Peanut butter is my favorite. Long before I stopped eating meat and introduced various nuts as my “fatty” feel full food I was a peanut butter fanatic. Reese’s, of course, were my candy of choice as a kid (the only candy I liked, actually), but as soon as I started processing ideas of shelf life and preservatives they didn’t look quite so delicious. (Have you had a “bad” Reese’s? The WORST. It’s like peanut butter dry-wall powder.)
And so, I’ve always meant to teach myself a more “fresh” method for my former favorite. Turns out it’s super easy–(and I realize “super easy” is relative. My mother cringes when I say things like pie crust are easy–she disagrees), but really, they are. What I assumed where simply a fancy accessory to dress up Reese’s are actually the fundamental aspect–the baking cups.
So you’ll need cupcake/baking cups
2 bars of good quality chocolate (this is a great recipe to make vegan, because it’s JUST as good as if it weren’t vegan–just use vegan chocolate and you’re set).
At least a cup of peanut butter (I used fresh ground honey roasted, but Peanut Butter Company’s Smooth Operator is a great, traditional tasting choice–not too sweet, still no hydrogenated oils).
*I added Rice Crispy’s to mine because we had them and I like texture. Coursely ground nuts would be good, too.
Melt chocolate in a double boiler (or if you’re ghetto like me, put a sauce pan inside a pot of boiling water) and stir until chocolate melts smoothly (careful not to burn it because burnt chocolate, next to butter, is the easiest thing to burn and also the saddest).
Take a table spoon and ladle two table spoons or so of chocolate into six to ten baking/cupcake cups, saving half the chocolate for the top layer (you’ll add later).
Put the melted chocolate cups in the freezer for five to ten minutes, until pretty solid, then pull them out and do one table spoon of room temperature peanut butter (it spreads better and makes smoother looking peanut butter cups). If you want to add Rice Crispy’s or anything else, do it now.
Your melted chocolate in the pan should still be “melty” (if you’re making this in sweltering hot Brooklyn I PROMISE it will be), so you can ladle a spoonful or two over the evened out peanut butter, enough to cover everything and try to even things out and make it pretty, then pop it back into the freezer for a bit.
After a few minutes in the freezer you should be able to remove the peanut butter cups carefully from the baking cups and artfully arrange them. Just be mindful of your fingers–if you touch cold chocolate at all you ruin that pretty, silky texture and get a dull print (called bloom–an ugly word for any baker).
And now you should be set. Delicious, easy, very little work involved–and no risk of getting an “old” peanut butter cup (these will be melty and eaten in moments. Promise).