Homemade Peanut Butter Cups

You want some of this?

PB Cups

I usually don’t blog about my cooking exploits, but I’ve gotten so many requests for my homemade peanut butter cups recipe that I thought I’d share it here on Nocturnal Knits. These are always a big hit at parties and they also make nice little gifts in a pinch. One year, I made these as holiday gifts for the office and wrapped up 3 or 4 in colorful cellophane with a bow. The only person who didn’t love it was a coworker with a severe peanut allergy… so… you know, ask before you give 🙂

Without further ado…

Laura’s Homemade Peanut Butter Cups
(makes about 50 mini cups)

I should preface by saying all these measurements are estimates. I just kinda throw these things together and hope for the best — it’s not an exact science!

SHELL:

FILLING:

  • 8 oz jar smooth peanut butter (I use Laura Scudder’s Organic)
  • ~1/3 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 stick (8 Tbsp) butter
  • 1/4 cup (or more, to taste) powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt (optional) to taste

ETC:

  • Sheet pan lined with foil (just for cleanliness and easy transportation to/from the fridge)
  • ~100 mini Muffin/Cupcake liners (Or twice the number you want to make. I used some miniature ones I found at Ikea (see below), but any size will do.)

Ikea cupcake liners

First, prepare the filling. Heat all the filling ingredients together in a small pot on medium heat. Let simmer, stirring constantly, for a few minutes until smooth. Set filling aside and let cool while you prep the chocolate shell.

Lay out all your muffin liners on a sheet pan. I double-up my liners ’cause I find it makes filling easier.

Set up a double-boiler (just a pan with a couple inches of boiling water and a heat-proof bowl placed on top), and melt your chocolate chips with the shortening. Once all melted and stirred together, make your base shell by dropping in about a teaspoon of melted chocolate and swirling it around so it coats the bottom and all sides of the muffin liner. Some people do this with a pasty brush, but I find that’s more trouble than it’s worth. I just drop in the chocolate, then pick up the cup and rotate it around until it’s all covered. Repeat with all your liners and then place in freezer to set, about 5 minutes.

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If you like a thicker chocolate shell, repeat the above step one more time before filling. (My pictures show a single layer of chocolate.)

While the base sets, fill a pastry bag (or, a gallon-size ziplock bag) with your filling. An easy way to do this is to set the bag into a small bowl (or liquid measuring cup, as shown) and flip the top of the bag over the edges. This way it’s harder to miss the bag and end up with sticky goo all over your kitchen counters.

Fill the bag

Take the shells out of the freezer and cut the tip off the end of the pastry bag. Squeeze out a dollop into each cup, then give the pan a gentle shake to even out the filling. Stick the pan back into the freezer for about 5 minutes to set the filling. Now is a good time to clean up your peanut butter pan, etc.

Filled cups

Once the filling has set (it doesn’t need to be frozen solid, just firm), bring the pan back out and drop another tsp or so of chocolate on top and swirl to cover the filling. Do this with each cup and then stick into the fridge. (You can repeat this process a second time for a thicker shell.) Keep refrigerated until it’s time to serve, but you can stack these into towers to save space once the top chocolate is set, about 20 minutes.

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