Nut Butter Cups
- ~ 12 oz. couverture chocolate* available at gourmet and specialty food stores. You could also use1 bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips or 1 box of Baker’s semi-sweet chocolate squares.
- 3/4 cup nut butter (Barney Butter, sunflower seed butter, etc).
- 1/4 powdered sugar
- Peanut butter cup molds or paper baking cups available at gourmet and specialty food stores (you can trim them to half the height).
- In a microwave or double boiler melt the chocolate.
- With a pastry brush “paint” melted chocolate to line bottom and sides of molds. Refrigerate or place outside in a cold garage. Tips: Use a bristle brush instead of a silicone brush. It’s easier to paint. Brush the bottom of the cups first and then the sides. You may also want to add another layer of chocolate once the first layer is cooled to strengthen any thin spots.
- Combine the nut butter and powdered sugar, kneading by hand to form a dough ball.
- Once the bottom of the cups are cool, press the nut butter filling into each cup.
- Top with melted chocolate and refrigerate/cool to set.
*Example couverture: Valrhona, Felchlin, Lindt & Sprüngli, Scharffen Berger, Cacao Barry, Callebaut, and Guittard.
Tips for Melting Chocolate:
- In order to get the glossy look of professionally made chocolate, you will need to temper the chocolate. Tempering melds the chocolate's molecules together.
- Chocolate melts better and faster at lower temperatures. Never let your chocolate get above 115° F.
- The chocolate should be only slightly warmer than your bottom lip.
- And easy way to temper chocolate is to place it in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time on high until it’s melted. Be careful not to overheat. The chocolate may look as if it hasn’t completely melted because it retains its shape. You may see lumps but once you stir it the residual heat will continue to melt the rest.
- One of the best ways to temper chocolate is to place a heat resistant glass bowl over a pot of simmering water. The glass keeps the chocolate tempered for a long time. Simmer the water over low heat and stir the chocolate often. Remove from heat as soon as it’s melted and stir until smooth.
- Be careful not to get any water (not even a drop) into the chocolate because it will turn the chocolate into a grainy, lumpy mess.
- You can check your tempering by applying a small amount of chocolate to a piece of paper or to the point of a knife. If the chocolate has been correctly tempered, it will harden evenly and show a good gloss within five minutes.