Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Homemade Peanut Butter Cups

I can't say for sure that Reese's peanut butter cups are my favorite candy, but they are right up there at the top. I never thought that they'd be so easy to make at home, and taste so much better! A bag of chocolate chips and some peanut butter is transformed into perfect peanut butter cups using a mini-muffin pan. All you do is pour some melted chocolate into a mini muffin cup and let it harden. Then you place a piece of peanut butter filling on top of that, and then pour more melted chocolate over the top. Super simple!

The chocolate is creamy and rich, and the peanut butter center is just like the filling in Reese's. I decided to make half with milk chocolate and half with dark chocolate, and both were delicious. These would make great treats for a Halloween party! 

Homemade Peanut Butter Cups
Servings: 18-20 mini cups

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 tbsp. packed light brown sugar
2/3 cup confectioners' sugar
1 - 11.5 oz bag milk or dark chocolate chips 
2 tbsp. vegetable shortening

Line a mini-muffin pan with cupcake liners. Set aside. In a small saucepan, heat the peanut butter, butter, and brown sugar together over medium heat until melted and just starting to bubble, stirring constantly. Remove from heat as soon as bubbles start to form. Set aside to cool slightly. 

Add the confectioners' sugar to the peanut butter mixture, 1/3 cup at a time, stirring well after each addition. When the mixture is cool enough to handle, form into a log, about 3/4 inch in diameter. (You want the diameter to be slightly smaller than the diameter of your muffin cup). Roll the log in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to chill for at least 30 minutes.

In a medium saucepan, add about 1 inch of water and bring to a low simmer. Place a heat-proof bowl on top of the saucepan, creating a double boiler, and add the chocolate chips and shortening to the bowl. Stir constantly until the chocolate and shortening have melted together. Remove the bowl from the heat and set aside to cool slightly. 

Fill the bottoms of the muffin cups (18-20) with about 1/3 of the melted chocolate. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. 

After chilling, cut the peanut butter log into ~ 1/2 inch slices (I recommend slicing one and then seeing if it will fit in your mini-muffin cup. Note: You might have extra peanut butter left over). Place a slice of peanut butter into each muffin cup. 

Re-melt the chocolate mixture over a double boiler, if needed. Pour the melted chocolate over the peanut butter, making sure the chocolate fills in around the peanut butter. Gently shake the muffin pan to help distribute the chocolate and smooth the top. Refrigerate for another 30 minutes or until the chocolate hardens. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve. 

Source: slightly adapted from Brown Eyed Baker

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