Updated: Jan 11, 2021
That lonely apocalyptic-sized vat of peanut butter might as well be put to good use. Browned butter lends a deeper nutty, savory flavor that elevates these peanut butter cups to the next level. Don't let the equipment list scare you off; setting everything up ahead of time takes the frustration out of dealing with temperature-sensitive ingredients. Worst case scenario, you have melted chocolate and peanut butter on your hands- heaven forbid!
1/2 cup peanut butter (I like crunchy, but I also like using what's already in my pantry more)
2 tablespoons browned butter*
2 tablespoons molasses
2 bars (8 oz) semi-sweet baking chocolate, chopped
2 oz. milk or dark chocolate chips (approximately 1/4 cup)
1 large piece of parchment paper
muffin tin liners
round pastry cutter or shot glass that fits just inside the muffin tin
1-2 qt. pot
heat safe bowl (I prefer metal)
pastry bag or zip top bag**
In a small bowl, combine first three ingredients. Pour mixture onto the middle of the parchment paper. Fold paper in half. Gently flatten the mixture out with the rolling pin to 1/8" thickness. Place on a baking sheet and freeze for at least 30 minutes, up to overnight.
When you can peel off the top layer of parchment without the peanut butter sticking to it, use the pastry cutter or shot glass to cut rounds of peanut butter. Replace top layer of parchment and return to freezer.
Place a liner in each muffin tin. Prepare pastry bag or zip top bag.
Fill pot 1/3 with water and turn heat to medium-high. Bring to a bare simmer (when the bubbles on the bottom of the pot just start to float up), then reduce to low.
Place heat safe bowl over pot, making sure the water doesn't touch the bottom of the bowl. Add chocolate to bowl, stirring with spatula constantly until completely smooth. Remove from heat and scrape chocolate into pastry bag or zip top bag. Remove peanut butter from freezer.
To assemble, fill the bottom of each muffin tin with enough chocolate to coat the bottom. Smack gently against the counter to distribute evenly.
Press a peanut butter disk into each tin. Top with additional chocolate, smacking the tin against the counter again to distribute chocolate evenly. Top with a sprinkle of salt.
Refrigerate for at least an hour. Serve cold or at room temperate.
*To brown butter, heat a heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat for one minute. Add desired amount of butter to pan and stir constantly. The butter will foam up a lot at first, then the bubblers will slowly subside. Continue to stir until small brown bits form and the butter smells like popcorn. Immediately pour into a heat safe bowl. Stir vigorously before measuring.
**see video for how to use a zip top bag as a pastry bag