Yesterday was a perfect day to experiment in my kitchen. A friend of mine just moved out of the country and gave me the contents of her refrigerator and cupboards. I took home a lot of peanut butter and honey so I didn't feel intimidated to experiment, which sometimes I feel when I think of wasting ingredients.
Nourishing Gourmet has a homemade version of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. I tried it out, but instead of using coconut oil, I tried a little bit of organic shortening in the chocolate part, and cocoa instead of hard chocolate, which didn't work out at all. It was worse than terrible. The clumpy mixture had to be chucked. I'm sure Nourishing Gourmet's version was great. The reason I wanted to forgo coconut oil is because it gets so sticky and melty so soon after taking it out of the freezer and I didn't want my peanut butter cups tasting anything like coconut.
I decided to make up my own version of peanut butter cups. Fortunately, mine ended up simple, easy and delicious.
The only problem is that the smell of peanut butter and melting chocolate attracted a small crowd (think teeny, tiny East Coast kitchen apartment). The next thing I know, Jeff is next to me with his Skippy peanut butter and our dog Annie is hanging out giving me her special adorable eyes, patiently waiting for a glob of peanut butter to drop to the floor.
Here is the how-to for these tasty, sweet treats. If you love chocolate and peanut butter together, then you'll love these and never need another Reese's Peanut Butter Cup. If you really want decadence, when these have finished solidifying, cut them into small pieces and add to ice cream-sugarless of course!
Easy Peanut Butter Cups
1 C peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla
1-2 tblsp honey - depending on your sweet tooth
2-3 ounces unsweetened chocolate bar, broken up into bits
2-4 tblsp honey - to your sweetness requirement
Mix peanut butter with vanilla and honey. Press spoonfuls into mini cupcake pans, filling each about halfway.
Next, I put the chocolate bits in a glass measuring cup in a small pan of simmering water. Stir in the honey and keep stirring until the chocolate is melted.
Next, have your camera ready for when you catch your partner sneaking peanut butter to the dog.
Lastly, if you have family members who poo-poo your naturally sweetened goodies like I have in my family, save a couple cupcake spots for them. Jeff was quick to fill his spots with peanut butter and chocolate chips when he saw that there was room.
I don't know if I'll ever convert his sweet tooth to naturally sweetened goodies. He seems dead-set against it and I don't push it on him, too much.
I put the cupcake pan in the freezer to get the peanut butter cups to solidify and it worked great. They pop out easily and still manage to melt in your mouth right out of the freezer.
My palate has changed so much over the past year and a half that even the smallest amount of sweetener satisfies. Keep in mind that the honey amount in this recipe can be altered, depending on your sweet tooth. If you are looking to cut down on calories, use a low-fat peanut butter and consider using a different sweetener than honey. It has more calories than white sugar.
This little recipe is incredibly easy, quick, and produces very little mess.