When it comes to my eating habits, I consider myself to be a mindful diner. I watch what I eat, try to consume mostly fruits/veggies/nuts/whole-grains. I avoid processed foods and mystery meats. Blah, blah, blah. Who doesn't say this these days? Because there are also all of my guilty pleasures, which you may find a lot more interesting. I'm obsessed with jalepeno kettle chips. I don't consider Culvers fast food, and have no qualms against throwing back a couple of butter burgers washed down with a strawberry shake. On my commute home from work I often stop and buy skittles and coca-cola.
I do try to keep my secret addictions to a minimum. One way that helps fend off a craving for food with unpronounceable ingredients is by making a version at home, which always ends up tasting better! There have been homemade cheezits, french fries and oreos. Soft pretzels, bagels and english muffins. Big macs, donuts and goldfish crackers. Some are projects that take a few days. But others come together surprisingly quick with few ingredients and minimal effort. These peanut butter cups are part of the latter group. You are five ingredients away from the best peanut butter cup you've ever consumed. Five. After one bite, you will wonder why you ever wasted your time on the version wrapped in orange with ingredients that someone with a minor in chemistry can't even pronounce.
Most of you probably even have all of the ingredients on hand. Which means you could be eating these tonight. Just don't tell anyone. Trust me, you won't want to share.
Note: The recipe called for "high quality chocolate". If I was rich, and/or didn't live in the sticks so I could actually find an ingredient I wanted, I would splurge and make these with Mast brothers chocolate. I used Ghirardelli and everything turned out fine. I also decided I wanted my peanut butter cups to taste rich and sweet like a mini Reeses cup and so I used milk chocolate mixed with a little bit of semi-sweet. Finally, the recipe makes about 4 dozen. I cut the recipe in half (something I deeply regret) and got around 20. Which quickly diminished to 10.
Homemade Peanut Butter Cups
Adapted, just barely, from Food52
Makes about 4 dozen
1 cup creamy unsalted peanut butter (I used salted and just didn't add any extra salt)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup light brown sugar (I used dark brown)
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon course salt
32 ounces chocolate (see note above)
Mix together peanut butter, sugars, butter and salt
Melt chocolate in a medium saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally until melted. I found this instruction to be a bit odd as I'm used to melting chocolate over a double boiler to avoid scorching. I thought I'd give this method a try, and it worked fine, I was just careful to stir from time to time and to remove the chocolate as soon as it was melted. Pour the chocolate into a heat proof measuring cup with a pour spout and set aside to cool slightly.
Place candy wrappers on a baking sheet. Fill the bottom of each candy wrapper with enough chocolate to just cover the bottom of the wrapper. Every once in a while pick of the baking sheet and lightly drop it onto the counter in order to level out the chocolate. The directions said to do this once after filling all wrappers, but I found the ones that were filled early on already had time to set up in a blob that wasn't evenly distributed. On the other hand my house was only 52 degrees at the time I was making the peanut butter cups, I imagine this won't be the case for most of you. After all wrappers are filled, chill in the fridge for 10 minutes.
After chilled, place a heaping teaspoon of peanut butter mixture in the center of each wrapper, and top off with remaining chocolate until covered. You may have to reheat your chocolate so it is pourable. Pick up and drop the baking sheet from time to time (as above) to ensure an even surface on each candy. Chill in fridge for a few minutes if you can stand it, otherwise consume immediately.