It's hard to believe that it's already the end of October. Living in a country that doesn't celebrate Halloween, it's easy to forget that it's approaching without the sensory overload of decorations, costumes, scary music and candy. The leaves here aren't changing color and it's still a balmy 83F outside. But ever the consummate expat, I refuse to let go of the traditions of home and so got myself in the trick-or-treating spirit by doing something that's been on my cooking bucket list for a while - I made peanut butter cups. That's right. Today I've got a recipe for peanut butter cups for you. As in Reese's peanut butter cups, but homemade.
Chocolate and peanut butter is just one of those magical combinations that can't be messed with (these chocolate peanut butter cookies are proof of that). It's comforting and happy making. As much as I'm a sucker for Reese's peanut butter cups, the homemade variety intrigued me - I love being able to control what I eat, and making peanut butter cups at home means no preservatives and other mystery ingredients that I can't pronounce.
They're a little time consuming but easy to make. I swear! They don't require any special equipment or unusual ingredients - in fact, there are only four ingredients: chocolate, peanut butter, vanilla and confectioners sugar. I used all-natural smooth peanut butter, but you can use your favorite or, for ultimate control, make your own.
To prepare them you just need to pour some melted chocolate into mini muffin liners, put a spoonful of peanut butter mixed with vanilla and confectioners sugar on top, then top with more melted chocolate and refrigerate or freeze. See? Easy peasy. Most recipes I saw called for lots more confectioners sugar than I used, but I thought the scant 1/4 cup that I used was plenty. Taste and see for yourself.
I also used dark chocolate instead of the traditional milk chocolate for a more grown-up treat. Use whatever kind of chocolate you prefer. To get that authentic Reese's peanut butter cup flavor, use good quality milk chocolate. Now that I've made these, my wheels are turning - Nutella cups anyone? Chocolate passionfruit? Hmmm... They make plenty and freeze beautifully so you can always have some on hand.
Making your own peanut butter cups at home is an easy and delicious endeavor, plus you get to control exactly what goes into them.
Author: Katherine Martinelli
Recipe Type: Dessert
Yield: Makes 36 peanut butter cups
1¼ pound (567g) milk or dark chocolate
½ cup all-natural smooth peanut butter
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup confectioners sugar (plus more to taste)
Line mini muffin pans with liners (36 total). Set aside.
Roughly chop the chocolate and put it in a heatproof bowl. Set over a pot of gently simmering water and melt until it is completely smooth and shiny, stirring often (you could also melt the chocolate in the microwave).
Spoon a bit of chocolate into each muffin liner. Gently tap the pan on a flat surface so it spreads to coat the entire bottom of each liner. Set aside. Put the chocolate back on the barely simmering water to keep it melted.
In a separate bowl, mix together the peanut butter, vanilla extract and confectioners sugar until smooth. Taste and add more confectioners sugar, a little at a time, if you’d like it sweeter.
Spoon about ½ teaspoon of the peanut butter mixture into the center of each chocolate-filled muffin liner. It shouldn’t touch the sides, if possible.
Spoon remaining chocolate over peanut butter-filled muffin liners, making sure to fully cover the peanut butter.
Put in the fridge or freezer to set.
Gluten free, Vegetarian
Parve and Vegan if you use parve/vegan/dark chocolate