Homemade White Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

Are you guys all ready for Halloween? I don’t dress up, but Shane does every year for the Halloween party at his office, and this year’s costume is pretty awesome. I don’t want to spoil the surprise so I’ll wait to show you until his coworkers have seen it! I also went to Target over the weekend and bought SO much candy to hand out. We run out every single year no matter how much I buy, I swear they must bus kids in from other towns to trick-or-treat here.

Of course it probably doesn’t help that we can’t keep our hands out of the candy bowl in the days leading up to Halloween. I try to buy the candy at the last minute to minimize how much we’ll eat, but there are definitely a few pieces missing already…

Homemade White Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

This year I decided the solution to this problem was to make some candy myself. Makes total sense, right? It was a no-brainer that homemade Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups would be the candy of choice – I am obsessed with them. As much as I love the original, the seasonal versions (hearts, pumpkins, etc) are my favorite. I’m convinced they have a higher peanut butter to chocolate ratio!

Homemade White Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

These homemade peanut butter cups were a really fun project – a little bit time consuming, but seriously not at all difficult. And honestly they probably aren’t even that time consuming if you’re not a crazy perfectionist obsessing over every little detail like I did. I was so pleased with the results; not only do they look like mini Reese’s, but the flavor and texture are pretty spot on too! I kept the layer of chocolate on the bottom as thin as possible so I could load up on the filling, it’s the most important part after all :)

Homemade White Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

After making a traditional version, I switched things up a little and substituted white chocolate peanut butter. I discovered flavored peanut butters from Peanut Butter & Co a few months ago (have you tried them? what’s your favorite?) and look for an excuse to use them wherever I can. That’s the fun thing about making your own peanut butter cups – the possibilities for variation are endless! Substitute a different nut butter for the peanut butter, use dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate, add a layer of Nutella or caramel in the center…the list goes on and on. You really can’t go wrong when chocolate and peanut butter are involved!

Homemade White Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
adapted from Brown Eyed Baker

{Note: you can definitely substitute regular peanut butter here instead – no other changes are necessary.}

1/2 cup white chocolate peanut butter
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
generous pinch of salt
12 oz milk chocolate, finely chopped

Homemade White Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

Line a mini muffin pan with paper liners and set aside.

Add the white chocolate peanut butter, butter, and brown sugar to a medium saucepan. Set over medium heat and cook, stirring almost constantly, until the mixture is melted and smooth. When it starts to bubble around the edges, remove the pan from the heat and add the confectioners’ sugar in two additions, stirring until well combined each time. Mix in a generous pinch of salt and taste. Season with additional salt as necessary – this peanut butter is quiet sweet so you might need one or two additional generous pinches. Set aside and allow the mixture to cool while you continue with the recipe.

Add the chocolate to a heatproof bowl and set over a saucepan of simmering water. Stirring occasionally, allow to melt completely. Spoon about 3/4 teaspoon of the melted chocolate into one well of the prepared mini muffin tin. Use the back of the measuring spoon or a paintbrush to spread the chocolate about 3/4 of the way up the sides of the liner. Fill only a few wells at a time and spread the chocolate (rather than filling them all at once in the beginning) so the chocolate won’t start to set up before you get a chance to spread it. Once all the liners have a chocolate coating, transfer the mini muffin tin to the refrigerator and chill until the chocolate is set, about 15-20 minutes. Remove the bowl of melted chocolate from the top of the pan.

Meanwhile, shape the filling. Working with about 1 heaping teaspoon of the peanut butter filling, roll into a ball and then flatten into a patty with a diameter just smaller than the diameter of your mini muffin pan. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining filling then refrigerate the patties for about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, place the bowl of chocolate back over the pan of simmering water until melted and smooth. Transfer to a heatproof measuring cup just before beginning the next step.

Remove the mini muffin pan and peanut butter patties from the fridge. Place one peanut butter patty in each chocolate cup. Pour chocolate over the peanut butter patty in each well of the pan until it is covered. Lift and drop the pan on your counter a few times to get the chocolate to level out, then if any of the peanut butter cups are still exposed, pour a little more chocolate over the top. Lift and drop the pan on the counter again to even out the chocolate.

Transfer the pan to the refrigerator to allow the chocolate to set – it’ll take about 30 minutes. Store the peanut butter cups in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a few weeks or freeze for a month. I like to let mine soften at room temperature for a few minutes before enjoying!

Makes about 18 peanut butter cups