Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

11cChocPeanutButterCupsbfLOWhen I opened up the Sunday Parade Supplement a few weeks back and came across this recipe from Alicia Silverstone, I knew I was gonna be trying it: chocolate and peanut butter and graham crackers and dairy free (if you choose your chocolate wisely)?

There is milk and butter involved, but I still had a good bit of vanilla soy milk in the fridge and some Earth Balance Buttery Stick things, so all was good on that front, time to make some peanut butter cups.

•1/2 cup buttery spread
•3/4 cup crunchy peanut butter
•3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
(10 squares)
•1/4 cup sugar
•1 cup dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips
•1/4 cup soy milk
•1/4 cup chopped nuts – I used pecans

02aGrahamCrackersbfLOA couple of notes:
First: The Ghiradelli chips in the picture are NOT dairy-free; I used up the last of my Guittard chips which are, and rounded off with a few of these to make a full cup. Rich isn’t totally lactose intolerant, he just does a lot better on a very limited amount of well-chosen dairy.

Second: These are wicked good, but I thought the ratio of chocolate to peanut butter was off – next time I plan on doubling the chocolate and soy milk.

03StirInCrackersbfLONotes taken and crackers crushed, let’s make us some treats!

Melt the butter in a small-ish saucepan over medium heat (not to worry, this won’t be a repeat of the root beer ice cream, a small saucepan is fine here); then stir in the peanut butter, cracker crumbs, and sugar (ermmm, I guess I should also note that Ms. Silverstone used maple sugar (not syrup) to sweeten her mixture, but I have no objection 04PeanutButterMixedbfLOto plain old granulated, so that’s what I used).

Once the mixture has come together – the peanut butter melts into the buttery spread and takes the craker crumbs and sugar with it, remove the pan from the heat.

05aPBMuffinCupsbfLOOK, another small divergence from Ms. Silverstone and the no-doubt nice folk at Parade magazine; the recipe called for spooning two tablespoons of the peanut butter mixture into twelve paper-lined muffin cups. I had some left over, four tablespoons, to be precise; which works out kinda well, if you think about it – because there are three teaspoons to a tablespoon; so just plan on adding 2 tablespoons and 1 teaspoon of the peanut butter mixture to each paper-lined muffin cup and all will be well. I will confess that I did not realise myself how neatly it all worked out until just now, so I just added an extra tablespoon to four of the cups.

Sometimes a bit of quiet reflection is a good thing.

06bChocChipsAddSoyMilkbfLOOK, peanut butter filling crisis resolved, on to the chocolate.

Pour the soy milk over the chocolate chips in a ‘wave-safe container and hit 30 seconds on the machine.

Pull it out and give it a stir – it’ll be lumpy, no worries – then back in the ‘wave for another 30 seconds and another stir.

08bChocMuffinCupbfLOOne last burst of 10 or 15 seconds shoult do it, remove the chocolate and soy milk mixture from the wave, give it a good stir, then top each peanut butter cup with that dark, chocolate-y goodness.

You can kinda see what I mean about the amount of chocolate being skimpy.

Definitely double the chips and the soy milk, tho’ your ‘wave melting time may need to be adjusted.

09bAddPecansbfLONow, the final bit, sprinkle each cup with crushed nuts – I also thought that 1/4 cup was a bit light, so probably used 1/2 cup total chopped pecans.

That’s it!

About two hours in the fridge to firm them up and you are good to go with a home made, dairy-free treat.

We had some friends over for pizza and movie night, and these were a pretty big hit – tho’ I believe the whoopie pies (in the background above) were slightly more popular. Oh, I converted them to dairy-free as well, with pretty decent results. Check it out, tomorrow…

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