Healthy Peanut Butter Cups

Okay so I am not going to lie, peanut butter cups have to be one of my favorite, go to, candies of all time.  They have the right balance of salty and sweet.  They blend two textures of a hard shell outside and a creamy inside.  They are by all means the perfect candy.

This time of year peanut butter cups are out in full force at the grocery and retail stores.  They come in all kinds of shapes and sizes.  One of my personal favorites is the egg shaped peanut butter cup.  The peanut butter to chocolate ratio is spot on and they are unbelievably addicting.  Seriously the package needs to come with a free support group membership because it is hard to stop at just one.  Thankfully they are only offered this time of year because if they were offered year round I would be in a heap of trouble.

Seeing that I have an addiction to anything peanut butter and chocolate I decided that I wanted to make a healthy version that I could enjoy guilt free.  In addition to being guilt free, these healthy peanut butter cups are not filled with the sometimes questionable ingredients that are in the store bought peanut butter cups.  They are super easy to make and keep well so anytime you get a peanut butter cup craving they will be right there for the taking.

Traditional peanut butter cups are made with a peanut butter center that is surrounded by milk chocolate.  While the ingredients of a traditional peanut butter cup are not that terrible, I wanted to make sure my healthy peanut butter cup had less sugar and included good oils, like coconut.  I have also simplified the cup making process so that it is just two layers instead of the traditional three layers.

For this recipe I have used silicone mini muffin baking cups.  I have tried other ways to form the cups but the silicone cups work the best.  They are usually available at most grocery stores and some retail stores.  If you do not have silicone baking cups I would strongly suggest adding them to your kitchen tool bucket list.  They are reusable, simple to use and since they are non stick your baked goods pop right out.

Healthy Peanut Butter Cups

– Bottom Layer
2 tablespoons coconut oil 
1/4 cup smooth peanut butter (I prefer the all natural peanut kinds but any will do)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon pure stevia extract (cane sugar or coconut sugar can be used instead)

– Top Layer
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

In a (microwave safe) medium sized bowl, combine the top layer peanut butter and coconut oil.  Place in the bowl in the microwave and heat for about 20 seconds. Add in the rest of the bottom layer ingredients and stir together.  

Evenly pour the bottom layer mixture into 12 silicone mini muffin baking cups (it is best to have them on a tray for easy transport).  Place cups in the freezer and freeze until solid (between 8 to 10 minutes).  

In another (microwave safe) medium sized bowl, combine the bottom layer peanut butter and coconut oil.  Place in the bowl in the microwave and heat for about 20 seconds.  Remove from the microwave and stir well to combine.  Add in the rest of the bottom layer ingredients.  Stir well again to combine all the ingredients. 

Once the bottom layer has set up, remove from the freezer and pour the top layer mixture evenly among the baking cups.  Return the cups to the freezer and freeze until solid once again. The finished cups can be stored shortly at room temperature, longer in the refrigerator or longest in the freezer.  

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