Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

I really love to make desserts. I never had much of a sweet tooth growing up (I was the kid who gladly handed over most of my Hallowe’en candy to my mum, or else left it rotting in a plastic bag inside my pumpkin basket until discovering it in time for the next years trick-or-treating.), but I’ve definitely developed one in the years since. One of the candies I have become attached to is the Reese’s peanut butter cup. I don’t know if they have them over here in the UK, but my experiences with local peanut butter so far have not been completely positive. In fact, peanut butter seems to be on the top of the lists of foods Americans bring back from their first return visit to the States. You’ll be happy to know, though, that UK peanut butter does just fine in these little guys; even the Americans give their thumbs up.

Ingredients:
1 bag of chocolate chips (around 200g) (milk or dark, sweet or semi-sweet, doesn’t matter much. The dark seems to be a big hit for me.)
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
3 tablespoons graham cracker crumbs (digestives will substitute on this side of the pond)
1/4 powdered/confectioners/icing sugar
1 pinch of salt

Hardware:
mini muffin cup liners
glass or metal bowl
stove
pot in which the bowl can sit above water inside
microwave (optional)
clean tiny paint brush (optional)
mini muffin tin or silicon muffin cups (optional, but helpful!)
freezer
spatula
large mixing spoon
mixing bowl
2 regular spoons

Directions:
Pour a little bit of water into the pot and place on low heat on stove. Pour the chocolate chips into the glass/metal bowl and place over the pot. Stir the chips occasionally until they all melt. Alternatively, you can melt the chocolate in a microwave. Heat the chips for 20 seconds at a time, stirring between each interval, until they all melt.

If you have a small brush, use it to paint the chocolate up the sides of the muffin liners. Make sure the bottom of the cups are coated in chocolate as well. Placing the liners in silicon cups makes it easier to manipulate so the paper doesn’t flop around in your hands. A muffin tin also does the job, though it allows a little less flexibility. You should use a little less than half of your melted chocolate for this stage.

Place the cups in the freezer for about 15 minutes. This time allows them to set up and makes the final construction much easier.

While the cups freeze, mix the cracker crumbs, peanut butter, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Mix thoroughly, but do not whip. A slightly crunchy consistency makes for a better end product.

If your chocolate needs reheating, it’s time to do that. Remove the painted liners from the freezer and scoop a bit of the peanut butter mixture into each cup. The easiest way to do it is with two spoons scooping each other. Make sure not to spread it to the edges. Scoop more chocolate on top of the peanut butter to cover. Be as generous as you want and as your chocolate will allow.

Pop the finished cups back into the freezer to set. You can store them in the refrigerator after about 20 minutes, or just take them out and share.

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