Big announcement everyone: I’m pregnant with my second child! Second big announcement: I crave peanut butter cups all day, every day!
However, here in Costa Rica, Reese’s aren’t that easy to find. Add the fact that we live in a pretty remote area and it’s even more impossible for me to get my fix . . . which means it’s also impossible for my husband to get any peace.
While I don’t have access to American candy bars, I do have access to the good ol’ Internet, and it has become my savior. In the last week I have whipped up two batches of delicious, homemade peanut butter cups that are also a great deal healthier than the commercial variety. The good news? These babies have only five ingredients, and I bet you have all of them on hand.
Peanut Butter Cups de la Casa
Makes 12 treats in a regular-sized muffin tin or 24 in a small muffin tin
— 6 tablespoons coconut oil
— 4 tablespoons sweetener of choice (I recommend honey or maple syrup)
— 6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
— 1 cup peanut butter or nut butter of choice
— 1 teaspoon of vanilla
— 1 muffin tin or silicon mold
In a small saucepan over medium low heat, melt the coconut oil with your sweetener, but do not boil. When the coconut oil is melted turn off the heat and add the cocoa, stirring until combined.
In a medium bowl stir together the peanut butter and the vanilla.
From here you have two options on how to proceed:
The Gourmet Way:
Take your muffin tin (large or small) and drizzle enough of the chocolate mixture to cover the bottom of the tin. I recommend using muffin liners for easier removal and serving later. Then gently add about 1 tablespoon of the peanut butter to the center of your chocolate base. Press down gently to flatten it out a bit.
Drizzle more chocolate on top of the peanut butter until the peanut butter is completely covered. Repeat with the remaining chocolates and freeze until solid—about an hour.
Note: if the chocolate mixture becomes thick and chunky you will want to heat it gently until the coconut oil melts again.
The Easy Way:
Add the peanut butter and vanilla mixture to the chocolate mixture and stir until combined. Don’t over mix as the chocolate may become grainy.
Put 1-2 tablespoons of the gooey goodness into each muffin cup and freeze until solid. Because the peanut butter is now mixed in with the coconut oil this should only take about 30 minutes.
Once your treats have frozen you can enjoy them with abandon! You will, however, want to keep them in the freezer because as soon as the coconut oil begins to warm up to room temperature everything will start to melt.
I have made these both the gourmet and the easy way and I have to say I think I prefer the easy way. Sure the gourmet way is more impressive but the easy way is faster to make and faster to freeze. And guess what? It tastes exactly the same as the gourmet way.
You can also get creative—one time I threw in a handful of craisins to the mix. You could also press in some mixed nuts or other dried berries to the top of the chocolate rounds for a pretty look.
Darla Antoine is an enrolled member of the Okanagan Indian Band in British Columbia and grew up in Eastern Washington State. For three years, she worked as a newspaper reporter in the Midwest, reporting on issues relevant to the Native and Hispanic communities, and most recently served as a producer for Native America Calling. In 2011, she moved to Costa Rica, where she currently lives with her husband and their infant son. She lives on an organic and sustainable farm in the “cloud forest”—the highlands of Costa Rica, 9,000 feet above sea level. Due to the high elevation, the conditions for farming and gardening are similar to that of the Pacific Northwest—cold and rainy for most of the year with a short growing season. Antoine has an herb garden, green house, a bee hive, cows, a goat, and two trout ponds stocked with hundreds of rainbow trout.