Well, I’ve really gone and done it now.
Here’s something that I want to know: why don’t regular Reese’s peanut butter cups have the same peanut-butter-to-chocolate ratio as the Easter Reese’s peanut butter cups? The regular ones seem totally fine until you buy the Easter egg-shaped versions that are available approximately 3 weeks per year, wherein you realize that you have been completely HOODWINKED by Reese’s and they’ve been holding back this whole time.
I hope that the fact that I have already spent this much time harping on about peanut butter cup equality will drive home why I bothered making these myself.
These peanut butter cups make me want to lock myself inside my house and not let anyone else in until they’re gone. Including my husband, who happens to really like them. Is that wrong of me? Damaged? Don’t answer that. I’m just keeping it real.
Not to change the subject, but we spent this past weekend in Colorado, and it was just the best, best thing. My husband and I are both so lucky to have families that easily fall into the “best ever” category, and spending time just hanging out with the people we love was pretty freaking rad. And (I’m bringing it back around) when I love people, I want to make them dark chocolate salted peanut butter cups.*
*I think we already touched on the fact that ACTUALLY, I do not want to share these. If I share them with you, you know I really love you. And here I am, sharing it with all of you! So I must really love you. (I do.)
Dark Chocolate Salted Peanut Butter Cups
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter (I’ve had to substitute the hippie peanut butter, but Jif is honestly your jam for this recipe)
- ¼ cup unsalted butter
- ¼ cup light brown sugar
- 1¼ cups powdered sugar
- 4 cups dark chocolate chips (two 11.5-oz bags) – I used the darkest ones I could find,
- ¼ cup vegetable shortening
- 1/2 tbsp flaked sea salt (Maldon is great), for topping
1. Line a mini-muffin tin with adorable tiny paper liners and set it aside. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
2. In a medium saucepan, combine the peanut butter, butter and brown sugar over low to medium heat. Heat the mixture until it has completely melted and starting to bubble a bit, and continuously stir. Remove the mixture from the heat. Add the powdered sugar a ¼ cup at a time, stirring it in until it has totally and seamlessly combined with the peanut butter each time you add more (mmmm). Set aside the mixture and allow it to hang out and cool for a bit. You have important work to be doing.
3. You have two options here: you can melt the chocolate chips and shortening together in the microwave (30-second bursts on 50% power until they’re melted), or you can do some double-boiler action. Microwaving chocolate often makes me kind of terrified of burning my whole batch, so I’m usually all about the double-boiler. Melt those two together until creamy and dreamy and mmmmmm.
4. Spoon melted chocolate into the bottom of each lined muffin cup. This can get messy. That’s okay.
5. Scoop out the peanut butter mixture. Roll it into a ball, and then pinch the ball lightly to flatten it slightly into a disk. (Size-wise, this needs to fit in the mini muffin liner with room around the edges for chocolate – plan accordingly. Trial and error tend to happen a bit here.) Place the PB disc on the prepared baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Once finished with all of the peanut butter mixture, refrigerate both the muffin tins and the peanut butter patties for about 30 minutes. (I am impatient, so I just use the freezer and wait for way less time.)
6. Place a peanut butter patty on top of each chocolate-bottomed muffin tin. Then use a spoon to add more melted chocolate on top and around each peanut butter patty. (If the melted chocolate cooled and firmed up, you can microwave or pop back onto the double-boiler.)
7. Pop these into the fridge or freezer. Wait just about 5 minutes, and then sprinkle flaky sea salt (I love Maldon) over the peanut butter cups. (If you add it when the chocolate is still melty, the salt will sink into the melted chocolate and it’s not as pretty.) Refrigerate again for 30 minutes (or freeze for 10), and they’re ready to serve! Store in the refrigerator or freezer. These are small, so you can hide them at the back of your fridge if you don’t want to share. You can keep at room temperature in an airtight container if you’re going to serve them the same day, but they’ll start to get soft if not at cool room temperature.
These are highly addictive and will make your refrigerator call your name every time you walk into the kitchen. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.