Sunday, October 27, 2013

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

Peanut butter cups are one of those candies that almost never, ever, EVER caught my eye when I was little.  I just never liked them, and I didn't understand why mixing something like peanut butter with chocolate was supposed to make the chocolate better.  I didn't grow up eating peanut butter, so that could have been the reason why, but chocolate always seemed to taste better when it was full of crispy wafer cookies, like Kit Kats, or layered with caramel, like Twix bars, or filled with crunchy peanuts, like Snickers.  Kit Kats, Twix, and THOSE were real chocolate candy bars!  Whenever I got Reese's peanut butter cups in my Halloween trick or treat pumpkin, I couldn't help but feel disappointed.  I would always trade my Reese's cups with my sister for other chocolate bars, and would instantly feel better.

These peanut butter cups are so simple to make.  They take only a few minutes to prepare, and are simple enough to make with kids, who I'm sure would have lots of fun painting the paper cups with chocolate.  What's great about making peanut butter cups yourself is that you can customize them based on your chocolate preferences.  I love dark chocolate, so I went ahead and used only dark chocolate in my peanut butter cups.  If you like your chocolate to be a little sweeter, use a combination of semisweet or milk chocolate.  This recipe is also great because you can easily adjust it.  I ended up with more of the peanut butter mixture than I really needed (I only wanted to make three dozen peanut butter cups), so I simply rolled the remaining peanut butter mixture into little balls and froze them to add to a peanut butter ice cream later on.  I also realized that I was running low on melted chocolate based on the ingredients in the original recipe; this was easily solved by just melting a little more chocolate.  Below, I've given the amount of chocolate I used to make 36 peanut butter cups.  The peanut butter cups are stored in the freezer in an airtight container, which is a perfect way of keeping little chocolate treats on hand for whenever a chocolate craving strikes, or for making them in advance to bring to a Halloween party.  Enjoy!

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
recipe from Martha Stewart


1 1/2 pounds dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
2 cups sifted powdered sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature


Begin by lining 36 mini muffin cups with mini paper liners.  In a double boiler, melt the chocolate until completely smooth.  Add a small amount of chocolate to the bottom of each mini muffin cup, and using a small spoon or paintbrush, spread the chocolate around the paper liner.  Don't worry about covering the entire paper liner, I only went about halfway up the paper liner, since the rest will be covered with more melted chocolate later.  Place the mini muffin trays in the freezer for ten minutes so that the chocolate sets.

In a small bowl, combine the peanut butter, powdered sugar, and butter with a hand-held mixer until smooth.  The mixture should become paste-like in consistency.  Once the chocolate cups have set, pinch off about a tablespoon of the peanut butter mixture, roll it into a ball, and place it inside a chocolate cup.  Repeat for all the chocolate cups. With slightly damp fingers, press down slightly on each peanut butter ball to flatten it.  Fill each chocolate cup with more melted chocolate, filling to the top.  Firmly rap each muffin tray to smooth out the tops of the chocolate cups.  Place the trays back in the freezer until the chocolate has set completely, about 20 minutes. 

To serve the peanut butter cups, remove them from the freezer and let them sit at room temperature for a few minutes so that they're not rock hard, but are still crisp.  Enjoy!    

Makes 36 peanut butter cups


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