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dark chocolate peanut butter cups

i don’t want to brag, but my college roommates were pretty lucky. even before i started baking, my mom would send care packages stocked with brownies, chocolate chip cookies, candy and juice boxes. that isn’t to say i wasn’t completely lucky myself.

i had one roommate whose mother worked for a very popular candy company (whose name shall remain nameless). she actually worked her way up from taste tester. her care packages were unlike any other – instead of candy bars, we got entire candy displays. want a great way to make some new friends? let them in on the secret that you have 200 score bars [1] just waiting to be eaten. did i just give away what company she works for? whoops.

we got a lot of great treats, including mystery candies in silver packages marked “prototype.” by far the best thing we had, though, were dark chocolate reese’s cups. there’s a fact you should know at this point: chocolate and peanut butter are the greatest combination to have ever happened. now that that’s out of the way, you can know this: dark chocolate and peanut butter is the most decadent combination to have ever happened.

i believe reese’s sold these for a very limited time, but i never actually saw them in stores. for years, i’ve been craving them, hoping they would make a triumphant return, but it looks like i’ll have to take things into my own hands. the recipe is dead simple and the finished cups will basically knock you on your butt. making your own candy sounds like a daunting task, but once you master these, soon you’ll be making up batches for your friends and family, who will shower you with gifts and admiration. hey, you deserve it.

dark chocolate peanut butter cups
makes 12-16 mini peanut butter cups.

12 oz bittersweet chocolate (60-70% cocoa)
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup crushed graham crackers

1. in a bowl, mix together the peanut butter, confectioners’ sugar and graham crackers. set aside.

2. in a double boiler, carefully melt the chocolate  (set a metal bowl on top of a saucepan with boiling water). alternatively, you can microwave the chocolate in short bursts.

3. using a pastry brush or a clean paintbrush, brush the melted chocolate on the bottom and sides of mini cupcake liners. it’s helpful to stack some the liners together to give more support. when in doubt, add more chocolate, since this will be the base for your candy. place the cupcake liners on a plate or in a cupcake tin and place in the freezer for 10 minutes.

4. remove the liners from the freezer, and place about one teaspoon of the peanut butter mixture in each cup. press down a bit with a spoon to spread. spoon more melted chocolate on top of each cup.

5. place the peanut butter cups back in the freezer for another 15 minutes to set. eat cold or let warm to room temperature before serving.