One of the easiest – and tastiest – candies to make at home is chocolate peanut butter cups. You can use anything from a mini muffin tin to little candy wrappers, which are sold at craft stores, to shape the chocolate. Once the chocolate is set, all you need to do is pipe in a peanut butter filling, cover the open end with more chocolate and you’re all set. The idea is open to all kinds of variations and, much like regular chocolate companies, I decided to treat myself to an Easter edition of this treat!
I used some small plastic Easter eggs (about 2-inches high) as molds for these candies. Since I wanted a relatively sturdy, I used a small spoon to spread melted chocolate around the sides of the eggs, while I might have used a small brush for smaller candies. The shells were chilled, then I piped a peanut butter filling into the middle before sealing them up with more melted chocolate. The finished chocolates came out as half-eggs, but were easily sandwiched together by using a hot knife (butter knife held over the stove) to smooth the flat ends and soften the chocolate, allowing me to stick them together.
I used dark chocolate for these eggs, although milk and/or semisweet will work well, too. I also used natural, salted peanut butter for the centers. If your peanut butter is not salted or is on the sweet side, add a pinch of salt to the filling to balance the flavors. The number of eggs you get depends on the size of your molds, so keep that in mind if you want to create a specific number of chocolate peanut butter eggs.
Homemade Peanut Butter-Filled Chocolate Easter Eggs
1 1/2 cups chopped dark chocolate (or semisweet chocolate)
1 cup crunchy organic/natural peanut butter
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
generous pinch salt (optional)
Get out 8 small (2-in. high) plastic eggs. Clean and dry if necessary, but there is no need to grease them.
Melt 1 cup of the dark chocolate, using a microwave-safe bowl and cooking it in short (45 second) intervals, stirring frequently, until very smooth. Use a small spoon to pour a little chocolate into each plastic egg. Use the spoon to push the chocolate around and “paint” the chocolate up the sides of each egg.
Chill candy shells until set, about 20 minutes.
In a small bowl, stir together peanut butter, confectioners’ sugar and salt. When the mixture has come together, heat it in the microwave (again in short intervals, stirring frequently), until it is very, very soft. Working carefully with the hot filling, use a small spoon to fill the cavity of each prepared egg. Chill again for approx 30 minutes, or until set.
Melt all remaining chocolate and, when the peanut butter fillings are cool and firm, to each egg off with chocolate to create a flat edge. Chill until set.
Eggs can be popped out of their shells before serving. If you want to sandwich the together into full eggs, heat a butter knife over the stove and use the hot, flat side to melt the chocolate on the base of each egg-half, creating a smooth side with melty chocolate. Repeat process for matching egg half. Sandwich together and let sit for a minute until set.
Makes approx 8 eggs (16 pieces)
Makes 2 dozen.