Tuesday, November 25, 2014

no-bake caramel reese's peanut butter cups


Not a lot of us like preparing huge Thanksgiving meals. In fact, in a study I just made up, that is the number one reason why people make friends at all, so they can crash their friends' Thanksgiving dinners. But you can't go to your friend's mother's house and expect to get a meal without bringing her a gift. That's where these no-bake, super quick and easy caramel reese's peanut butter cups come into play. In fact, in another survey I just made up, it takes longer to say the name, than it takes to make the actual recipe. 


I should also remind you that your friend's mother loves peanut butter and chocolate. Bring these and I guarantee you she'll give you first dibs on turkey. You know what to do. Click Chowtinue Reading.





Preparation 1. In a food processor, break up a sleeve of graham crackers (the ingredients are at the bottom of the post). You want to pulse them for a good two minutes to make sure there are no big crumbs. Get it to a flour consistency. 


2. In a large bowl, combine the graham crackers, melted butter, peanut butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. The melted butter can be melted in the microwave or on the stove. Personally, I prefer the microwave because it's quicker and I don't have to wash an oily pot. Whisk the mixture to get rid of any lumps. The texture should be very smooth and runny. Don't worry. The graham crackers and the powdered sugar will make the cups set when they cools. 


3. Line two cupcake tins with cupcake cups, liners, papers, whatever they're called. No need to spray them or rub them with butter, they won't stick. Fill each cup with a heaping tablespoon of the peanut butter mixture. Then, gently shake and bang the tins on the kitchen counter to settle any bubbles and even them out. Chill in the freezer while we make the caramel.


Unlike what many of you may be thinking, the caramel inside these reese's peanut butter cups won't be soft and chewy. When I conceptualized this recipe I was thinking soft and chewy. But while I was making it, I had an epiphany that hard and crunchy would actually be a better textural contrast to the soft peanut butter. Most of the good things on earth are accidents. Technically this paragraph is completely useless to you, I just feel like I need to justify the flaws in my unscientific recipe development process. (I'm a defensive person)


4. Onto the caramel. In a small pot with tall sides add the sugar. Turn the stove on to medium high and just watch it. The pan you use must have tall sides or else the caramel will bubble over when we add the butter. For those of you who are making caramel for the first time, it'll feel like you're wasting your time looking over a pot of sugar sit there and get warm. It's a completely natural and justifiable reaction. But you have to be standing there at all times because once you leave the caramel will burn. It's just science people. Keep standing there until the edges of the sugar start to melt, you'll be able to see it, and then stir the sugar by swirling the pot. Don't use a spoon because that will aggravate the sugar molecules and something bad will happen. I didn't stay for that lecture in science class. My point is, never stir your caramel, only swirl it. Sooner or later the caramel will start to change colors, keep swirling it. When the caramel turns an auburn brown add the cubed butter and stand back. Grab a spoon and stir the caramel. Cook it a little longer until you reach the color you want and take the pot of the stove. Then you can add the salt.


5. You have to work quickly. Spoon the liquid hot caramel over the peanut butter layer. Don't worry about smoothing it out, just keep going. You'll see the caramel immediately harden onto the frozen peanut butter layer and it'll be impossible to move. Don't worry if it looks ugly or messy. It'll soon be covered in a layer of chocolate. 



6. Now it's time to melt the chocolate. Over a double boiler, which is just a bowl put over a small pot with simmering water, gently melt the chocolate. You can also melt the chocolate in the microwave at 30 second intervals. Stir the chocolate after each interval to make sure they don't burn. When it's melted, cover the cups and shake the tins one finally time to smooth the tops and get rid of any air bubbles. It'll also give the chocolate a shiny professional appearance.




7. Store these in the freezer if Thanksgiving is a couple days away, or you can store them in the refrigerator for imminent consumption. 



Whether these end up as being gifts or just a fun project with the kids, these mock reese's peanut butter cups are so killer you'll be wondering why you ever installed an oven into your kitchen in the first place. They taste just like a reese's peanut butter cup, except with a crispy crunchy wafer layered inside. You know why these are the superior reese's peanut butter cup? Three reasons. You know what's in them. They're twice as tall and twice as rich and delicious. And the crunchy center is something you could never experience in a store-bought reese's peanut butter cup. 


I hope ya'll try this super awesome easy recipe. If you liked it please like and comment, I always appreciate comments. Spread the Chowfection (that's affection with my patented adding Chow to everything pun) and you can follow this blog on twitter and on pinterest. We're working on our facebook and instagram pages. And as always, 

Chow!


Recipe

1 sleeve of graham crackers or nine crackers.
1 1/2 stick of butter, melted
1 cup smooth peanut butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract


for Caramel

1 cup white sugar
4 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups chocolate chips, melted, you may or may not have leftovers, it depends on how much chocolate you put in each cup. If it's not enough just melt more.


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