Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Peanut Butter Cups (The 7th Sweet of Christmas)

My family isn't going to get to enjoy the 7th sweet of Christmas, because this particular sweet was made to brighten the day of a very good friend of mine who is currently serving our country in Afghanistan.  My homemade peanut butter cups have been a favorite treat of his since he first tasted them back when we were in seventh grade.

My understanding is that the peanut butter cups arrived at his base overseas rather quickly, given the time of year, and have been sampled by all and sundry with big thumbs up all around.

I intended to brighten my friend's holiday, of course, but I'm glad some of the other servicemen and women who are stationed with him were also able to get some cheer from my festive box-o-goodies.

First, I know you're going to say that these look nothing like peanut butter cups.  And you're right.  They should probably be called peanut butter bars.  But they taste almost exactly like Reese's peanut butter cups, so you'll forgive the fact that they are not in "cup" form.

Peanut Butter Cups

  • 2 sticks of butter
  • 1 and 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 2 and 1/3 cups powdered sugar
  • 16 ounces chocolate chips (milk, semi-sweet, or dark, whatever you prefer)

Melt the butter, either on the stove or in the microwave.

Stir in the graham cracker crumbs, powdered sugar, and peanut butter.  Mix well.  You can buy graham cracker crumbs in the store, or make them yourself.  You need about a package and a half of graham crackers to get the necessary amount.

If your peanut butter mixture is too soft, you can add either more graham cracker crumbs or powdered sugar until it reaches a stiff consistency.  The first photo is too soft, the second is just right.

It should be able to stand on its own, as it were.

Line a 9x13 baking pan with wax paper and press the peanut butter mixture down.

Melt the chocolate chips according to package directions, pour on top of the peanut butter, and spread evenly to the edges of the pan.

Let the chocolate set.  You can let it sit out on the counter, but it sets better in the refrigerator.  Keep an eye on things, though.  When the chocolate has taken on a sort of matte appearance but is still somewhat soft, you'll want to score the bars.

After the chocolate has set, lift the bars out of the pan and peel back the edges of the wax paper.  Recut the squares and separate them.

The peanut butter cups can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, with wax paper between the layers, or be frozen.  You will definitely want to let them come to room temperature before serving, especially if you choose to freeze them.

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