The few weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas are pretty much my favorite time of the year. It’s hard to argue with Christmas music 24-7, decorating the house for the holidays, and parties every weekend. But, parties inevitably mean one thing (besides a hangover): gifts for your host & hostess. Naturally, being the hungry Jack that I am, I always prefer to bring food. My favorite go-to goody is my peanut butter cookie cup, a recipe that I cobbled together back in my vegan days when I was desperate for a peanut butter cup (and clearly a Reese’s wasn’t going to fit the extremely restrictive bill). Without further adieu, let me introduce you to the finally-documented Better-Than-Reese’s Peanut Butter Cookie Cup. Vegan options in parentheses.
Peanut Butter Cookie Cups
Makes 6 cupcake-sized peanut butter cups
- 3/4 cup chocolate chips (Ghirardelli makes a vegan version that you can get just about anywhere)
- 1/3 cup peanut butter
- 1/3 cup powdered sugar (Choose a vegan version)
- 3 Oreo cookies, crushed (Non-dairy Neuman O’s)
1. Place 6 baking cups into a muffin pan. Bonus pans for cute holiday prints.
2. Melt your chocolate chips. If you are high-tone, you can melt your chocolate on the stove. If you are lazy like me, you can use your handy dandy microwave. In the microwave, I recommend heating in 30-second increments and stirring in between. It should take about 1 minute, depending on your microwave.
3. Spread melted chocolate on the bottom and sides of each baking cup. No precise science here… or measurements. Woops. Then put your muffin pan into the freezer for 20 minutes to firm up your chocolate.
4. Add half of the powdered sugar to the peanut butter in a mixing bowl, and use a hand mixer to combine. Then add the remaining powdered sugar and mix again. The texture of the peanut butter will be clumpy, which looks odd but is 100% right.
5. Remove your muffin pan from the freezer. Spread crushed cookie crumbs in the bottom of each baking cup.
6. Divide your peanut butter & powdered sugar into 6 even amounts. Then form each into a ball, flatten, and place it into the baking cup on top of the cookie crumbs. Any extra peanut butter is up for grabs, just keep a glass of milk handy to wash it down.
7. Reheat your chocolate if necessary – 30 seconds in the microwave should be plenty. Spoon melted chocolate on top of the peanut butter & cookie combo, making sure to get lots of melted chocolate around the filling on all sides so your peanut butter cup doesn’t fall apart when its removed from the wrapper. If you have extra melted chocolate, whip out some ice cream and make a sundae. You know, while you’re on this health food kick.
8. Be patient. You’ll get the best results by letting these guys refrigerate overnight, but you can also leave them in the freezer for about an hour if you can’t follow the first part of #8 (I usually fall into this group).
9. Eat. Nom nom.
More bonus points for cute presentation – a cute holiday tin, lined with tissue paper, or a triple-stack of these bad boys, packaged in cellophane and tied with some cute ribbon, are good choices.
What’s your favorite hostess gift to give or receive?