Homemade Peanut Butter Cups
Here’s a secret: when I was little, I wasn’t really that into candy. No, it’s true! I was never that kid hoarding pounds of candy in their closet after a hardcore night of trick or treating. Although I’ve reverted a bit, and now will enjoy a sour patch kid just as much as the next person, I was (and still am) a strictly dark chocolate kinda gal. If I had to get in on the Halloween action it was only Hershey’s Special Dark, Dark Chocolate Milky Ways, or Dark Chocolate Peanut M&Ms. What can I say, I’m a little bit of a purest. We’ve all got our things. So although I am aware the Dark Chocolate Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup actually exists, I figured I’d try my hand at making them from scratch. And it was SO fun and quick (it was even more fun and quick to devour them all in about a day). This also is a super cute gift idea, just put ’em in a little box/mason jar and tie a bow around it- they’ll last for quite a while if you freeze them, or a few days if you leave them on the counter (just don’t do that last part if it’s 90 degrees out. Melty gooey chocolate peanut butter only works in a peanut butter s’more).
Fun fact- if you exchange the chocolate for carob chips/other dairy-free chocolate and the 2 tbsp butter in the peanut center for 2 tbsp vegetable shortening, this recipe will be 100% vegan! Hooray!
PB Cups (adapted from Food Coma Blog and joyofbaking.com; makes about 30)
– 2 cups chopped semisweet or 60% (or higher, but not higher than 80%) chocolate
– 2 tbsp. canola oil
Peanut Butter Filling
– 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
– 2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
– pinch of kosher salt
– 1/2-3/4 cup confectioners sugar
Line mini muffin tins with paper candy liners. Melt half (1 cup) of the chocolate and half (1 tbsp) of the canola oil over a double boiler or in the microwave for two 30 second-intervals, stirring along the way to avoid burning. Pour about 1 tablespoon’s worth of the chocolate into the bottom of every liner. Shake/tap the pan a little to evenly distribute the chocolate. Place tray in the refrigerator.
Place the peanut butter, butter, and salt in a pot on the stove or in the microwave for two 30 second-intervals and melt, stirring often to combine. Add the sugar 1/4 cup at a time, creaming together with a fork or whisk until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Drop scant teaspoons of the peanut butter mixture on top of the (now slightly cold/firm) chocolate and put the pan back in the fridge.
Melt the second half of the chocolate and oil in the same manner as before, then remove the pan from the fridge once again, top of every peanut butter cup with the rest of the chocolate (you may need to smash the peanut butter filling down a bit) until covered. Place pan in the freezer and chill overnight or until solid. If you feel like getting fancy, stick a little round pretzel on top of the peanut butter filling before covering with the second round of chocolate. Or omit the salt from the filling recipe and instead sprinkle a little finishing salt on top of the second round of chocolate. You will not be disappointed.