Tuesday, April 5, 2011

How to: homemade peanut butter cups

As promised, here is the simple recipe for easy-to-make peanut butter cups. Making them on your own not only allows you to know what is going into the cups (no trans fats like the store-bought ones have) but you can make them as big as you want, thus canceling out any health benefits of not including processed junk. Hurrah!
Melt the chocolate chips in a sauce pan on the stove. You could use a makeshift double broiler, but if you're careful and watch the chips as they melt, it's perfectly fine. Just don't melt them in the microwave. Please. They're guaranteed to be over-cooked and you won't get the liquid texture you need to make these. Have your molds or baking cups ready. I experimented using paper cupcake cups and while I didn't get to see if it was difficult to remove the wrapper since someone (Sean) devoured that one, he said it was easy to remove and there wasn't any paper residue. So! It's not necessary to purchase molds like those vintage ones in the photo!

(Step 1). When melted, pour just enough chocolate around the inside of the mold. Use your (clean) finger if need be to get in the crevices and flatted out the chocolate dollop. Remember to just cover the sides, otherwise you'll end up with super thick peanut butter cup walls. I did this to eight small molds. Then, I stuck them in the freezer for about 2 minutes, or until the chocolate had hardened.
(Step 2). Melt two or three large spoonfuls of peanut butter in a cup. It doesn't matter if it's creamy or chunky. Preferably, I'm a chunk lover. Remove the frozen molds from the freezer. Pour just enough melted peanut butter into the now chocolate-covered molds. Don't get too peanut butter happy and fill the molds all the way to the top! That will make it more difficult to seal them. Be conservative. Once all molds are filled, re-melt the chocolate in the saucepan if it's getting hard. You may need to add more chips if you run out of chocolate. 
(Step 3) Using a spoon, pour enough chocolate to cover the peanut butter-filled molds.  Here is where you can be generous with the topping. Make sure there is enough to spread out evenly, masking the peanut butter. You can pick up the molds and lightly tap them on your counter to flatted out any peaks. It's totally alright if you've got some peanut butter showing. It's all going to the same place! Put the cups back into the freezer and let them sit for 10 minutes. Then, if hardened enough, take 'em out and devour them! 
I've been making these for a while now and I can't stop. Surprisingly, Sean asked for me to make more a few weeks ago after the ones in the freezer mysteriously disappeared...

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