Two days after my own birthday (I turned 36) it was my dear mother in law’s birthday on February 17th.  Harry and I were planning a trip up to their house in Putnam County, NY to see them.  Then came my dilemma of what to get her for her birthday.  For the past year or so I have been making a serious effort to make the bulk of gifts that I give.  That translates into food gifts or jewelry most frequently.  My mother in law, Karen, loves peanut butter cups so I decides to try my hand at making those.  So with a little trepidation (with the peanut butter scare in recent weeks) I used the best quality organic and natural peanut butter I could find.  I hope that you like them as much as she did!  You could also simply make these into truffle or “buckeye” like candy as well by rolling the peanut butter mixture into balls and rolling them in the chocolate.

Nut Butter Cups

Mini cupcake liners or candy size liners
cookie sheet lined with parchment or waxed paper
12 oz. dark (I used 72%) chocolate
1 c. nut butter (stir if necessary)
1/3 c. powdered sugar
2 tblsp. pure maple syrup
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. salt (if your nut butter is not salted)

Melt chocolate down in double boiler (I used a bowl over a pot of barely simmering water) over low heat (stirring periodically) until smooth.  I did not bother tempering the chocolate.

In bowl mix together nut butter, powdered sugar, maple syrup, vanilla, and salt (if using) until it’s combined and the consistency of play dough and chill.  Using the paintbrush, paint the bottom and sides of the liners with a thick coating of the chocolate. Put these into the refrigerator and chill until hardened.  When chilled, roll the nut butter mixture into approx. 3/4 inch balls that will fit inside the chilling chocolate cups.  Remove the chocolate cups from the fridge and press the nut butter balls into the chocolate cups.  Brush/fill the cups the rest of the way with the melted chocolate mixture.  Chill until hardened.

I wrapped mine in squares of waxed paper (the way that salt water taffy is wrapped).