This is the part of my blog post where I tell you what a crazy couple of weeks I’ve had and how I wasn’t able to blog at all, let alone pick up my laptop long enough to check my e-mail and watch past “Under the Dome” episodes on CBS. In a nutshell, here are the events of the past two weeks that led directly to my blog inactivity:
- Work has been crazy.
- I tested and failed at least two recipes I desperately wanted to share with you all, which resulted in a lot of wasted effort and dashed dreams.
- I made several amazing leftover dishes from odds and ends, but the food was gone before I could photograph it.
- Depression began to set in as I looked at my empty blog page and realized I was recipe-less.
Then, two amazing things happened that snapped me out of my blog funk:
- I discovered an amazing creamy cauliflower sauce from Pinch of Yum, which I now use in everything.
- After several failed attempts in my life, I have finally FINALLY made the perfect homemade peanut butter cups, and I am sharing these glorious babies with you.
Now, I’ve tried to make these before and have crashed and burned terribly. In order to make these successful, I’m taking a page out of Amanda’s rule book (over at Pickles & Honey) from her dark chocolate vanilla maple almond butter cups.
Silicone baking cups. These are the absolute key to perfect peanut butter cups (or any cups, for that matter). In the past, I’ve tried (and failed) making peanut butter cups by using regular paper cupcake wrappers. The end result was something that definitely looked and tasted like a peanut butter cup, but was coated in waxy paper wrappers that refused to unstick themselves. Silicone is key here. It enables you to peel the cups out nice and easily, and then you’ll get those awesome ridges that are so indicative of peanut butter cups. These are the important things in life, people.
Another vital component to these cups? The deep freeze, man. After each stage of working with chocolate, you need to freeze them so the chocolate will set. But most importantly, once the cups are completed, keep them in the freezer (in the silicone molds) for way longer than you think you would need to. I’m saying at least 30 minutes, but an hour would be better. That will ensure the chocolate doesn’t immediately start melting the nanosecond it touches your fingers. Trust me on this one. Ben and I made a double batch of these to bring up to a family gathering we’re gearing up for, and I’m a bloody mess. Ben lovingly pointed out that I had melted chocolate on my elbow….and foot/flip flop. That’s right, everyone. I’m pretty sure my husband married a 5 year old.
It took a while to get the ratios right, but these homemade peanut butter cups taste like the real deal, man. They are the exact thing you need to get you through a rough patch of days. They’re the arms to catch you when you’re exhausted, the hands to wipe the chocolate out of your hair you didn’t know was there, and the perfect confection to ruin your dinner.
Have a wonderful 4th of July, everyone! Aside from s’mores and apple pie, these peanut butter cups are about as American a dessert as you can get. Happy eating, and be sure to have extra napkins at the ready. Consider yourself warned.
These homemade peanut butter cups taste just like the real thing, and offer a great no-bake option for parties and gatherings.
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter
- 6 graham cracker sheets, finely pulverized
- 1/2 cup and 4 tsps powdered sugar
- 1 tsp table salt
- About 36 oz. of milk chocolate (it doesn't have to be exact...I think I used three small bags of milk chocolate chips)
- Fill a medium-sized pot half way and bring to a simmer. Place a large glass bowl on top of the simmering water and add the milk chocolate. With the heat turned down low, stir the chocolate until it's melted and smooth. It's quite a bit of chocolate, so it may take some time. It took me about 10 minutes.
- In a separate large bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients. Mix together until well combined.
- Line a 12-cup muffin tin with silicone baking cups (or cup molds). Add 1 tsp of chocolate into the bottom of each baking cup. With the back of a small spoon, smooth out the chocolate and make sure it reaches all the edges of the baking cup.
- Once that's finished, give the muffin tin a few hard taps on the counter to level out the chocolate and place it in the freezer for about 5-10 minutes (keeping it level in the freezer).
- Meanwhile, take about 1 1/2 tsps of the peanut butter mixture and shape into a 1-inch diameter disc, about 3/8 of an inch thick.
- When the bottom layer of chocolate is set, remove the cups from the freezer place the peanut butter discs directly in the center of the chocolate cups. Make sure the discs aren't touching any of the edges, otherwise the top layer of chocolate won't flow down the sides correctly.
- After all the discs are placed, add 1 tbsp of melted chocolate on top of each peanut butter disc. With the back of a small spoon, smooth the chocolate over the edges of the disc, making sure the chocolate settles between all the nooks and evenly coats the peanut butter disc.
- Once all the cups are filled, give the muffin tin another few shakes to settle the chocolate and pop them into the freezer for at least 30 minutes. Longer would be better.
- Remove from the silicone cups and serve immediately, repeating the process two more times to make a total of 36 cups. If not serving immediately, loosely wrap each peanut butter cup in aluminum foil and keep in the freezer or fridge until you're ready to serve.
None of these are precise measurements. Feel free to use more or less of any of these ingredients depending on your taste. This recipe also makes about 36 peanut butter cups. You can scale up or down depending on how many you'll be feeding. The ratios are very forgiving.