Saturday, January 28, 2017

Vegan Peanut Butter Cups!

I have been meaning to post the recipe for this delicious treat for a few months now, but instead have just made it about three or four times and eaten way too many. That ends today!

I guess the most famous form of peanut butter cups is Reese's Pieces, but as we all know, they are definitely not vegan (unlike oreos) and way too sweet once you pass the age of 13. I have tried many different recipes for vegan peanut butter cups, and have settled on this, as the others were way too complicated. They are a perfect treat, and I make a bunch and keep them in the refrigerator or freezer in a container for easy access, safe keeping, and good ol' fashioned sharing.

What you need:
-1 cup of dark chocolate chips (make sure they are not pseudo-dark, aka milk chocolate in disguise). You can also use a dark chocolate bar or chocolate chunks/nibs instead
-1.5 cups natural and smooth peanut putter
-Small or medium cupcake/muffin wrappers (note: we had a lot of these in the house we rarely use so I felt okay using them, but I'm sure there's a beautiful and eco-friendly way to prepare these VS going out and buying wrappers. I once made this recipe into a huge chocolate/PB "cake" and that was also delicious but slightly hard to cut)
-Toppings (optional, but they make the PB cups so fancy and dressed up)

What to do:
-So we are going to double boil one cup of chocolate chips MIXED with a 1/2 cup of peanut butter. How do you double boil? I just added the mixture into a bowl and then poured hot water to a small pot, and placed the bowl on top at medium heat. This mixture will be the bottom and top of our cups:
-It takes a few minutes for this to become nice and smooth, just make sure to stay by it and stir it so everything melts. While it melts, do some prep work!
-All the chocolate chips should soon melt and the mixture should be smooth. I personally believe I need to taste-test it at this point "to make sure," but you do you:

-Use a spoon to put some in each and every wrapper. Use half of what you melted since you will use the rest of this mixture to cover them up. I transferred my cups to a tray to make moving them around easier:
-This will now have to cool, so if it's winter it should be okay leaving it around anywhere, but if it is summer, I would put it in the fridge to speed up the process. You will now melt the 1 cup of peanut butter, and I used the measuring cup I measured it in to boil it with VS using a new bowl (two birds...):
-As long as the initial chocolate/PB mix has hardened somewhat, you can add the peanut butter on top. Note: I love this recipe as is, but if you really want to make it taste exactly like the peanut butter cups you grew up with and are using natural peanut butter, you can add some salt to give it that extra pizzazz.
-Now you will let these set. I became distracted and left the room so when I returned (approximately 20 minutes after) they were fine. The remainder of the initial chocolate/PB mix will now be used to cover them up. Mine still had a good liquid consistency, but if yours has hardened, just warm it up using the same double boil method until it's a thinner consistency.
-Done! So now you can either put this tray in the fridge, or add some toppings to really UP your game. I picked a few and decorated them with extra chocolate chips, pistachio chunks, walnuts, almonds, and sprinkles. I used coconut flakes too but forgot to take a picture of that one aka I ate it:
I initially thought, as a result of the lack of added sugar and salt, that these would not really impress too many people, but they have been a huge hit with everyone--vegans and non-vegans alike! They are so delicious and creamy, and satisfy every craving you could possibly have. While they will definitely taste (and look) different than the standard Reese's Pieces version, your taste buds have probably matured a little since then anyway, and these are a perfect match for those upgraded taste buds:

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