DIY Peanut Butter Cups
There’s so much to love about these peanut butter cups. First of all, they’re giant (cupcake-tin giant), which is exactly the size a peanut butter cup should be. Second, they’re one of the easiest DIY recipes we’ve ever concocted. Third, we make them with rich bittersweet chocolate — the perfect foil for the salty-sweet peanut butter center. Take a bite, and you’ll notice the best thing of all: the filling tastes just like a Reese’s!
How’d we do it? Believe it or not, the secret is graham crackers! We crush up the honey-sweet snack, and then mix it with melted peanut butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, and a wee bit of salt. It creates a light, delightfully crispy texture — and it makes the filling a lot easier to work with.
The chocolate requires a bit of tempering — but don’t panic! We use a quick tempering method, so all you have to do is stir and watch the thermometer; if you get it off the heat at 110°, everything will be just fine. More than fine, actually! The chocolate will have a nice, smooth texture and a gorgeous, professional finish. And here’s the really good news: there are no candy molds involved! Instead, we layer the chocolate and the peanut butter filling in the cupcake papers (a relaxed and rather forgiving method), and then throw them in the fridge to firm up.
These peanut butter cups aren’t overly sweet, so you can eat multiple in one go without getting a sugar rush to the head (and believe us, you’re going to want to eat more than one). The folks in the test kitchen loved eating them with a tall glass of milk, which also allows you to repeatedly stuff them in your maw.
You might make a batch of these to bring along to a birthday party or baby shower — they’re such a fun treat and everyone will be so impressed with your fancy candy work. (Only you will know how easy it was. Shhh …) Just be sure to steal a few from the batch to stash in your fridge for midday indulgences. Baker’s prerogative!
Yield: 2 dozen
DIY Peanut Butter Cups
Place the graham crackers in a plastic bag and then use a rolling pin to crush them into fine crumbs.
In a large bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, confectioners’ sugar, and kosher salt. Stir to combine.
Stir the vanilla extract into the melted peanut butter and pour it over the graham cracker mixture. Stir to combine.
Line a muffin tin with paper liners.
In the base of a double boiler, heat 1 to 1 ½ inches of water to just below a simmer.
In the top of the double boiler, melt three-quarters of the bittersweet chocolate chips, stirring frequently, until the temperature reaches 110°. Immediately remove the bowl from the heat. Continue stirring until the chocolate is fully melted.
Add in the remaining chocolate chips and stir until fully melted to temper the chocolate.
Scoop 1 tablespoon of tempered chocolate into the bottom of each paper liner.
Place 1 tablespoon peanut butter mixture in the center of the chocolate and slightly flatten it with the back of a spoon.
Top the peanut butter with 1 additional tablespoon tempered chocolate and spread evenly with an offset spatula.
Cool in the refrigerator for 1 hour, or until set.