by Judy Kim
Chocolate Nut Butter Cups
Yield: 20-24 pieces
When I was a little kid, I remember two things about my older brother Ed. One, he could make most anything in a toaster oven, everything from frozen french bread pizzas to french fries. I thought he was a genius! But it gets better. Two, he made chocolate candies, specifically truffles. It looked like a mad scientist's laboratory. He would melt all different kinds of chocolates, fill them with a variety of delicious fillings and then roll them in lots of different garnishes. They were a work of art. I've never been one to make candy, but I've always wanted to. I've generally been a savory vs sweet lover. But I've been developing a passion for baking and it's time that I took on candy making.
When Ghirardelli asked me and a group of fellow Editors at feedfeed to develop a recipe using their chocolate and share our "Sweetest Secret", I was inspired by my brother's love to craft a beautiful individual chocolate candy.
The concept of chocolate candy usually points me in the direction of classic peanut butter cups. But in addition to this classic, I also wanted to try a twist using another nut butter, so here comes the new version: Chocolate Pecan Butter Cups. Say that ten times fast! Note: I use two different types of chocolate in this recipe, but feel free to simplify the recipe by using dark or milk chocolate. Just note that dark chocolate is more likely to hold its shape, which is why I used it on the bottom layer.
10 oz bag of Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate chips, 60% cacao
11.5 oz bag of Ghirardelli milk chocolate chips
Variation 1: peanut butter cups:
1 cup smooth peanut butter
3 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup confectioners sugar, sifted
1/4 tsp salt
Variation 2: pecan butter cups:
1 cup toasted pecans + plus additional pecans for garnish
For Classic Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups:
- In a medium bowl, combine peanut butter, butter, sugar and salt. Mix with a hand held mixer and beat on medium low speed until well blended. Transfer nut mixture into a pastry bag or into a plastic ziplock bag with 1/4 " of the corner cut off to mimic a pastry bag. Set bag aside.
- Line two standard 12 cup muffin tins with paper liners. Set up a double boiler to melt the chocolate. Since this recipe calls for 2 different types of chocolate, you need 2 pyrex or metal bowls that will fit over a medium sauce pan filled with simmering water. If you want to simplify the recipe, just combine both chocolate types into one bowl or select one type of chocolate.
- First melt the dark chocolate for the bottom layer. The milk chocolate will the top layer with a drizzle of dark chocolate, so reserve a little bit of dark chocolate. Spoon about 1 tbsp of dark chocolate into each muffin cup. After you add the dark chocolate, swirl the pan to even out the chocolate. Transfer to freezer until it's set, 10-15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, place the second bowl over double boiler to melt milk chocolate. Check to ensure there is still water in the sauce pan.
- Remove the muffin tins from the freezer and pipe approximately 1 tbsp of peanut butter evenly over the cold dark chocolate. Spoon 1 tbsp of milk chocolate over the peanut butter. Smooth out the chocolate with a spoon. Transfer muffin tin back to the freezer for about 10-15 minutes.
- Return bowl of remaining dark chocolate back to the double boiler. Before drizzling chocolate, place muffin tins over parchment paper or papertowels for easy clean up. Using a fork, drizzle dark chocolate over the top of the milk chocolate layer. Return to freezer for 5 minutes.
- The total quantity will vary depending on the amount of chocolate you choose for each layer.
For Chocolate Pecan Butter Cups:
- In place of peanut butter, replace it with homemade pecan butter. Place pecans into a small food processor (you can use a blender, but I find a food processor to be faster) and start with short pulses. Then blend about 1 minute till smooth.
- Add butter, sugar and salt and blend until combined.
- Replace pecan butter in place of peanut butter and follow same directions.
- Option: Instead of drizzing chocolate on top of final layer, place one whole pecan on top of milk chocolate before it sets, then transfer to the freezer.
•• Chocolate nut butter cups can be kept in the freezer.