My first bite of a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup was a revelation. For one, it was the first time I’ve ever had peanut butter and chocolate together and, as you can imagine, the combination became an instant favorite. Also, I’ve never had peanut butter like Reese’s. It was salty with a much more pronounced nutty flavor than what’s available locally. Reese’s got me hooked on the sweet-salty flavor combination, and for that, it will always have a special place in my heart.
As delicious as it is, though, the reality is that it’s still a mass-produced chocolate candy bar. It’s chockfull of stabilizers, preservatives, and other artificial ingredients. The great news is you can easily and very accurately replicate it at home.
Apart from doing away with the ingredients only a chemistry graduate could recognize (or pronounce), making your own peanut butter cups leaves so much room for personalization and creativity. If you’ve always been more partial to the sweeter local PB, then go ahead and use Lily’s. If you’re the clean living type, feel free to use the all-natural, organic variety. You can even use other nut butters like almond or hazelnut. If you’re tired of searching high and low for the white chocolate Reese’s you see on your friends’ Instagram, now you can make some of your own.
While I certainly won’t insist that you use grand cru, single origin chocolate, I do encourage that you spring for the good stuff for this recipe. Because the chocolate is simply melted and chilled to re-solidify, it would be glaringly obvious if you used the cheap stuff.
Also, taste as you go. I used an American brand peanut butter, so you will have to make some adjustments if you use either unsweetened natural or local peanut butter. Add the sugar and the salt gradually until you get the filling where you want it. Just remember to leave enough for the actual cups.
Homemade Peanut Butter Cups
Total Time: 1 hour (including chilling) | Yield: 12 large or 36 small cups
- 12 oz semisweet, bittersweet or dark chocolate
- 2 tbsp or 28 g butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
- ½ cup peanut butter
- ½ cup graham cracker crumbs
- ¼ to ½ tsp salt or more to taste (optional)
- ½ to 1 cup powdered sugar or more, to taste
- In a heatproof bowl, melt your chocolate in the microwave, stopping to stir every fifteen seconds. When there are only a few small, solid bits left, continue stirring the chocolate until it’s completely smooth. Depending on your microwave, this should take two to three minutes. Set aside to cool.
- Line mini or regular cupcake pans with liners. Spoon melted chocolate into each mold for the chocolate base of the cup. If using mini pans, it would take about a teaspoon of melted chocolate. For regular cupcake pans, it will take about two. Chill the pans in the refrigerator while you make the peanut butter filling.
- In a separate bowl, mix the melted butter, peanut butter, graham cracker crumbs, and the first half cup of powdered sugar.
- Add more sugar and salt to taste.
- Spoon the peanut butter filling into the chilled chocolate bases. Try to keep the filling in the middle.
- Top the peanut butter with the rest of the melted chocolate and chill the pans for thirty minutes, or until the chocolate is solid.