Monday, February 14, 2011
Valentine's Peanut Butter Cups
But these chocolate peanut butter cups aren't for me, they're my Valentine's treat to Joe. He likes Reese's peanut butter cups, but he loved these far more. (I promise not to make any sickening Valentine's lovey-dovey talk.) They're hand-made with quality ingredients, see, not some cheap factory-plunked creation. They'd also make a great gluten-free treat.
These confections are easy to make but require a bit of care. I combined two recipes I had found. Melted bittersweet chocolate is brushed on the inside of paper mini-muffin cups, refrigerated, a second layer is brushed on, and they are refrigerated again. At this point one recipe says to peel off the paper, but this resulted in breakage because the unfilled cups are too fragile. So I piped the peanut butter mixture into them and froze them briefly, and then removing the paper was easier.
Be quick (the chocolate melts on your fingers), but very gentle when removing the papers. Expect some breakage and plan on making extras. Normally I'd console myself over breakage by eating the pieces, but like I said this isn't my kind of treat. Then hide the broken pieces somewhere and present the prettiest cups to your lucky Valentine.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
Adapted from this recipe and from "Good Things" in the Martha Stewart Living February 2011 Issue
Makes 12 cups
2½ ounces bittersweet chocolate
1 cup peanut butter
1⅓ cups confectioners sugar
Melt your chocolate gently in a bowl set over a simmering pot of water. Turn off the heat but keep the bowl there so the chocolate doesn't firm up.
Put your paper mini-muffin cups in a tin to keep them from moving around. Gently holding down a paper cup with two fingers, brush the chocolate on the bottom and up the sides. Leave a little room at the top so it's easy to peel off the paper later. Refrigerate for 10 minutes, then repeat and refrigerate 10 more minutes.
Beat the peanut butter and confectioners sugar together in a mixer until smooth. For a fancier look, scrape the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a large star tip. Spoon or pipe the peanut butter into each cup, all the way to the top. Place the tin into the freezer for 15 minutes to firm up.
Working quickly and carefully, peel off the paper cups. Using a spoon, drizzle the remaining chocolate over each cup. Keep cool until serving.