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We like peanut butter cups around here. We like them even better when they're made with dark chocolate and aren't as cloyingly sweet as Reese's.
So when a co-worker sent me a recipe for homemade peanut butter cups, I jumped on it. I had been eyeing a different recipe but had been discouraged by the cumbersome multi-step process. That recipe also called for whirling peanut butter in a food processor with confectioner's sugar to form a peanut butter paste. The result appears to more closely resemble the dry, crumbly peanut butter filling in Reese's, but it also means 1) more dishes to wash, and 2) more added sugar where I usually find peanut butter delicious naked, with no added sugar.
This PBS recipe calls for just two ingredients, already awesome on their own, that combined play off the other's strength and elevate themselves to a new realm of awesomeness. I doubled the recipe because who wants to just make four peanut butter cups? More, please.
One: These cups are super rich, and heftier than Reese's, so you may want to experiment with making smaller cups, if you prefer bite-size cups.
Two: I found one tablespoon of peanut butter for each cup to be a little much. Maybe I didn't flatten the discs enough, but I felt I needed quite a bit of chocolate to cover the discs completely and end up with a flat top as opposed to a little mounded top. Next time I'll try using 2 teaspoons of peanut butter per cup.
Three: I made some cups with organic, crunchy peanut butter, others with Speculoos (cookie butter). Both were delicious and are highly recommended, but in the end, I preferred the traditional peanut butter filling. But you?
You should go nuts. Almond butter, sunflower seed butter, peanut butter and jelly... Try those and report back, OK?
Dark chocolate peanut butter cups
Adapted from pbs.org
8 ounces dark chocolate
8 tablespoons peanut butter
Prep your assembly by lining up eight cupcake/muffin liners on your counter. (The sturdier the liners, the better, so you may want to get tin foil liners.)
Roll peanut butter into eight balls and place on a plate. Freeze for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, melt the chocolate:
Add water in a skillet until water is about 1 inch deep. Set a glass or stainless steel bowl directly on the skillet. (This is the Alice Medrich method I explained in my previous blog on chocolate-covered potato chips.)
Break up chocolate into chunks and place in the bowl. Bring water to a boil, then turn stove off. Let chocolate melt slowly, stirring occasionally.
Pour about half the melted chocolate into muffin liners, making sure to coat about half an inch up the sides.
Let cool until chocolate begins to harden. This way, peanut butter won't leak through the bottom.
Remove peanut butter balls from freezer and flatten balls into discs.
Place one disc in each muffin liner. Pour remaining chocolate over the discs, making sure to cover completely.
Refrigerate the peanut butter cups until chocolate hardens, about 10 minutes. Remove muffin liners before serving.
Makes eight peanut butter cups.