These homemade peanut butter cups are truly perfect! This recipe shows you how to temper chocolate to get a glossy sheen, and make a mouthwatering peanut butter filling.
- 1/3 cup unsweetened peanut butter
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon powdered sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 8 ounces high quality semisweet chocolate baking bar*
- Chunky sea salt, for the garnish
Make the peanut butter filling:
- In a small bowl, stir together the peanut butter, maple syrup, powdered sugar, allspice, and vanilla until fully combined into a sticky mixture. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Divide the mixture into 18 even pieces, about 1 scant teaspoon each, onto the parchment paper. Then roll each peanut butter piece in your hands into a ball and flatten the top so it forms a disc. Make them as even as you can (see the photo).
- Test the size in a mini muffin cup to make sure that the peanut butter disc is just narrower than the size of the circle at the bottom, so that the chocolate will fully cover it. Set aside the peanut butter.
Line a mini muffin tin with 18 mini muffin wrappers.
Temper the chocolate (works well with 2 people! It sounds complicated but only takes about 5 to 10 minutes):
- Break the chocolate bars into small pieces.
- Start a small saucepan of barely simmering water.
- In a heat-proof bowl that is completely dry that will fit over the pan of simmering water, add about 2/3 of the chocolate pieces (we used a small metal bowl). Make sure not to get any water into the chocolate, since it will cause the chocolate to seize up! (There are fixes for siezed chocolate but it’s not pretty.) You’ll hold the bowl with the chocolate above the other saucepan with boiling water to create a double boiler (or you can use a double boiler if you have one!). Place a towel on counter next to the stove so that you can transfer the bowl to the counter as necessary and avoid any water getting into the bowl.
- Hold the bowl of chocolate over the simmering water. Allow the chocolate to melt a bit, then gently stir with a spatula until the chocolate fully melts and warms to 115°F. Use a quick-read digital thermometer to check the temperature often; the chocolate will heat quickly at the end.
- Once the chocolate is at 115°F, immediately remove it from the burner onto the towel. Add the remaining 1/3 of the unmelted chocolate (called seed chocolate) and stir constantly until it melts and the chocolate temperature falls to 84°F. Be very precise about the temperature, checking with the candy thermometer every so often.
- Here’s the important part: When the chocolate is 84°F, return the bowl of chocolate to above the pan of simmering water, and bring it back to 90-91°F. Keep checking with the quick-read digital thermometer until it is 91°F, then remove from the heat immediately.**
Place the tempered chocolate into the mini muffin tin:
- Working as quickly as possible, place about a heaping 1/4 teaspoon in the bottom of each mini muffin cup. Use the measuring spoon to spread the chocolate into a thin circle on the bottom. Bang the pan onto the counter a few times so that the chocolate evenly spreads.
- Continuing to work quickly, place the peanut butter discs into the centers of the chocolate, being as exact as possible.
- Then, pour about 1 teaspoon of chocolate onto the tops of all 18 cups so that the chocolate fills in around it to make a chocolate cup. If the chocolate looks like it’s starting to firm up, you can return it to above the hot water and stir for just a minute to heat it back up. Keep working to evenly divide the remaining chocolate between the cups. Then bang the pan several times against the counter so that the chocolate spreads evenly and the tops are level.
Refrigerate for 3 minutes, then remove the tray and sprinkle the top of each cup with a tiny bit of sea salt. Continue to refrigerate for about 15 to 25 minutes until the chocolate is hardened. Store refrigerated.
*We’ve customized these tempering instructions for semisweet chocolate: the timing may be different for other types of chocolate. If you want to use vegan chocolate, do so at your own risk: we cannot speak to how to temper vegan chocolate!
*DO NOT GO OVER 93°F or the chocolate will have to be fully re-tempered. To retemper the chocolate, you’d have to heat back up to 115°F and add extra seed chocolate, following the same instructions. So, try to be very precise about the temperature to ensure the most consistent chocolate!
Keywords: Homemade peanut butter cups, How to temper chocolate, How to make peanut butter cups, Chocolate, Peanut Butter, Dessert