Homemade Peanut Butter Cups
Last week I had a meeting with my book club. Unfortunately, I didn’t read the book because I’m busy/lazy/[insert excuse here]. I figured that I had to make up for the fact that I didn’t read the book by making some really excellent food also known as homemade peanut butter cups.
I went with a chocolate and peanut butter dessert because I figured that that would be an easy way to calm the masses. I also brought a bottle or two of wine which never hurts. These guys were spectacular.
Step one if you really want to make these guys is to go to the store and buy the metal cupcake tins that way you don’t have to do what I did, which is make 24 cupcake tins out of aluminum foil.
Why did I think this was a good idea? I don’t know. A part of me just wanted to see if it would work (it will), but also I was just too lazy to go to the store even though it probably would’ve been faster.
Homemade Peanut Butter Cups
Yield: Makes 2-3 dozen.
12 ounces dark chocolate chips
12 ounces semi-sweet chips (I think you could use any combination if you want. I wouldn't use all dark chocolate though.)
4 ounces butter (1 stick). You may need another half stick, or some milk, if your chocolate gets too thick between layers.
16 ounces (1 jar) peanut butter. I like creamy.
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup honey
Pinch of salt
1 Teaspoon cinnamon, cayenne, or some other interesting spice. Totally optional.
1) Use a simple double boiler to melt chocolate. Get a pot of water boiling and then just set a stainless steel bowl over the boiling water with the chocolate and butter. Stir it occasionally and eventually it will melt together.
2) Place foil cups into the metal cupcake pan.
3) Using a knife, carefully spread some chocolate on the bottom of each tin and along the sides.
4) Stick in the freezer for about 20 minutes to get super hard.
5) While your cups are cooling keep your chocolate warm, but turn your water down to low.
6) Mix some of the peanut butter with sugar and honey, some with cinnamon, and some with cayenne.
7) Add a Tablespoon of the peanut butter mixtures to eat cup.
8) Smooth out the filling using a knife to create a level layer.
9) Put the cups back in the freezer for 10 minutes or so.
10) Using a knife, spread on some of the chocolate over each cup.
11) Stick these back in the freezer for 15 minutes to set and then move them to the fridge to store.
But, if for some absolutely crazy reason, you want to make the tins, get a muffin pan and a square of foil and carefully cram the foil into the mold. Make sure all the edges are flat and be careful not to puncture through the foil.
I got pretty fast at this, but it still probably took me 30 minutes to make 24 tins.
This was the hardest part of the entire recipe. So, learn from me. Buy them.
Assuming you have your tins all set, you can get down to business.
Making the Chocolate
I like to use a simple double boiler to melt chocolate. Get a pot of water boiling and then just set a stainless steel bowl over the boiling water with the chocolate and butter. Stir it occasionally and eventually it will melt together. And you don’t have to worry about scorching it.
I think you could also melt it in the microwave using a microwave safe dish. Just nuke it for 30 seconds at a time until it melts, stirring well after every 30 seconds.
Soon you’ll have a smooth and creamy chocolate.
Forming the cups
The hardest part about this recipe is making the bottom/sides of the chocolate cup. The easiest way I found to do this was to put my homemade cupcake foils back into the metal cupcake pan which gives them some structure. Then, using a knife, carefully spread some chocolate on the bottom of each tin and along the sides.
I went up about halfway on each tin.
When all of them are done, stick them in the freezer for about 20 minutes to get super hard.
While your cups are cooling (keep your chocolate warm, but turn your water down to low), you can make your filling.
One of the coolest things about making your own cups is that you can fill with lots of interesting stuff. Although I still like peanut butter as a base, here are a few other things you can add to the mix.
Peanut butter by itself is too moist in my opinion to make a good filling. You need to thicken it up a bit. I think the best way to do this is with the sugar and honey that I added in the recipe. If you mix in the sugar and the honey, you’ll end up with a creamy filling that is much thicker than normal peanut butter. It will hold up well against the chocolate.
I also mixed some cinnamon into one batch and some cayenne into the other. Both were good ideas.
I would say about a tablespoon per cup is a good idea. Much more than that and your cup will overflow if you know what I mean.
Make sure you smooth out the filling using a knife so you have a sort of level surface for your top chocolate layer.
After you spoon in the filling, put your cups back in the freezer for 10 minutes or so. Keeping everything really cold makes it much easier to work with.
Finishing the cups
These guys get easier as you go. The top level of chocolate is the easiest. Again, using a knife, spread on some of your chocolate. You don’t want the chocolate layer too thick, but try not to have any peanut butter peeking through.
Stick these back in the freezer for 15 minutes to set and then move them to the fridge to store. The chocolate is really good, but mine would start to melt at room temperature after a few minutes so I just stored them in the fridge.
This was a finalized cup.
And again with the layers…
I have a thing for spicy food and I definitely like savory desserts so the cayenne version was my favorite. The cinnamon version got pretty solid reviews at book club also.
So even if you didn’t have time to read this whole post (like I didn’t have time to read the book), and you just decided to skip to the end. Here it is: Make these. They are delicious.