These peanut butter cups are hands down, my absolute favorite whole foods treat. They are amazing! But then I love peanut butter. When I make these, I have to hide them from my two youngest daughters because otherwise, they’ll get in the fridge and eat several without me knowing… yes, even my almost two-year-old does this. But I always know soon after the fact because she hass carob smeared all around her mouth. Just like her mamma!
Just in case you don’t know what some of these ingredients look like, here are mine all laid out on the counter for you. I buy my carob chips in bulk at the health food store or Winco for the best price. I’ll sometimes make half of my peanut butter cups with carob chips and the other half with white chocolate or chocolate chips(the sunspire brand uses cane juice and they don’t have trans fats). I try and always use the honey sweetened graham crackers, but those things are like gold…so expensive, so I also don’t let my kids just snack on them whenever they want. I get my Sucanat in bulk as well, which is that brown stuff in the clear plastic bag off to the right, though lately I’ve been using coconut sugar which is wonderful and which you can usually find on the baking aisle in most grocery stores; sometimes it’s out with the other sugars and sometimes it’s with the ‘healthier options’ for baking. Maple sugar is really yummy too, but heavens, it’s SO expensive! And I haven’t been able to find that one in bulk locally.
Once you’ve got everything out, go ahead and line your muffin tins with paper liners. I usually make 6 normal sized pb cups(or perhaps to some people, they’re extra large) and 12 mini ones. The mini ones are for my kids and the big ones are for me :). I’m generous like that. But hey, at least I share at all!
Next, you’ll want to grind up your graham crackers into really fine crumbs. I put mine in a gallon ziploc bag, close it tight and roll over it with my rolling pin, using a lot of pressure.They should all end up looking like the fine crumbs in the middle of the ziploc bag below.
You can set your bag aside and start warming up your butter in a small saucepan. Once it has melted, add the peanut butter, graham crackers and Sucanat. Once you mix it all together, take your saucepan off the heat and put it on a pot holder next to your muffin tins. Then you’ll start scooping about 2 Tbsp of this peanut butter mixture at a time into the muffin tins. If you’re using the mini muffins, you’ll use about 1 Tbsp per cup.
Next you’ll want to melt your carob/chocolate with your milk over medium heat. Make sure you continuously stir until it’s all melted. Take it off the heat, transfer it to your hot pad next to your muffin tins and spoon the chocolate mixture over each peanut butter cup. To finish it off, sprinkle some chopped nuts over top. I usually use peanuts or almonds because they’re fairly inexpensive. Once that’s done, put them in the fridge and allow them to set for at least 2 hours.
Peanut Butter Cups- adapted from Alicia Silverstone
Makes 12 regular muffin sized pb cups or 24 mini cups
½ c butter (earth balance if you’re doing vegan)
¾ c crunchy peanut butter (unsweetened and unsalted)
¾ c graham cracker crumbs or 10 graham cracker squares(use ones that are naturally sweetened or low in sugar)
¼ c coconut sugar, Sucanat, maple sugar or other granulated sweetener
3/4 c grain-sweetened carob chips or other chocolate chips*
¼ c milk (cow, almond, soy, rice etc)
¼ c chopped pecans, almonds or peanuts
Fill a 12 cup muffin tin with paper liners or you can do 12 mini and 6 regular(or another similar combination). Set aside.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the peanut butter, graham cracker crumbs, and sugar and mix well. Remove the mixture from the heat. Evenly divide the mixture, approximately 2 Tbsp per cup, among the muffin cups.
Combine the chocolate and milk in another pan. Stir over medium heat until the chocolate has melted. Spoon the chocolate evenly over the peanut butter mixture. Top with chopped nuts. Place in the fridge to set for at least 2 hours before serving.
*non dairy carob if you’re vegan. I sometimes do half carob chips and half white chocolate chips. When I do it that way, I use two pans and do half the chocolate/milk recipe in each pan using white chocolate chips in one and carob chips in the other.