Peanut Butter Cups are my all time favorite thing! I didn’t think it would be possible to enjoy them this year.
I have mentioned in many post’s prior that I’m on a strict diet these days void of Sugar, Grains, Dairy, Soy , Eggs , Nuts and seeds to get my hashimotos disease under control. For awhile now I have been thinking about throwing together an easy Peanut Butter Cup recipe but was hesitant for one good reason: It would be utterly impossible for me to make this favorite candy of mine and restrain from eating it. I don’t care how much I love something. Its simply not worth the symptoms that follow. I will not be adding fuel to my already rampant autoimmune fire. You shouldn’t either! Health is FAR more valuable than a Reeses Peanut Butter Cup.
Yesterday morning I received an email from one of my wonderful recipe testers mentioning the idea for Stevia Sweetened Chocolate Chips. What an idea! I had to give it a try. These DELICIOUS Peanut Butter Cups are the result. I know many people aren’t crazy about the Stevia flavor. I’m so pleased to tell you that when used with Chocolate or Carob it literally loses it “stevia-ness”. The richness of the chocolate cover up its after taste. You literally will only taste sweet chocolate. Don’t be nervous to use a lot of stevia in this recipe- the chocolate needs it especially. Otherwise you’ll end up with very bittersweet chocolate.
Then I thought.. well wait a minute. Not everyone can have Nuts or Seeds.. I sure can’t. So I created another butter made from Coconut Flakes, Stevia and a little Coconut Oil. It has the same creaminess that I previously enjoyed with nut butters. I think you might like it too. Sure, it takes the traditional peanut butter cup in its own very different direction. But heck- if you can’t eat nuts and seeds and you wan’t candy on Halloween- please indulge. Pictured below is what this Coconut Butter looks like.
To make the Coconut Butter: Combine 1- 1/2 Cups Coconut Flakes (or powder) Sweetened or Unsweetened with 1-2 TBS Coconut Oil and Stevia to taste. Combine in a coffee Mill, Small Food Processor or Vitamix/Blendtec. Make the butter to a thick consistency so it can be shaped into little balls to go into the candy cups. You won’t need to follow the directions below in regards to adding additional coconut flakes. Once this butter is made its ready to go into the the candy. Feel free to add some powdered sugar instead of stevia is that is your preference.
Another issue for many is caffeine! So for the caffeine sensitive please feel free to sub in place of the Cocoa powder, Carob Powder. Make sure to read your Carob Powder labels though, sometimes some not so great ingredients sneak their way in.
For those of you not worried about Sugar- Pick up a bag of Chocolate or Carob Chips! They will do the job too! Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips are usually my go to choice as they are completely allergy free. To use them just temper the chocolate and use it in place of the sauce recipe I provide below. * PLEASE NOTE that you do not need to add any coconut oil or additional sweetener to the melted chips- they just need to be melted*
If you don’t want to be bothered with stevia and coconut you could also just use Powdered sugar in the filling. This could be refined free powdered sugar. To make that just throw any unrefined granulated variety into a coffee mill.
Sugar Free Peanut (or other) Butter Cups
Chocolate or Carob Coating
1 Cup High Fat Cocoa Powder or Carob Powder
3/4 Cup of Coconut Oil Melted (Highly recommend Living Foods Virgin Coconut Oil)
Liquid Stevia to taste (at least 5-6 dropper fulls) Highly recommend NuNaturals Vanilla Liquid Stevia.
1/4- 3/8 Tsp. Salt (to taste)
1/2 TBS Vanilla Extract
Optional: up to 3 TBS of Heavy Coconut Milk to make the chocolate smoother. (the chocolate will freezer get harder texture wise the more coconut milk you add)
1/4 Cup Nut or Seed Butter
Stevia to taste (liquid or powdered)
Salt to taste
Powdered Coconut OR Powdered Sugar as needed. (if using sugar omit the stevia)
1. Make the Chocolate or Carob Sauce. Combine all the ingredients and give it a taste- continue adding stevia until the chocolate reaches the level of sweetness that you like. If the sauce feels too thick pop it in the microwave for 20 seconds. If you feel the chocolate sauce is too bitter stir in up to 3 TBS of Heavy Coconut Milk.
2. Prepare Cupcake Liners or mini Candy liners by placing them in muffin tins (using the muffin tins is not neccesary- but makes for easier work). Drizzle in enough chocolate to just fill the bottoms of each cup. Place in freezer to harden.
3. Prepare the Peanut or other butter filling. Combine the butter of your choice and mix it with powdered coconut flakes and stevia (to taste) OR with powdered sugar (white or a homemade unrefined variety). You want this mixture to be thick enough that you can shape it into little balls without it sticking to your hands.
4. Remove the hardened chocolate cups from the freezer. Place a little ball of filling in each cup. Leaving the edges free and clear. (see photo below).
5. Fill the cups with the remaining chocolate sauce – give the tray a tap on the counter to make sure the surface is even. Place in freezer until hard. (If the sauce has gotten thick while its been sitting around – this would be a good opportunity to throw it in the microwave briefly. The thinner and smoother the chocolate is the cleaner appearance your candy will have).
Store Candy in the Fridge or Freezer. Since the chocolate or carob uses coconut oil the candy is proned to melting when held long enough in warm hands. Yields about 16 mini cups or 8 large cups.
For some fun variety try spooning a little bit of jelly on top of the peanut butter before adding the chocolate coating! Who wouldn’t like candy filled with peanut butter and jelly?
Also I wanted to note that you can use this chocolate or carob recipe to make “chips”. All you need to do is pour the liquid chocolate (or carob) onto a parchment covered baking sheet, place in the fridge or freezer until chill. Coarsely chip the hardened chocolate and reserve in the freezer for another day.
Hope you enjoy my indulgent, delicious and healthy twist on this classic recipe.