I think that it’s possible that I out did Milton Hershey, well his buddy Mr. Reese, with this one. Sorry old pal, but I recreated heaven and swirled it right into the center of a peanut butter cup…. I really didn’t think I had it in me because the precision required for candy making was never really my thing. However, the time I spent taking each step slowly and making sure everything was the proper texture and consistency was time well spent. I guess credit to my lack of confidence because when I bit into my little creations, I catapulted through all things real into a place where things that don’t exist, actually exist. Like, better than heaven maybe?
Actually. I am not even supposed to eat peanut butter. There’s a perfect testimonial…. These candies are so good, I risked my health for them. I might try to create an almond butter cup next, so that I don’t have to fight the battle with my Tums army after enjoying the 2,3, or maybe 5 that I taste tested that day.
Setting the Almond Butter cups aside, as I am getting distracted plotting how to make those happen, I would love to share the recipe I used for these candies. It is not a recipe I came up with, all credit goes to Tyler Florence, but I did adapt it slightly.
Perfect Peanut Butter Cups
This recipe involves freezing and refrigeration so make the space.
Yields 24 minis
- 1 lb semisweet or milk chocolate broken into pieces
- 1 cup creamy natural peanut butter (sweetened/salted)
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 tablespoons blue Agave sweetener
- 1 cup whipped heavy cream
1. Prepare the muffin tins, as I said the recipe yields 24 minis so prepare accordingly. If you don’t have mini muffin tins, you can use a normal size tray, the mini cups just will be slightly more free form.
2. Take the pound of chocolate broken up and place it in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave it for 60 seconds, stir, and continue to microwave it in 25 second increments until it is just smooth and glossy.
3. Using this melted chocolate take a small spoon and dab a bit of chocolate on each mini muffin cup to affix it to the base of the muffin tin. Just a drop will do and then stick it firmly to the center of each space. Once every space is filled, lightly spray non-stick baking spray so that each cup is sufficiently covered. This will make removal of the wrapper easier…
4. If you have a pastry brush, awesome, if not you can use a child size spoon and take a tablespoon of melted chocolate and use it to properly coat the entire wrapper. You should see no paper once the chocolate is evenly spread…. Place both trays of chocolate covered cups in the freezer until the filling is prepared.
5. This is the best part, the peanut butter mousse filling… Take the cup of whipping cream and using a mixer, whip it until it is thick and firmed up.
6. In a larger bowl, combine the peanut butter and the warm water and blend it until thick and a light color brown. Using a whisk start to combine in the honey and blue agave until spread evenly throughout the mix.
7. Take a spatula and slow fold together the whipped cream and the peanut butter mixture. Don’t think you messed up if the combination seems pretty white from the whipping cream, it will look like a marble brownie, all swirled up, when properly mixed.
8. If a pastry bag with a regular piping tip is something you are blessed to have in the kitchen, scoop the mousse into the prepped bag, if not, cut a half an inch off the corner of a Ziploc bag and load it up with the mousse. The same principle of piping in the mousse will happen with either option… frankly the Ziploc bag is a no mess, no fuss, throw away option.
9. Pipe the mousse into each frozen cup, to the right height so that a covering can be placed over each mini.
10. The trays will need to go back in the freezer for about 10 to 15 minutes so that the mousse has time to properly set up. If it isn’t set, it could be become difficult to put a top to finish off the cup.
11. Before you spoon the rest of the chocolate proportionately over each frozen mousse filled candy, make sure it is smooth enough; it can always go back in the microwave for a quick zap.
12. Use the spoon to cover the top of each cup, yes you can get fancy with it so they look nice and swirly…
13. If you would like some extra flavor, and to add a unique quality to each morsel, you can sprinkle the tops of the cups with crushed peanuts, crushed Reese pieces, or even crushed pretzels (salty and sweet.. what’s better?!)
14. Once each mini has been topped off, the trays can go back in the freezer for 20 minutes, until the tops are hard and fully set. From this point on, unless they are all eaten straight from the freezer, keeping them in the fridge is a perfectly fine option….
Now really, what’s sweeter than peanut butter and chocolate? Mr. Milton got it right when he started producing the Mr. Reese’s cup, but adding the combination of the honey and the agave, for an understated sweetness, with the cold chocolate has a smoothness that something mass-produced just will never have. Franchise restaurants and dessert chains might be on every other corner these days, but when it comes down to it, when homemade is done right, there is no competition for flavor. Tyler Florence combined the perfect proportions of all of the great flavors flowing through the Hershey factory with this recipe…. and having it come from your kitchen, I promise you won’t spend another 79 center on that orange and brown label again!
And hey, another testimonial on this creation’s greatness……… They were so good, they never even got a final product photo shoot before they were all snuck off the plate. So their beauty will just have to remain a secret until the day you see them all tucked together on a plate on your kitchen counter.