Here in the northeast, we’re facing the second major storm in less than a week. Schools are closed and we’re all stuck at home. Seems like now is as a good a time as any to make Chocolate Chip Cookie Peanut Butter Cups.
Last week’s storm was only supposed to bring my area rain. I was listening to said rain while I was working on Friday, but imagine my surprise when I had to go out and found the whole neighborhood covered in snow.
Heck, I grew up in the snow belt where snow tires and chains are a normal part of driving in the winter. No problem, right?
I remember sitting in front of the T.V. with my siblings begging for our school to show up on the school closing list.
There’s at least a couple of feet of snow out there, we thought desperately. Just think of the snow fort we’re going to make! They’ve gotta close our school today, right?
Nope, not closed. In fact, our school district hardly ever closed. Wish as we might, we had to buck up, put on our boots , clear the driveway, and head to school. The snow fort would have to wait until later.
Living in different areas of the east, I quickly found out that a few inches of snow would shut everything down.
In any case, I wasn’t much worried about driving in a few inches of snow….until it took an hour to get to my first stop. Traffic at a stand still, downed trees blocking roads and demanding detours, a school bus full of children off road and in a ditch.
Okay. Not just any ole’ storm. In any case, I wasn’t going to make a casual trip to the store to buy any special ingredients for a recipe.
We always have ingredients on hand to make cookies. We always have peanut butter. And, we always have chocolate. In fact, as I was checking out the chocolate stash, I noticed we still have chocolate bunnies from last Easter :/
I thought about what I could make. It was like Chopped, except I had a lot more ingredients to choose from and no time limit. Which, I suppose, means it was nothing like Chopped :)
I decided on these Chocolate Chip Cookie Peanut Butter Cups. Actually, I decided on cookie cups in general and was thinking about all the different variations I could make with different cookie doughs and different fillings.
I went with a chocolate chip cookie base. You’ll need mini chips for the cookie dough. There’s no room in our little cups for big chunky chips. They’ll just get in the way.
Plus, mini chips really distribute nicely through the dough, so there’s bits and bites of chocolate everywhere. Perfect.
I used a tablespoon of dough for each cup and that used up every bit of the dough. Love when that happens. (Let’s just pretend I brilliantly planned it to work out that way ;)
Now about making them into cups. I wasn’t sure if I needed to form the dough into cups before baking or just press them into cups after baking.
To be safe, I formed them into cups before baking, even though I figured it might be a waste of time.
Aaaand, it was a waste of time. When I took them out of the oven, they had basically baked down and filled the cup, just as expected.
So, I proceeded with pressing them into cups after baking them. That was much easier. No need to form cups before. I took that step out of the recipe. Just roll the dough into balls, place them in the cups and bake.
What will you use to form the cups? I tried a bunch of different things, but the tool that worked best for me was a measuring spoon.
You just need to pick something that is round and smaller in diameter than the cup. Think of shot glasses or little jars or bottles you might have. Even the top of a bottle.
Check your pantry and your fridge. You’ll be surprised at how many different sizes of round tops you might find. Cover the end with plastic wrap to get a clean pressing tool, if necessary.
Once you make the cavity, you’re all set for filling. And, even though the cups might be completely cool by the time you fill them, you don’t need to wait for them to cool. It’s fine if they are still warm when you fill them. The filling will be warm too. No worries.
The filling is super simple to make. Just place the peanut butter, salt and butter in a bowl. Melt it in the microwave and stir in some powdered sugar. Done and done.
I used 2 teaspoons of filling for each cup. I just happened to have a scoop that was that measure, so it worked out great. It was just the right amount to fill the cups.
Because the filling was still warm, it was easy to spread it evenly in the cups. As it cools, it will firm up.
But again, you don’t have to wait for it to cool or set up. Move on to the next step and melt your chocolate. For the chocolate, I used a teaspoon to cover each cup.
I normally prefer dark chocolate, but decided to go with milk chocolate for this recipe. I did mix the milk chocolate chips with some bitter sweet chips to darken it up a little. Use whatever chocolate you desire.
Once you spoon the chocolate on top, just use the back of the spoon to tap on the surface of the chocolate coaxing it to spread to the edges.
And you’re done…unless you want additional toppings. I opted for some chopped toffee chips on some of them and a sprinkle of fleur de sel for others.
But, chopped peanuts would be great. I happen to love chopped nuts with chocolate. I made Peanut Butter Cluster Cups way back when. I love that extra texture on top.
Mini chips, sprinkles or candies are also fun ideas. Just do it before the chocolate sets so that your toppings will stick.
We tried the cookie cups at room temperature, but I preferred them after they had chilled in the refrigerator. The filling sets up to a firmer texture and is better matched to the chew resistance of the cookie. (Yep. That’s a thing. I just made it up.)
I thought one cookie cup was plenty to satisfy my sweet tooth. That’s why I made them in a mini muffin pan. I couldn’t imagine one the size of a regular muffin.
However, there are at least two people in my house that would differ with that opinion. Those two could down four of these in a shot, without another thought.
Of course, they’re also the ones out shoveling snow and burning mucho calories while I’m inside typing. I guess it all balances out.
Hopefully, none of us will lose power again with this storm. I’ve got my fingers crossed. If you do have power, this is a fun recipe to make with your kids if you’re all stuck inside looking for something to do. There are lots of fun assembly steps.
Plus, I’d rather be inside working on Chocolate Chip Cookie Peanut Butter Cups…
than outside shoveling more snow ;)