I have been on a peanut butter cup kick lately. I am not sure if it is seeing the bright yellow packages of reese’s eggs that call my name and taunt me at the grocery store as I walk by. Typically they are next to the neon colored peep and I walk on. I don’t have time for that. I did have time to make a quick batch of peanut butter cups just to see what I could come up with. I made these a bit grown up – adding a dash of cinnamon and maple syrup to the peanut butter mixture was one change. I also added sprinkles of merlot and espresso sea salt to some and toasted coconut to others. Shall we go make some candy together?
There are five million recipes floating around for various configurations of peanut butter cups. I read about one million of the five and decided to keep things simple.
All natural peanut butter (with flaxseed!), a few tablespoons of powdered sugar, a tablespoon of liquid gold – real maple syrup – a dash of cinnamon and vanilla bean paste.
24 teaspoon-sized peanut butter balls are rolled out and ready.
Dark chocolate chips and coconut oil were melted over a gently simmering pan of water. This part concerned me…would my chocolate set up properly since I only had dark chocolate chips? I forged on and took the risk.
I lined my mini muffin tin with mini muffin liners, dolloped in a teaspoon of chocolate…
A ball of peanut butter gets placed in the middle, and another teaspoon or so of chocolate gets added to the top.
A few taps of the pan to settle the chocolate and the whole batch gets chilled. The result was a great ratio of peanut butter to dark chocolate. This recipe was simple and, I imagine, would be so fun to do with little kids. I made a smaller batch which is helpful for all good things in moderation. I also gently flattened the peanut butter balls before adding them to the first layer of chocolate. Some recipes called to chill each layer as you go…I had no time for that (or rather patience)!
These peanut butter cups are a grown up version of the milk chocolate covered reese’s. The sea salts bring out the dark and rich chocolate flavor. The peanut butter has the faintest hint of cinnamon and the maple flavor? Was lost in the mix. No worries, friends, my strong need for peanut butter cups has been happily met!
- 12 ounces dark chocolate chips
- 2 teaspoons of coconut oil
- 1/2 cup all natural peanut butter
- 2 Tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1 Tablespoon maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (I used vanilla bean paste)
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Toppings (optional): flavored sea salts, toasted coconut, sprinkles - be creative!
- This works best to do in stages. Prepare a 24 cup mini muffin tin with 2 muffin liners each.
- In a small bowl combine the peanut butter, powdered sugar, maple syrup, vanilla, salt and cinnamon. Mix together well. The texture should be 'rollable'. Roll a teaspoon of the dough and gently flatten. Set aside.
- In a pan gently simmer an inch or so of water. Put a glass bowl over the top (making sure the water and bowl do not touch) filled with the chocolate chips and coconut oil.
- Stir this mixture, letting it melt slowly as to not burn the chocolate.
- When the chocolate mixture is melted add one teaspoon to the bottom of each muffin liner.
- Add one flattened ball of peanut butter to the middle. Tap the pan on an even surface to help the chocolate settle and getting rid of any air pockets.
- Add another teaspoon (or slightly more) to top off the peanut butter layer. Tap the pan again.
- If inclined, add a sprinkle of sea salt, toasted coconut, sprinkles, etc. to top of each mini peanut butter cup.
- Let the candies chill for a couple hours.
- Store the candy in an airtight container, separating the layers with parchment paper.
- You can take the candy out and let it come to room temperature for 10 minutes...if you have the patience!