Any guesses on what the most popular Halloween candy is? It’s not Snickers. Not Kit Kat, Hershey bars or even M&Ms. It may not be too surprising to learn that when someone got chocolate in H.B. Reese’s peanut butter way back in 1928, a star was born. With sales of nearly $510 million in 2013, peanut butter cups will be the most shared treat this Halloween. Although homemade treats aren’t approved for distribution to the ghosties and goblins that show up at our door, we’re making our own to enjoy this Halloween (once the doorbell stops ringing).
If you haven’t yet tried your hand at making peanut butter at home, this nearly-perfect marriage of fresh peanut butter and chocolate is reason enough to start. For those with peanut allergies or sending treats into classrooms declared “peanut-free zones,” this easy recipe also shines when made with nut butters like almond, pecan or walnut or sunflower seed butter. And without the preservatives found in store-bought candy, this homemade treat may not be quite guilt-free, but it comes close.
Nut Butter Cups
- 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
- 3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
- 1/2 cup peanut or other nut or seed butter
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
- 2 cups semisweet chocolate
- 1 tablespoon shortening
Line 12 muffin tins with cupcake liners and set aside
Heat chocolate and shortening in a double boiler or heat-safe bowl nestled over a pot of water over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until melted.
Pour enough melted chocolate into each cupcake liner to coat the bottom of cup (about a tablespoon) and place in refrigerator for 10 minutes to set.
Stir graham cracker crumbs and confectioner’s sugar together in a bowl.
Add peanut butter and butter and stir until thoroughly combined.
Using your fingers, roll a ball of peanut butter filling about the size of a large grape and press into a disc about 1/4 inch thick (if the filling is difficult to handle, refrigerate for 5 or ten minutes to stiffen).
Place a disc of peanut butter filling in the bottom of each cup. A narrow ring of chocolate should remain visible around the edge (if not, adjust size of filling disc).
Pour more melted chocolate into each cup to completely cover filling.
Refrigerate at least 30 minutes to set.