wax paper. Set aside.

In a large bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the peanut butter, butter, and confectioner's sugar until paste forms. It should be easy to shape, like a soft yet dry dough. If it is very soft--too soft to shape, add additional powdered sugar a tablespoon at a time until it forms the correct texture.

Roll the dough between your hands into 4 inch long logs, about 1-1 1/2 inch in diameter. Place on the lined tray.

Refrigerate while you melt the chocolate according to package instructions. Meanwhile, stir together the chips and cereal in a shallow bowl or platter.

Roll each log in the chocolate and then immediately into the chip mixture to coat. Refrigerate 10-15 minutes or until the coating is firm. Slice the ends off to expose the peanut butter filling for maximum accuracy. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate. Remove from fridge 5 minutes before serving at room temperature.

For the best shelf-life store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. Boppers should not, however, melt if kept at room temperature.



*I used these Ghiradelli wafers I bought at Wegmans but any candy making wafers would do.


Cookie Crunch variation:




Instead of crisped rice cereal and chips, roll logs in 3/4 cup crushed Nabisco Chocolate Wafers (or Oreos with the creme filling removed and discarded if you can't find the wafers).

Yield: about 12 Bopppers

My thoughts:
For some reason, Peanut Butter Boppers, a snack rarely discussed that disappeared from the shelves in the 1980s has haunted me for decades. Growing up we did not eat much in the way of packaged snack food at all. My mom packed our lunches but 99% of it was homemade and even the things like chips were from a larger bag and repackaged--no prepacked convenience foods for us. For some reason, Boppers must have made it into the cart because I can still remember how they taste today. I have a very distinct memory of looking at them on the shelf when I was around 7 and being told we couldn't get a box and then they disappeared from the shelf forever. I have this thing where I can't really picture anything beyond the vaguest outlines and one of the very few things I can sort of picture is a row of Boppers on a grocery store shelf so it made quite an impression! Why I don't know. They were very tasty though!

When the internet became a thing I tried to look them up to see if they were still regionally available or discontinued entirely. I kept thinking they were called Bonkers which didn't make sense as Bonkers was another candy of the '80s that is now defunct and in my search, I realized that what I was thinking of was called Boppers. I found this commercial which explains some of my confusion--in it they talk about "going crazy, going boppers" over Peanut Butter Boppers. Who uses "boppers" and not "bonkers" to mean nutty is beyond me but at least that solved one mystery. Boppers also made a cameo in The Lost Boys, they were on the shelf the boys were not allowed to touch in the refrigerator along with the root beer and Oreos. So someone out there was eating them besides me!

Basically, Boppers were a dryish peanut butter stick (think the filling of a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup) rolled in chocolate then crisped rice cereal and chips. Apparently, they were made by granola-famous Nature Valley but I don't recall them being marketed as any sort of health food and let's be honest, these are a treat.

Since I have always loved dark chocolate, I used dark melting chocolate and semisweet chips (which I feel were in used in the originals as well) but if you have more of a sweet tooth, you can use milk melting chocolate and/or chips. Remember to use actual melting chocolate though so it sets up properly. Alternatively, you can melt and temper your own chocolate but this is much easier and for this, just as tasty. Also, use mini chips to coat, regular chips are just too big and will fall off.

They really do taste like the Boppers I remember (of course, I was about 6 back then so it has been a while) but perhaps slightly better thanks to using better quality ingredients. Satisfyingly peanut buttery, slightly crunchy and chocolatey. I don't think they are bringing these back to the shelves anytime soon but you can enjoy these today!


Now if I could just figure out how to make Chocolate Mint Bubblicious, another mid-80s era discontinued favorite, I'll be all set.

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