Peanut Butter Cups

April 24, 2010

OK, not exactly a Chris Kimball recipe, but Reese’s are my 11-year-old son’s favorite candy. So making a better Peanut Butter Cup at home was how I spent my Friday night.

Homemade Peanut Butter Cups are easy and fun to make. Plus they taste much better than the store-bought variety.

I mixed half dark chocolate and half milk chocolate to get a nicely balanced chocolate flavor. After your first bite you’ll realize that these use a much higher quality chocolate. As every Reese’s-lover knows, the filling is more than just peanut butter; so I added confectioners sugar for sweetness and powdered milk for texture.

I patted the peanut butter mixture into bottle-cap shaped discs, and froze them for 30 minutes. I melted the chocolate; put a spoonful of chocolate at the bottom of a mini-cup cake liner (1-5/8″ liners). Added a frozen disc of peanut butter. Topped off with another spoonful of melted chocolate.  Finally, I froze for 30 minutes to set them quickly.


  1. After finishing half the cups, the peanut butter discs started to get too soft and sticky. Next time I’ll purposefully work in 2 batches.
  2. The chocolate wasn’t runny, so I had to smooth each top off with a spoon.
  3. Because my supermarket only sells powdered milk in huge packages ($8 for 10-qts), I substituted non-dairy creamer ($2 for 11-oz). Next time I will look for “real” powdered milk ahead-of-time, rather than try to pick it up at the last-minute.
  4. These definitely have a richer chocolate flavor. Partially, that’s because of the dark chocolate, but also because my discs were hand-made (not perfect fitting), so I ended up using more chocolate (never a bad thing; just a note).
  5. Because I bought all the ingredients on sale, I was surprised that this recipe cost exactly what it costs to buy ready-made Reese’s.  Reason: Chocolate cost $4/lb and peanut butter only $1.50/lb, so my higher chocolate-to-peanut butter ratio was the main culprit.

Rating: 5-star.
Cost: $6. (makes 30-ounces, about 42 truffles)
How much work? Not a lot.
How big of a mess?  Low.
Started: 6:50 pm. Dessert Time:  8:11.


1-1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup nonfat dry (powdered) milk
1/3 cup powdered sugar
12-ounces milk chocolate
6-ounces dark chocolate
mini-cup cake liners (1-5/8 inch)

  1. In a medium bowl, mix together the peanut butter, dry milk, and sugar until combined; you should have a stiff mixture.
  2. Line 2 trays or baking sheets with wax paper.
  3. Divide mixture in half, then in half again, so that you have 4 equal globs of mixture. With each glob make 10 bottle cap shaped discs of peanut butter. Lay flat on wax paper lined tray.
  4. Freeze, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Work each disc free of wax paper, flip and continue freezing for 15 additional minutes.
  5. Melt the chocolate in a bowl set over simmering water.
  6. Working in batches of 10 or 20 at a time (keep the rest frozen until ready to coat), put small spoonful of melted chocolate into bottom of mini-cup cake liner. Insert a disc of peanut butter, push down gently to remove any air pockets. Put another small spoonful of melted chocolate on top to cover, working the top smooth to cover evenly.
  7. Let cool completely or won’t release from cup cake liners. (or freeze for 15-to-30 minutes).

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