May 21, 2010

peanut butter cups.

Last night, for 'girls' night,' I had an opportunity to make some peanut butter cups. All week I had been craving some choclate-y goodness so when I was given the opportunity to make the dessert for our night I just had to make these delicious little cups.
Best when slightly chilled, these little guys are very sweet with just the right amount of saltiness - just enough salt that it seems an afterthought. If not restrained, I could probably gobble up half a dozen of them and then suffer a sugar-high for the next week and a half. These babies are sweet and good, but a single one makes a good serving (or two ... depending on how long the 'dessert portion' of your meal lasts into the evening).
The original recipe is found in Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It by Karen Solomon (Ten Speed Press) - a book I first discovered here. I followed her recipe precisely for the batch I made last night.
The original recipe calls for confectioners' sugar but I think that substituting fine sugar or granulated sugar in place of the confectioners' sugar will make the inside just a teensy bit grainier and even more crumbly - something I thought would add just a little additional texture to these lovely peanut butter cups.

Peanut Butter Cups
Adapted slightly from Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It

1 cups fresh roasted and salted peanuts
2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon neutral vegetable oil, like canola or sunflower
2 tablespoons fine or granulated sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

½ teaspoon salt


2 cups chocolate chips or chopped chocolate

I used milk chocolate, a chocolate I love, which made them very sweet. For less sweet cups use semi-sweet or dark chocolate.

Place paper or silicone liners in cupcake pan nearby.

To make the filling, in a food processor, puree the peanuts for 3 to 4 minutes, until they are very smooth - almost like the creamy peanut butter you buy at the store.

Add the honey, oil, sugar, vanilla, and salt and puree until completely combined.

Using about 2 teaspoons at a time, form 12 evenly sized balls of the peanut butter mixture and flatten into discs that will fit into the centre of the cupcake liner but not touch the sides.

To prepare the coating microwave the chocolate on high for 1-minute, stir well with a fork to distribute the heat. Microwave for 1-minute more and stir again. You may possibly have to heat your chocolate for another 30 - 60 seconds, what you're aiming for is melted chocolate that looks satiny and comes off the fork in ribbons with no clumps.

Working quickly, place just less than a tablespoon of chocolate in the bottom of a liner. Move the chocolate around so it completely covers the bottom and the sides part-way up. Gently drop the peanut butter disc into the centre of the liner and tap it gently into the chocolate, being careful not to push it all the way through the chocolate to the bottom.

Cover the peanut butter centres with another half-tablespoon (approximate) of chocolate, covering the top completely and allowing it to surround the sides of the peanut butter centre.

To smooth to tops either use a spoon or gently shake the cupcake pan. Let sit, undisturbd, for at least 4 hours, until the cups harden completly.

Note: After waiting 4 hours, our cups were still not solid (and we ate our first 'taste-test' cups with a spoon). Although advised in the cook book not to refrigerate, I have and they taste delicious and slightly hard and they melt ever-so-slowly in your hand as you eat them.

These will store up to 2 weeks in an airtight container, that is, if you don't eat them all immediately.

Yield: 12 peanut butter cups

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