There is really no story to go with this recipe, beyond the fact that I was craving them. After all, just because I am pre-diabetic does not mean I am immune to the siren call of peanut butter and chocolate. It simply means that I cannot indulge my cravings with a Reese’s. So what’s a girl to do?
I’ve been making my own peanut butter lately, which isn’t all that hard. It is time-consuming, since I haven’t been able to find unsalted shelled peanuts, so I’ve had to shell my own. But I’ve discovered that an episode of Parenthood is exactly the right length for shelling enough peanuts to make a pint of peanut butter. Quite a relaxing endeavor, actually!
And one night when I had no low carb treats around for dessert, I spread a little of my homemade peanut butter on two squares of 85% cacao chocolate. Oh my! True deliciousness, the dark chocolate and lightly sweetened peanut butter. I’ve always preferred dark over milk chocolate, and I think it actually makes a better foil for nuts and peanut butter. Give me a Milky Way Midnight over a regular Milky Way any day. Well, don’t give me one at all, actually, since I can’t eat them any more. But I think you get my point.
These really are bittersweet peanut butter cups. I used unsweetened chocolate so that I could control the carbs more, and sweetened it only with some stevia extract and a few drops of liquid sucralose. I’ve developed quite a taste for intensely dark chocolate. If you have not, you could add more of any sweetener, but liquid forms are going to work best. Alternatively, you could purchase sugar-free chocolate chips that already have the sweetener in them, or buy a high% cacao chocolate bar and add a touch more sweetener to it.
Finally, a word about the peanut butter. When I make my own, I try not too add too much oil, I like it rather thick. This helps with the filling of these PB cups, so it doesn’t squish out when you bite into it. But if you are using commercial peanut butter, use all-natural and don’t mix the oil from the top into it. Scoop out the thick peanut butter from towards the bottom of the jar and let as much oil drip off as possible.
If you’re not counting carbs or sugar, go ahead and make these with dark chocolate chips. Use some powdered sugar to stiffen and sweeten the peanut butter filling and away you go!
Bittersweet Peanut Butter Cups
5 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 tbsp butter
30 drops stevia extract
4 drops liquid sucralose
1/2 cup natural peanut butter (as thick as you can get it)
2-4 tablespoons powdered erythritol, depending on your taste for sweetness
Place 18 small round petit four cups on a baking sheet.
In a small saucepan, melt butter and chocolate together over low heat. Stir until smooth. Stir in stevia and sucralose. Let cool 5-10 minutes until it is thicker but still spreadable.
With a pastry brush, coat the bottom and sides of each cup, thickly enough so that none of the cup shows through the chocolate.
Reserve remaining chocolate and chill cups in fridge for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, mix peanut butter and powdered erythritol together in a small bowl. When chocolate cups are set, spoon about a tsp full of peanut butter mixture into each cup. Even tops slightly with a small spoon. Chill in fridge for another 10 minutes.
Rewarm remaining bittersweet chocolate as necessary to keep it spreadable. Spoon enough over filling in each cup to cover completely. Spread gently with spoon to even top.
Chill completed cups in fridge until completely set, about 1 hour. Store in refrigerator.
Serves 18. Total carbs per cup is 4.8g. 3.5g subtracting erythritol.