I’ve been on quite the dessert kick lately. Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies, Raw Fruit Pizza, and now these 4-Ingredient Peanut Butter Cups! My birthday was in August and one of the things on my wish list was cocoa butter. Just what everybody wants for their birthday, right?! Yeah, not really. But for those of us who love experimenting in the kitchen, and especially for those of us who love chocolate, cocoa butter is a must.
When I went vegan I started to look into whether certain ingredients were dairy-free or not. Chocolate chips were one of the first foods I researched. I knew that health food stores sold really expensive dairy-free chocolate chips, but I wondered if there were dairy-free chocolate chips out there that just weren’t labeled as such. Good news friends…there are! Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips are my go-to chips for baking.
“But,” you say, “the word cocoa butter is on the ingredients list!”
You’re right, but cocoa butter isn’t actually butter and doesn’t contain any dairy products. Cocoa butter is the fatty, edible vegetable fat that is extracted from cocoa beans. Sounds tasty right? So yeah…it might not be the healthiest thing for you to consume, but it is delicious and a great plant-based way to make homemade chocolate. And as an added bonus, if you rub it on your skin you’ll get as smooth as a baby’s bottom.
Enough about bottoms, though. These Peanut Butter Cups are so easy to make and you can be so creative with them once you get the basics down. Instead of peanut butter, I’ve filled some with coconut butter to make “Almond Joy Cups” and others I haven’t filled with anything but just sprinkled some sea salt on top for a simple, sweet and salty treat.
Where do I by this crazy ingredient called cocoa butter? I found mine on Amazon. It was raw, unrefined and organic, which is probably the best way to go. I’m sure you’d be able to find it at some health food store or specialty stores as well.
I’d love to know if any of you have used cocoa butter before and how you’ve used it! Don’t be shy:)
Brett and I love these plain, on top of banana ice cream and, on special occasions, mixed into our favorite Almond Butter and Date Smoothie! It’s like a Blizzard!
- 1 cup cocoa butter chunks
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/4 cup natural peanut butter
- optional: pinch of sea salt
- Line a muffin pan with liners and set aside.
- Using a double boiler* melt cocoa butter over a low heat setting until completely melted through.
- Once the cocoa butter is completely melted, whisk in the cocoa powder, maple syrup and sea salt until combined and smooth.
- Pour about 2 teaspoons worth of chocolate into each cupcake liner, whisking between each scoop, and thenplace the muffin pan in the freezer for about 10 minutes.
- When the chocolate has hardened, remove the pan from the freezer and drop 1- 1 1/2 teaspoons of peanut butter in the middle of each chocolate. Spread the peanut butter so that it's covers a good amount of the chocolate but doesn't touch the edges of the paper.
- Give the chocolate a good whisk before spooning more chocolate over the top of the peanut butter so that the peanut butter is fully covered.
- Freeze until hard.
- If you have extra chocolate, make a few more peanut butter cups, or simple pour the chocolate into liners by itself for plain chocolate.
- Store in the freezer or fridge.
- *If you don't have a double boiler, you can make your own by setting a bowl overtop of a sauce pan with a small amount of simmering water in it (see pictures below).