When I lived in the States I was always tempted by the little packets of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups at the supermarket’s check out. I just love those crunchy milk chocolate cups filled with the soft peanut buttercream. On Halloween the little orange packets were often given to children during ‘Trick or Treating’. My children never really cared for them and when they emptied their huge bags of sweets on the table, the Reese’s peanut butter cups were disdainfully pushed aside. I could not bear to throw them away and enjoyed one (or two….) with my evening cup of coffee for weeks and weeks.
When I was making the traditional namaimo bar cookie from Canada the filling made me think of Reese’s. So I whisked a large dollop of smooth peanut butter through the classic filling. To my surprise the taste and the texture was very similar to that of the original peanut butter cups! So for my variation I used peanuts instead of almonds and made the cookies into little cup-sized shapes. I was very happy with the result and unfortunately my children were too…. I only managed to enjoy my cup of coffee with nostalgia for two evenings.
Chocolate peanut butter cups
For about 20 cookies
for the base
180 grams (¾ cup) unsalted butter + extra to grease the tin
25 grams (2 tbs) sugar
50 grams (6½ tbs) cocoa powder
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
160 grams (2 cups) graham cracker crumbs
30 grams (½ cup) peanuts
100 grams (1 cup) desiccated coconut
for the filling
200 grams (1 cup) unsalted butter
pinch of salt
6 tablespoons custard powder
250 milliliters (¾ cup) whipping cream
475 grams (3¼ cups) icing sugar
85 grams (¾ cup) peanut butter
for the topping
250 grams (8 oz) dark chocolate
20 grams (½ tbs) butter
30 grams (2 tbs) finely chopped peanuts
In a pan melt the butter with the sugar and stir in the cocoa, the egg, the salt and the vanilla extract.
In a food processor pulse the cookies and the peanuts into medium sized crumbs. They can be a bit uneven.
Mix the cookie crumbs, the peanut crumbs and the coconut with the butter mixture.
With an electric mixer beat the butter for the filling until soft and creamy. Add the custard powder, the cream and the icing sugar and beat carefully at low speed at first. Add the peanut butter and beat until light and creamy.
Melt the chocolate au bain-marie or in the microwave. Add the butter and mix well. Leave to cool slightly.
Line 20 mini muffin cups with pieces of cling film. Sprinkle some chopped peanuts in the cups and divide the chocolate mixture over the cups. Leave to set in the fridge for about 15 mins. Divide the peanut buttercream mixture over the cups and leave to cool in the fridge for about 30 mins.
Divide the mixture for the base over the cups and press carefully. Leave to cool in the fridge for another 30 mins. before taking the cookies out of the cups. Sprinkle on some extra chopped peanuts.
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