by Judy Kim
Chocolate Nut Butter Cups
Yield: 20-24 pieces
10 ounce bag of Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate chips, 60% cacao
11.5 ounce bag of Ghirardelli milk chocolate chips
Variation 1: peanut butter cups:
1 cup smooth peanut butter
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup confectioners sugar, sifted
1/4 teaspoon salt
Variation 2: pecan butter cups:
1 cup toasted pecans, plus additional pecans for garnish
For Classic Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups:
In a medium bowl, combine peanut butter, butter, sugar and salt. Mix with a hand held mixer and beat on medium low speed until well blended. Transfer nut mixture into a pastry bag or into a plastic ziplock bag with 1/4-inch of the corner cut off to mimic a pastry bag. Set bag aside.
Line two standard 12 cup muffin tins with paper liners. Set up a double boiler to melt the chocolate. Since this recipe calls for 2 different types of chocolate, you need 2 Pyrex or metal bowls that will fit over a medium sauce pan filled with simmering water. If you want to simplify the recipe, just combine both chocolate types into one bowl or select one type of chocolate.
First melt the dark chocolate for the bottom layer. The milk chocolate will the top layer with a drizzle of dark chocolate, so reserve a little bit of dark chocolate. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of dark chocolate into each muffin cup. After you add the dark chocolate, swirl the pan to even out the chocolate. Transfer to freezer until it's set, 10-15 minutes.
Meanwhile, place the second bowl over double boiler to melt milk chocolate. Check to ensure there is still water in the sauce pan.
Remove the muffin tins from the freezer and pipe approximately 1 tablespoon of peanut butter evenly over the cold dark chocolate. Spoon 1 tablespoon of milk chocolate over the peanut butter. Smooth out the chocolate with a spoon. Transfer muffin tin back to the freezer for about 10-15 minutes.
Return bowl of remaining dark chocolate back to the double boiler. Before drizzling chocolate, place muffin tins over parchment paper or paper towels for easy clean up. Using a fork, drizzle dark chocolate over the top of the milk chocolate layer. Return to freezer for 5 minutes.
The total quantity will vary depending on the amount of chocolate you choose for each layer.
For Chocolate Pecan Butter Cups:
In place of peanut butter, replace it with homemade pecan butter. Place pecans into a small food processor (you can use a blender, but I find a food processor to be faster) and start with short pulses. Then blend about 1 minute till smooth.
Add butter, sugar and salt and blend until combined.
Replace pecan butter in place of peanut butter and follow same directions.
Option: Instead of drizzing chocolate on top of final layer, place one whole pecan on top of milk chocolate before it sets, then transfer to the freezer.
•• Chocolate nut butter cups can be kept in the freezer.