I feel like the vast majority of people who like chocolate love Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups and I was definitely among them. When I became vegan, I couldn’t eat them anymore because they are made with milk chocolate. I’ve been searching for an alternative for many years, and actually Justin’s dark chocolate peanut butter cups are pretty delicious and perfect for traveling when I just need some chocolate and creamy peanut butter.
But what I also discovered was that I could MAKE nut butter cups incredibly easily that were way simpler, had way fewer ingredients and tasted like heaven. I now make almond butter cups most often and my recipe uses four ingredients that you probably have lying around your kitchen already (well, you should have them lying around and if you love these as much as I do, you WILL from now on!)
These nut butter cups are silky smooth, just sweet enough without being overly sticky sweet and the nut butter oozes out of the middle. Can’t beat it.
I bought silicone cupcake holders from the dollar store two years ago, and recently bought two dozen more on Amazon. They’re really great and can be used for so many things, including these nut butter cups, and they even LOOK like Reece’s with the scalloped edge! Pick some up here.
Makes: 12 nut butter cups
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Cost: ~ $6
- 1/2 cup organic coconut oil
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup (like this one from Maple Valley!)
- 1 cup raw unsweetened cocoa powder
- raw nut butter (my favorite is almond butter)
Firstly, you need to make a double boiler so nothing gets burned. Fill a larger saucepan 1/3 with water, then put a smaller saucepan inside. No water should come into the smaller saucepan, this is the pan we’re working in.
Set up your dozen silicone cupcake holders on a plate or cutting board and put aside with the nut butter.
There’s a little bit of science in this because your syrup is probably in your fridge and the coconut oil is most likely in your cabinet (solid or liquid depending on how cold/hot your kitchen is). They need to heat up and mix (as much as they will) before adding the cocoa powder. Set up your double boiler at medium-low heat and add coconut oil and syrup. Stir consistently while everything heats up and melts together.
Stir in cocoa powder and keep stirring until it’s all mixed in, smooth and pretty runny. You can test-taste here and if you need it more sweet, add more syrup. If it’s too sweet, add a little bit more cocoa powder.
Turn off the heat, move the small saucepan to a steady surface near the cupcake holders. Wait about 5 minutes for the chocolate to cool down a bit, but it’s still melty and smooth.
Scoop one Tablespoon of chocolate sauce into the bottom of each of the cupcake holders. Dollop a teaspoon of nut butter in after and top with another Tablespoon of chocolate to cover the top. If the nut butter is sticking up in the middle and not flat enough, often giving the holder a little shake which will encourage everything to settle.
Repeat with all and put them to the side. I usually leave them on the counter for about 10 minutes to settle in and then into the freezer they go to solidify! They’re ready to consume after 20 minutes but best practice is leaving them in the freezer overnight and then transfer them to the fridge. The chocolate will remain hard but the nut butter will melt a bit, creating the optimal nut butter cup experience.
These delectable bites will be good for weeks in the fridge. Since there are no preservatives, they do melt pretty quickly out of the cold, so I suggest just standing next to the fridge and eating 3 at a time, putting them out immediately before serving at a party, or just bring them to a gathering in an igloo! 😉