Homemade Reese's Peanut Butter Cups

Photo: Kimi Harris/The Nourishing Gourmet

The other day, my daughter and I needed a project to work on together, so I decided to try to make our own, healthier version of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Starting with the peanut butter filling, we heaped peanut butter in a bowl. Because we find that a little sweetener is just as good as a lot, we added just a bit of honey, toasted nuts for crunch, and coconut oil for creaminess. Once topped with chocolate we were set. They were a hit!

This is a great project to do with kids because not only is it a yummy treat, but there is almost no oven work and you can taste as you go along (which my daughter, Elena, certainly did!).They are great for a back-to-school treat for children, but I bet my husband wouldn’t mind taking some to college today, so I am going to send some with him, too.

I used to like candy bars, but now, though we keep a whole shelf stocked with candy bars (as practice rewards for our students), they don’t really appeal to me anymore (unless I am very, very hungry). But I certainly like this less sweet and healthier version! Yummy.

Homemade, Healthier Peanut Butter Cups

If you use another nut butter, you may need to add more honey. Peanuts are naturally sweet. For that matter, this is definitely a "to your own taste" recipe! And you can easily adjust the sweeter to satisfy you.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup of peanut butter, toasted and salted (or use nut butter of your choice)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla (if you are making this gluten-free, make sure to use gluten-free vanilla)
  • 1/4 cup of coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup of chopped soaked and dehydrated nuts or toasted (I used a mixture of chopped almonds and pumpkin seeds)*
  • 4 ounces of unsweetened chocolate
  • 2-4 tablespoons honey**
Directions
  1. In a small bowl combine the peanut butter, coconut oil, vanilla, first 2 tablespoons honey, and nuts. Mix until well combined.
  2. Drop by the heaping teaspoon into mini cupcake pans. Place in freezer.
  3. Chop chocolate into small pieces and place in the top of a double broiler (or, like I do, in a heat-proof bowl that fits on top of a pot you have). Mix in the honey. Bring about 2 inches of water to a boil in the pot and place the bowl on top. Watch the chocolate carefully so that it doesn’t burn, stirring gently while the chocolate melts. When there are just a few chunks left in the chocolate, take off of the heat and allow it to melt completely.
  4. Drop by the teaspoon over the peanut butter mixture and place back into the freezer. Freeze for 20 minutes. Take out, and using a butter knife pop them out. Keep in the freezer or refrigerator and enjoy!

* To toast the nuts, place in a dry pan over medium-high heat. Stir almost continually until they are starting to brown. Take off of the heat.

** I used only 1 tablespoon honey to sweeten the chocolate, but we decided that it needed to be sweeter! So I have written 2 to 4 tablespoons, depending on how sweet you want it to be.