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Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

There are some types of candy that adults tend to outgrow. (You don’t see many grown-ups clutching cones of cotton candy at the county fair, for example.) Chocolate peanut butter cups, however, endure. The blend of milk chocolate and creamy peanut butter is a classic flavor combo that appeals to palates of all ages. Although there are plenty of store-bought versions, nothing tops  homemade.

peanut butter cups
  • Yield: 24 candies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup smooth peanut butter, preferably Skippy, not all-natural
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon table salt
  • 1 cup confectioner's sugar, sifted if lumpy
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar
  • 33 ounces milk chocolate, chopped or chips
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening

Steps:

  1. Step 1

    Line two 12-cup muffin pans with paper liners. Set aside.

  2. Step 2

    Combine the peanut butter, unsalted butter, and salt in a microwave-safe bowl and heat on high power in 20 second bursts, stirring after each one, until melted and smooth. Alternatively, combine in a heat-proof bowl suspended over a pot of simmering water, stirring occasionally until melted.

  3. Step 3

    Add the sugars and stir until melted and smooth. Using a 1½ tablespoon cookie scoop or measuring spoons, scoop the peanut butter mixture and place on a parchment-lined sheet pan. The mixture will be soft, but it should hold its shape in a little blob.

  4. Step 4

    Place in the freezer until firm, about 30 minutes. Remove from the freezer, flip over the peanut butter blobs and flatten each one slightly into a disc, about the size of the bottom of your paper liner. Place back in the freezer.

  5. Step 5

    Melt the chocolate and shortening as you did the peanut butter mixture (either in a microwave or a makeshift double boiler) until smooth.

  6. Step 6

    Place 1½ tablespoons of melted chocolate in the bottom of each cup, banging the pan gently after every three cups to flatten the chocolate. Place a peanut butter disc on top of the chocolate, and add a rounded 1½ tablespoons of chocolate on top—again, gently banging the pan after every three cups for a smooth chocolate top. If the chocolate firms up while you are working, simply re-melt it.

  7. Step 7

    Sprinkle with flaky sea salt, if you so desire, and place back in the freezer to set up, about 30 minutes.