the Great Recipe Experiment: #4-peanut butter cups

It's peanut butter chocolate time!

I don’t know what to tell you about this particular experiment except for two things:

  1. I don’t know why I didn’t think of doing this a long time ago
  2. Because of this experiment, I found and bought and now have 100 reeeeeeally tiny cupcake wrappers.  Like, “Honey I Shrunk the Cupcake Liners.”  And, like all miniature versions of things, they are adorable.

In addition to the tiny cupcake liners, I used a few regular sized ones to make some giant peanut butter cups.  It’s like a game of Big Cup, Little Cup.

I really like making my own candy.  I pretend that I am Willy Wonka and my house is a factory and my dog is an Oompa Loompa.  Given a little time, I may in fact convince Josh to build me a river of chocolate.  I shall call it “Bob.”  I always keep chocolate in the house, for snacking, for cocoa, for baking, for scrubbing my skin.  In fact, I bought five pounds of chocolate chips at By the Pound this weekend and Josh said, “That’s quite a bit of chocolate,” as if my procurement was odd, unnatural or unnecessary.  You can never have too much chocolate.  In fact, when I die, you all might as well just slice me open; there’s a 35.8% chance I’m made of hot chocolate.

So needless to say, this experiment was right up my alley, as all these experiments are more or less, since why would I pick out recipes I didn’t think I would like?  Except for the peppermint patties one, of course.  But that was for Josh.

These are really simple and if you didn’t think you could make your own peanut butter cups, you were mistaken, my dear Watson.  Because you know what you have to do?  Melt chocolate.  Pour chocolate into tiny, tiny cupcake liner.  Add peanut butter.  Cover with more chocolate.  Chill.  That’s it.  You can do that, right?

One note about melting chocolate: you know you’re doing it right when the chocolate gets really shiny.  It gets soft and shiny and luscious looking and you just want to dive right in and start rubbing it all over yourself.  (That’s not just me, right?  Right?)  You do this by melting the chocolate slowly over indirect heat.  It takes a little bit of time but it’s worth it. Otherwise you risk scorching the chocolate, or freezing it up and Wonka would not approve.  And you want Wonka to approve.  In fact, your whole life can be determined by just asking yourself one question: What would Wonka do?

(Just a note…this recipe, much like the others in this series so far, came from Joy of Baking.  Clearly I was all about the J.o.B. in December 2008—I promise…there are other sources.  There are other sites.  They will be coming soon!)

Peanut Butter Cups
from Joy of Baking

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
9 ounces semi sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
9 ounces milk chocolate, coarsely chopped (I actually opted for dark instead)
1 tablespoon  shortening

Peanut Butter Cups: Line 36 miniature muffin cups with paper liners.*

Place the peanut butter, unsalted butter, and salt in a microwaveable bowl, and heat in the microwave for about one minute or just until soft, but not melted (check and stir the ingredients every 20 seconds). Stir in the confectioners sugar.

Melt the chocolates and shortening in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water.

Drop a teaspoon of the melted chocolate into each of the paper lined miniature muffin cups. Top with a scant teaspoon of peanut butter mixture. Then top with another teaspoon of melted chocolate. Refrigerate until set. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Makes about 36 peanut butter cups.

By the way, as a note of my own, don’t feel you need to have a muffin tin to put these in.  I just lined a cookie sheet with tin foil and placed the muffin liners on that and filled them up, standing alone.  Worked just fine.  :-)

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