A Homemade Halloween
October 7, 2011 § 12 Comments
People- I am a candy addict. I love it. All kinds. I don’t discriminate. I have an unhealthy weakness for those bin style candy stores, where I can scoop up as much candy as my heart desires. And despite the fact that every time I’m in one of these stores I promise myself I’ll savor the candy, only eat a few bites, the whole bag is gone in mere minutes and I’m left with a wretched (self-induced) stomach ache.
So given my track record, why make candy at home? Halloween, of course! And I’d like to think making my own candy, from scratch, justifies my eating it. Right? Yes? Great, thanks.
If you’ve never made homemade candy before, these peanut butter cups are a great way to start. They’re not too tricky and don’t involve screaming hot sugar. I happened to have these festive cupcake wrappers, making these little guys perfect to ring in the October holiday. And of course, because I just can’t make a dessert these days without topping it with sea salt- I sprinkled some on for a finishing touch. Enjoy!
Homemade Peanut Butter Cups slightly adapted from the Brown Eyed Baker
1/2 c creamy peanut butter
2 T unsalted butter
2 T brown sugar
one 11.5 oz bag milk chocolate chips
1/2 c plus 1 T powdered sugar
2 T shortening (or peanut butter)*
Fill a miniature muffin tin with wrappers, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper- set aside.
In a saucepan, melt the peanut butter, butter, brown sugar, and a pinch of salt, over low heat until combined. Take off the heat and add in the powder sugared, a 1/4 cup at a time. Stir well, and make sure the sugar is completely incorporated before adding more. Set aside to cool.
Place the chocolate chips, shortening, and a pinch of salt in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave at 50 percent power for 30 second intervals, stirring well after each set. Continue until chocolate is fully melted. Once melted, using a teaspoon, scoop the melted chocolate into the bottom of each cupcake wrapper. I found it helpful to cradle the wrapper in my hand, and then pour it in, to help disperse the chocolate. Once all cups are filled, set aside.
Take your peanut butter mixture, and using a teaspoon again, scoops out spoonfuls of peanut butter. Roll them into a ball and then flatten them slightly. You want to make sure the peanut butter disc is not too wide- it should be smaller than the ring of chocolate in the bottom of the cups, or else the chocolate won’t be able to encase the peanut butter fully. Place each disc on the lined baking sheet sit and let chill in the fridge for 15 minutes. Once chilled, place each disc inside a chocolate cup.
Lastly, take your remaining chocolate and melt again since it will likely have hardened. With the teaspoon, scoop chocolate over the peanut butter discs, using the back of the spoon to gently smooth out the chocolate and make sure it gets in all the crevices. As a finishing touch (if you like), sprinkle with a bit of sea salt. Set back in fridge for 30 minutes so the candy can completely harden. Store in the refrigerator or freezer.
*I read some other recipes that mixed peanut butter instead of shortening into the chocolate. I didn’t test it out, but if you don’t have shortening on hand, you could certainly try this.