Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours and 30 minutes
Growing up, I always loved peanut butter and would take a big spoonful of it just to snack on between meals. Naturally, combining peanut butter with chocolate is a match made in heaven. Peanut butter cups were, and still are, one of my favorite sweet treats so, of course, I knew I had to make this recipe. Let me tell you, it exceeded my wildest expectations.
This is a no-bake treat, and you really only need 4 ingredients for this recipe; ones that you probably already have in your pantry. The best part is that it's gluten-free and you can make it dairy-free as well! So this is perfect for your friends who can't eat gluten or dairy.
What kind of chocolate to use?
The best type of chocolate to use is chocolate chips. When making a peanut butter cup, you need the bottom and the top to be layered with melted chocolate. Use your favorite chocolate! I love semi-sweet chocolate the best, but feel free to use milk or dark chocolate, even white chocolate works perfectly.
What kind of peanut butter to use?
I recommend using creamy peanut butter. Of course, use your favorite. If you prefer crunchy style peanut butter, it will work in this recipe, you just won't get the smooth center that you know and love from a peanut butter cup.
How to melt chocolate:
There are a couple of ways to melt chocolate. You can either use the double boiler method, also known as a bain-marie, or the microwave. The double boiler is definitely the safest way to melt the chocolate, but the microwave is the fastest and easiest. It really depends on your preference at the time. If I'm in a rush, I use the microwave, but if I have a little extra time, I always prefer using a double boiler.
When using the microwave, you want to make sure you don't just stick the chocolate in there for a minute and hope for the best. Nope, that won't work. Add the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl, and heat it in the microwave for 20-second intervals making sure you stir the chocolate in between. Repeat this process 3 or 4 times until the chocolate is melted.
The double boiler is safer because there's no way for the chocolate to accidentally burn if you take your eyes off it for a second. You need to be constantly stirring so there's no way to forget about it. Using a heatproof bowl, set it on top of a saucepan with simmering water. Let the water come to a boil, and then leave it on medium-low heat while you're melting the chocolate. Add the chocolate to the bowl and stir constantly until the chocolate is melted.
The tools you will need to make this are:
🥜 3 cups of chocolate chips, melted
🥜 1 and 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
🥜 1/2 cup powdered sugar
🥜 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Add 2 of the 3 cups of chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl and heat in 20-second increments until melted, making sure to stir the chocolate after every 20 seconds. (You can either melt the chocolate in the microwave or over a double boiler, see tips and tricks for double boiler details)
Smooth out the chocolate onto the tart pan going all the way up to the edges.
Let the pan set in the fridge for about an hour.
Using your mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or a hand mixer, beat the peanut butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract until combined.
Add the peanut butter mixture to the set chocolate. Make sure you don't smooth the peanut butter frosting up to the sides, keep it in the middle
Let it set in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Melt the last cup of chocolate chips in the microwave or double boiler.
Add the melted chocolate on top of the peanut butter and smooth throughout the sides of the tart pan.
Let it set in the fridge for an hour
Tips and Tricks
To expedite the process of setting the chocolate, stick the peanut butter cup in the freezer for 10-20 minutes.
If you're using a double boiler: Take a heatproof bowl and set it on top of a saucepan with simmering water. Make sure the bowl does not touch the water. The heat from the water will melt the chocolate. This is definitely the safest way to melt your chocolate, but melting it in the microwave is the easiest. If you're using the microwave, make sure to stir the chocolate after each 20-second interval. Don't overheat the chocolate because then it will become much thicker consistency. We're looking for smooth, silky chocolate.
You can definitely use natural peanut butter if you prefer that over Peter Pan or Jif. However, I wouldn't recommend it because the taste and consistency will be off a bit.
Did you make this recipe?