I grew up with a mother who was “crunchy and all natural” way before it was the thing to do. She frequented the local farm for fresh goats milk, would only buy whole wheat bread, plain yogurt and all natural peanut butter. And don’t even get me started on our summer of carob! My mother was the queen of healthy and homemade, for better or worse. She refused to buy junk food, but didn’t want to deny me the joys of childhood gluttony so she would make homemade devil dogs, whoopie pies and popcorn balls. My friends loved it. I on the other hand longed for nothing more than Wonder Bread, Skippy Peanut Butter and Lucky Charms. Seriously, if it was full of high fructose corn syrup, partially hydrogenated oils and red dye no. 2 then it was for me!
So isn’t it ironic that I turned out to be the type of wife and mother who makes everything from scratch. Who has a running tab at Whole Foods and would sooner serve my kids sawdust than Skippy. (Yes, my mother is enjoying a nice chuckle over this.) Luckily, my family thinks it’s wonderful that I can make donuts, candy and various other treats that rival the mass-produced variety. But I’m sure my Lucky Charms Day will come!
Anyhow back to the point… My husband just recently celebrated his birthday. And while I made him a chocolate cream pie (that blog post will come later), we sang to him and he blew out the candles, the poor dear ended up being away for business on his actual birthday. I didn’t want him to feel like his birthday had passed unnoticed, so I decided to do something special for him upon his return. The question was what? Well, he happens to LOVE peanut butter cups, they’re his all time favorite candy. So there was my answer, I would make him homemade peanut butter cups. They can’t be the hard to recreate, right?!?
It turns out they’re not hard to make at all, they just take a little time. (And since I can’t be bothered to attempt anything that seems too easy, this wasn’t a problem for me.) The final product was really fantastic, way better than Hershey’s could ever make, and much loved and enjoyed by my whole family.
But the real question is: Would my juvenile self have approved of these homemade treats? It hard to say for sure, but they were so tasty that I imagine an 8-year-old me would gobble them up without complaint.
Homemade Peanut Butter Cups
If you have a peanut butter and chocolate lover in your life you must try these!
For the chocolate shell:
8 oz. 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate, chopped
6 oz. milk chocolate, chopped
a pinch of salt
For the peanut butter filling:
3/4 cup creamy natural peanut butter
1/3 cup powdered sugar
a pinch of salt
- Prepare a mini muffin tin with liners and set aside. Use a double-boiler (or a microwave) to melt the chocolate, stirring frequently. When the chocolate is totally melted and smooth remove from heat.
- Place 1 teaspoon of melted chocolate in each cupcake liner. Carefully spread it with a the back of a small measuring spoon around the liner and 3/4 of the way up the sides. Repeat with the remaining liners.
- Place the chocolate-covered liners into the freezer to firm up, for about 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare the peanut butter filling: Stir together the peanut butter, sugar and salt.
- When the chocolate cups are firm, spoon 1 heaping half teaspoon of peanut butter paste into each chocolate cup.
- Top with 2 teaspoons melted chocolate, spreading carefully so that none of the peanut butter can be seen.
- Let the cups firm up in fridge for at least one hour before indulging. These babies soften up very quickly, so store any remaining peanut butter cups (and believe me, there won’t be many) in fridge.
*adapted from the sweetest kitchen