mini chocolate peanut butter cups

Mini Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
Makes about 2 dozen mini cups

Adapted from Jam it, Pickle it, Cure it: And Other Cooking Projects

1 1/3 cups (155 grams) raw blanched peanuts
2 tablespoons (20 grams) powdered sugar
1 tablespoon (15 ml) maple syrup
2 teaspoons (5 ml) honey or agave nectar
1 teaspoon (2.5 ml) vegetable oil
1 teaspoon (2.5 ml) vanilla
1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) salt
1-2 teaspoons water, more as needed
2 cups (about 340 grams or 12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
flaky salt for sprinkling, optional

Toast the peanuts in a dry skillet set over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until they are lightly browned and toasty. Turn off the heat and let them cool. While you wait, line a mini cupcake tin with 24 paper liners. Set the pan aside.

Pulse together toasted peanuts, powdered sugar, maple syrup, honey (or agave), oil, vanilla and salt in the bowl of a food processor until smooth, stopping several times to scrape down the bowl as needed. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl. Don’t worry – it will look a little crumbly.

Slowly begin to melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of gently simmering water until smooth and glossy. When it has melted, remove it from the heat and set aside.

Test to see if the peanut mixture will hold together by rolling a teaspoon-sized amount into a ball. If it crumbles, stir in 1 teaspoon of water and test again. Continue adding water, a teaspoon at a time, until a ball can be easily rolled together and holds its shape. I used 2 teaspoons of water. Working with a generous teaspoon at a time, roll the filling into balls and flatten each one slightly. You want the peanut butter centers to fit into the liner without touching the sides of the cup (that extra space is going to get filled with chocolate).

Spoon about a teaspoon of melted chocolate into the bottom of each cup then use an offset spatula (or knife) to spread the chocolate about halfway up the sides of the liners. Gently press the peanut butter centers into the chocolate but be careful not to press them all the way to the bottom of the cup.

Cover each center with another teaspoon of chocolate and use the offset spatula to smooth the top. Shaking the pan with a gentle hand also works well. Sprinkle each peanut butter cup with a pinch of flaky salt if using.

Let the cups stand undisturbed for about four hours or until the chocolate has set. Store for up to two weeks at room temperature in an airtight container. Devour.