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Peanut Butter Cups

Discussion in 'Cooking & Recipies' started by Inderjeet Kaur, Feb 20, 2015.

  1. Inderjeet Kaur

    Inderjeet Kaur
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    I use only the microwave for heat, so these are really easy. The only hard part is not burning the chocolate which does take vigilance.

    Do you remember Reese Peanut Butter Cups? I loved them as a kid, but hadn't had one in a long time until around last Halloween. (I know I'm fat and don't need candy. I know. But this is chocolate.)

    Anyway, I bit into one and was shocked. Not only had they shrunk into almost nothingness, but the taste was terminal. The "chocolate" was cheap and the "peanut butter" tasted not a bit like peanuts, more like a sugar paste of some sort. I spat the vile concoction out.

    This saddened me, like discovering an old friend had become a child molester or a Tea Partier. I went online to get a recipe for making them at home. There are some recipes that look OK, but way too much trouble, especially if I only want one, not a whole lot of them. And they lacked imagination, too.

    I am not easily discouraged and came up with something I think is really delicious...and unique. The chocolate tastes like good quality chocolate because it is good quality chocolate and the peanut butter has the taste and texture of peanut butter because it is peanut butter. Depending on the chocolate you use, these can be vegan, too. And if you use very dark chocolate, these actually can be good for you. In moderation. (I hate those words "in moderation;" their sole purpose is to take the fun out of the fun stuff.)

    Your final product will be no better than the quality of the ingredients you use. If you take the trouble to make these, use the best quality for the best results.

    I strongly suggest you use fair trade chocolate. I have trouble justifying buying chocolate grown and harvested by child slave labor, but that is, of course, a personal choice. And I am sometimes hypocritical about this.

    Use whatever chocolate you want, from very dark, like 90% chocolate to white chocolate. Do not use chocolate chips. They are designed not to melt.

    I prefer chunky peanut butter.

    MAKE A SINGLE CANDY
    To make one, you will need a small custard cup, cooking spray (unflavored), a microwave oven. Ingredients: Your favorite chocolate bar, peanut butter.
    Method:
    Spray the custard cup lightly. Put a layer of chocolate bar on the bottom of the cup. Microwave for a few seconds at low heat. BE CAREFUL, CHOCOLATE BURNS VERY EASILY. Check and see if it has begun to melt. You must try to stir it a bit because chocolate retains its shape when melted. Be very careful because chocolate burns very easily. Stir it some more. Then place a small amount of peanut butter on top of the melted chocolate. Let it cool to room temperature. Cover the peanut butter layer with more chocolate bar and melt the top layer, being careful not to burn it.. Smooth it to look nice. I suggest cooling it in the refrigerator.

    TO MAKE A BUNCH

    If you want to make a few, this comes out much more professional looking, with better texture. The flavor is about the same.

    For this you will need a silicon mini muffin pan. You can either spray it (my choice) or use those cute little paper liners that make it look more like the commercial product. OK, you can use a metal mini muffin pan, if you want to.

    VITALLY IMPORTANT: All utensils used must be completely dry. Any moisture will anger the chocolate and angry chocolate does not make good candy.

    This works best if you have two chocolate bars to be melted separately.

    Break your chocolate bar into pieces in a small bowl or large mug. Slowly melt it as above. The bottom will melt first, so stir it up from the bottom. As soon as you can stir5 it, take it out and stir. The more you stir the better. Chocolate loves to be stirred. This step tempers the chocolate and gives the final product a lovely smooth texture.

    Spray the silicon pan or line with paper liners. Cover the bottom with melted chocolate and add peanut butter as above. Repeat the melting chocolate step and smooth layer of chocolate over the top.

    Cool in the refrigerator. If properly tempered, they can be kept at room temperature for a few days.

    Now here is the fun part.

    VARIATIONS:

    Use one sort of chocolate on the bottom, another on the top.

    Make layers as thick or thin as you like.

    If the texture or taste of plain peanut butter doesn't please you, add a bit of honey or sugar.

    If you are allergic to peanuts, use another nut butter. Nutella could be used, but it's really gross.

    An almond or two might be good in place of peanut butter.

    I think these might be really good with a caramel filling with or without the peanut butter.

    A pinch or two of cayenne in the melted chocolate livens it up, if you're adventurous.

    How about peanut butter and jelly cups?

    If you want them larger, you could use a full-sized muffin pan. I prefer silicon because they pop right out, but I suppose using paper liners would eliminate the sticking problem..

    Here are some I made with milk chocolate on the bottom and white chocolate with real blueberry granules on top. The filling is crunchy organic peanut butter. The one in the middle is turned upside down, so you can see the smooth, lovely chocolate bottom produced by the silicon baking pan.




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