My husband’s favorite candy is Reese’s peanut butter cups. He absolutely loves them - plain, mixed in a dessert, or blended into a milkshake. A few weeks ago I stuffed some brownies with peanut butter cups and he went nuts over them. After buying a package of Reese’s to go into the brownies I realized how expensive they were and that I could probably just make them myself.
So I set out to try and make some homemade Reese’s peanut butter cups and was so excited when they turned out so well. In fact, my husband said they were the best peanut butter cups he’d ever had. I guess I’ll be making this recipe quite often! And I’m okay with that - because by making them, I also get to “sneak” a few of the ingredients - chocolate chips and peanut butter.
For these homemade peanut butter cups, you don’t need any special candy molds. I wanted to make sure this was a recipe that didn’t require a whole bunch of random kitchen gadgets to make. You will, however, need a miniature muffin tin, but I think those are a lot easier to find than candy molds made specifically for peanut butter cups. And if you are anything like me, you already have a miniature muffin tin and use it all the time. I love miniature desserts and am constantly using my miniature muffin tin!
To get the signature “ridging” along the sides of the peanut butter cups, you will need some miniature muffin liners. This recipe can be made without them, but using the muffin liners makes these easier to remove and makes them look more authentic to a Reese’s peanut butter cup.
So to get started, fill up all of the cavities of your miniature muffin tin with liners. Now it’s time to melt the chocolate! I separated the milk chocolate into two batches – melting one cup at a time. I use vegetable oil to thin out the chocolate, but you could also use shortening. When melting chocolate, I have found the most success in the microwave. That said, it can be burned and ruined very easily. If you are patient and stir frequently, you can save it from being burned. I like to microwave it for 30 seconds and then stir for at least 30 seconds. A lot of melting will happen outside of the microwave, it just requires patience for that melting to happen.
If it starts to harden before you are finished, just microwave it for another 5-10 seconds and add a little bit more vegetable oil if needed. Pour a little bit of the melted chocolate into the bottom of all of the molds. Next comes the center filling – the peanut butter.
For the peanut butter center, you’ll mix together peanut butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla. It will look too powdery and be hard to stir at first, but keep at it. Continue stirring and smashing the peanut butter and eventually you will get a thick peanut butter dough.
Here’s where self-control is going to have to kick in. You’ll pinch off little bits of the dough and roll it into 12 small and equal balls. Flatten the peanut butter balls a little and stick them on top of the melted chocolate mixture. Melt the rest of the chocolate and pour an even amount on top. Chill until they are set up and then you can enjoy them!
You can eat these plain or mix in them in a favorite dessert (I recommend brownies!)