How to Make Healthy Homemade Peanut Butter Cups
Every year around Easter, I always buy popular chocolates like Cadbury's Cremes, cute rabbit-shaped chocolate bars, and Reese's peanut butter cups. Although I don’t really celebrate the holiday, I still find myself participating by indulging in chocolate candies.
Now that I’ve learned how easy and healthy it is to make my own chocolate candy, there’s no turning back. As much as I still love the original Reese's Candy, I enjoy making healthy replicas of junk food.
I will show you how easy it is to make chocolate using only the healthiest ingredients on earth. The best thing about homemade candy is that you know exactly what goes into the candy.
Chocolate and peanut butter are like one of the best combinations in the world of desserts. When you substitute for dark chocolate you get to eat guilt-free knowing that you are putting antioxidants in your body.
What about the sugar? This recipe includes half a teaspoon of Stevia, which is a natural sweetener from the Stevia plant.
What about preservatives? None! That’s one of the benefits of making your own chocolate at home!
Is it complicated? No, it shouldn’t even be called a recipe because it doesn’t require any cooking skills. You just mix the ingredients together and pop it in the freezer.
I used to eat a lot of candy bars, especially almond joy and peanut butter cups. Now I just make a huge batch and keep it stocked in my refrigerator. The funny thing is, the commercially made candies don’t even appeal to me anymore.
What's the Special Ingredient?
The secret ingredient, one that is underrated, is raw cacao powder.
I’m sure you’ve heard about the health benefits of chocolate, but do you have any idea how healthy it really is? I’m not talking about the commercially made milk chocolate. I’m not even talking about dark chocolate, which by the way does have health benefits.
Cacao has more antioxidants than any other superfood tested, far exceeding red wine, blueberries, green tea, and Rooibos tea. Its ORAC value is 4x higher than green tea! Originating from South Africa, this superfood is raw, vegan, organic, and gluten-free.
All chocolate originates from the cacao (cocoa) bean. Cacao beans that are unprocessed are rich in nutrients. Let me introduce you to the closest source of cacao bean, cacao powder.
Cacao powder is basically the cacao bean that has the fat (cacao butter) removed. As you see in this recipe, cacao powder can be used to create chocolate by mixing it with a sweetener and healthy oil.
The original recipe was adapted from Kimmi Harris.
Please note that my recipe uses the healthiest possible ingredients, in terms of antioxidant levels. If you alter it by using a different ingredient, your candy will still taste great—minus a portion of the health benefits. Since it has raw cacao powder, it tastes more bitter. If you are not used to the taste, feel free to use cocoa powder. And if you're feeling lazy, just melt a chocolate bar for the bottom layer.
While I appreciate the originality of her recipe, I still like to alter it to the way I like it. The author used melted unsweetened chocolate pieces combined with honey. I used raw cacao to make the chocolate base. The more antioxidants, the better! I actually prefer cacao's deeper and slightly more bitter flavor.
For the sweetener, I only used a tiny bit of Stevia, a natural sweetener. You have the option of swapping it with honey or agave.
Bottom Chocolate Layer:
- 2 tbsp melted coconut oil
- 2 tbsp peanut butter (smooth)
- 1/4 cup cacao powder (or unprocessed cocoa powder)
- 2 tsp stevia (or honey)
Top Peanut Butter Layer:
- 2 Tbsp melted coconut oil
- 4 Tbsp smooth peanut butter
- 1 tsp stevia
Optional: 1/4 tsp of vanilla extract in each layer.
- Melt coconut oil, and honey in a sauce pan or double boiler. Add the cocoa powder and peanut butter and stir until all the ingredients are combined.
- Use a spoon to pour the chocolate mixture into mini muffin cups with liner. Put in the freezer for 10 minutes. **You can also use the mini silicone baking cups. I just think the cupcake liner looks closer to the original Reese's Peanut Butter cup.
- In the meantime, heat the top layer mixture in the microwave and mix.
- Remove the bottom chocolate layers from the freezer.
- Pour the peanut butter mixture over the chocolate layer. Place them back in the freezer for about 30 minutes, or until they're hard.
- Pour yourself a glass of milk and indulge in these peanut butter cups.
For the lazy version just melt your favorite chocolate bar over a saucepan and use that for the bottom layer.
© 2012 Kim Lam