The following 101, a recipe for homemade peanut butter cups, comes from HOMEGROWN and Farm Aid's Northeastern University current co-op student, Amanda Hoover. If she can whip something this good up now, we can’t wait to see what kind of sweet things are in store for this third-year journalism major's future. Thanks, Amanda, and please keep the delicious ideas simmering!
The duo of peanut butter and chocolate really is a match made in heaven, a trend that never goes out of style, the be-all and end-all of sweets. I could continue with the clichés here, but really, the bottom line is the combination never gets old. From cheesecakes to cookies to milkshakes, this pair has transcended every aspect of the desert world, but it’s important to remember where it all started: the chocolate peanut butter cup, which Reese’s has managed to monopolize, making their brand-name cups a revered commodity in the candy bar world.
I, however, have found Reese’s peanut butter cups dry and flaky rather than smooth and creamy, and I could take or leave the bite-size treats. But then I came across a recipe for some homemade peanut butter cups from Taste of Home and thought I’d give them a try.
These no-bake delights are quick, simple, and taste much richer than your average prepacked cups. In about an hour, I had a bunch of treats that finally did both the peanut butter and the chocolate justice, in a perfectly balanced partnership.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
Makes 20 to 35 cups, depending on the size of foil liners you use.
» 1 cup organic peanut butter (Make your own!)
» 2 cups organic chocolate chips
» ½ cup powdered organic sugar
» ½ tbsp salt
» 4 Tbsp organic butter
» small foil muffin liners
WHAT TO DO
To start, combine half of the peanut butter with the sugar and the salt, blending together until the sugar and salt dissolve.
Next, add the softened butter, stirring until the mixture becomes thick and creamy. This is your peanut butter filling.
To make the outer chocolate shell, combine the rest of the peanut butter and the chocolate chips. Microwave them until the chocolate melts, about 30 or 45 seconds, then stir together until smooth. Adding the peanut butter here makes the chocolate thicker and richer, and also helps to infuse the peanut butter taste throughout.
Now you’re ready for the foil liners. Drop a spoonful of chocolate in the first liner and use the spoon to spread it up the sides of the foil. It’s important to coat the liner as evenly as possible; otherwise, your cups will be too thin and will break easily.
Once the foil is coated, drop a spoonful of peanut butter into it. You can jiggle the cup back and forth gently so that the peanut butter levels out and disperses evenly. Next top off the cup with enough chocolate to fill the foil, spreading it at the edges and covering all of the peanut butter. Let your cups chill in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
When you remove them from the refrigerator, they should be solid—a perfect convening of chocolate, a candy bar crunch, and a thick peanut butter filling. Enjoy!
JOIN THE CONVERSATION!
Got a question for Amanda or another favorite way to enjoy chocolate and peanut butter? Post it below and keep the discussion rolling! Don’t miss Amanda’s 101 on homemade nutella, and you might also be interested in 101s on how to make your own peanut butter (and other nut butters), cultured butter, chocolate syrup, extracts (think vanilla and peppermint), sweetened condensed milk, cronuts, pop tarts, apple cider caramels, coffee liqueur (think Kahlúa), chai tea concentrate, and coffee can ice cream. You can always find more things to cook, preserve, plant, grow, make, craft, and gobble in the HOMEGROWN 101 library.
ALL PHOTOS: AMANDA HOOVER