I'm on a sweet kick. Getting 20 cookbooks dedicated to desserts from the library has not helped. A zillion June birthdays doesn't help. A sweet boyfriend with a sweet tooth willing to test all my new recipes doesn't help either. So on I trudge, into more sweetness. Project of the day: homemade peanut butter cups.
I've been thinking about peanut butter cups for a while. Fresh nut butters started me out -- I had some luscious fresh pecan butter and then I found a good recipe for homemade nut butter in River Cottage Every Day. The thought of peanut butter cups with a fresh peanut butter and good, dark chocolate lead me on an exploration of cup recipes. I found a good-looking one in Jam It, Pickle it, Cure It.
This recipe is my own, but inspired by both cookbooks.
Peanut Butter Cups:
Makes about 20 peanut butter cups
20 small paper candy liners (these are smaller than mini-cupcake liners -- they fit in mini-cupcake pans, but are shorter. In a pinch you could use mini-cupcake liners by filling them only partway).
Peanut Butter Filling
1 1/2 cups freshly roasted peanuts*
3 teaspoons oil (canola or sunflower)
3 teaspoons liquid honey (i.e. liquid at room temperature)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt (a good, fine/medium sea salt)
2 1/4 cups good-quality chocolate chips or chopped chocolate (I used a mix of 1/2 dark and 1/2 semi-sweet chips, but you could do all dark, all milk, semi-sweet or a mix).
*To roast your own peanuts, heat oven to 350 degrees F. Place the raw peanuts on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for about 15-20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Cool. They will crisp as they cool. If you get any blackened ones, remove them as they will make everything taste bitter.
1. Grind the peanuts in a food processor until fine. Add the rest of the filling ingredients, pulsing to incorporate everything well. It will not be as creamy as a nut butter.
2. In a double boiler, melt the chocolate over medium heat, stirring occasionally. You can move onto #3 and #4 while you are heating the chocolate, checking in to stir and make sure it all gets melted.
|silky, melted chocolate|
3. Line the mini-cupcake tins with the paper liners and have them ready nearby.
4. Form peanut filling into small balls, about 1.5 - 2 teaspoons each. Flatten the balls into a disk that fits into the paper liners but allows room on all sides for chocolate to fill in around.
|disks of peanut filling|
5. Once chocolate is melted, spoon a couple teaspoons into each lined cup. Drop a disk of peanut filling on top of the chocolate in each cup. Tap the disk to settle it into the chocolate, without pushing it to the bottom. Spoon a teaspoon more of chocolate on top of the filling, using a spoon to spread the chocolate as needed.
6. If it's a hot day (it was here), these can go into the fridge for quicker setting. They will also set at room temperature in about 4 hours.
7. Store in a sealed container. They will last a couple weeks (although I doubt they will stick around that long!).