Get in My Belly: Homemade Peanut Butter Cups

Because I am lactose intolerant and the Lactaid/lactase-enzyme pills do not work for me when it comes to many rich desserts, my life has been devoid of peanut butter cups in any satisfying quantity. Until now. Behold, my friends, this superior moment of deliciousness:

Homemade peanut butter cups (photo by Tyson Habein)Look at these beasts. Are they uniformly portioned? No. My technique needs some improving, but for the first attempt at making homemade peanut butter cups, I think they were outstanding.

I stumbled across a recipe for them on Pinterest – that land of people thinking they can create all sorts of things on their own, where they make boards full of good intentions, and perhaps that is where it stops. However, with more than a decade passed since I was properly able to enjoy peanut butter cups, I knew I had to make these. I’m rarely much of a dessert-maker, but I’m so very glad I made the exception.

The way I made them produced 12 peanut butter cups that are about half the thickness of your standard muffin tin cup. If you were to increase the ingredients, you could very well make cupcake-sized peanut butter cups and perhaps be very happy. Here’s how I adapted the aforementioned recipe:


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  • 1 pound (16 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • ½ cup natural peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons margarine (or use whatever butter-like substance you prefer)
  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons powdered/confectioner’s sugar (The original recipe calls for it to be sifted, but I did not. Instead, I spooned the amount into the measurement cups, then leveled with a knife. This way it was not packed tight, but I didn’t have to bother with fluffy sifting either.)


Yep, four ingredients is all you need. Let’s get started:

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  1. Fill a standard muffin pan with paper liners.
  2. In a bowl, melt half of the chocolate chips in the microwave. Do 20 seconds at a time, then stir, and repeat until the chips are almost entirely melted. When there are just a few unmelted pieces left, the residual heat and final stirring should melt them all the way. This will prevent you from overcooking/burning the chocolate, which would be very sad.
  3. Evenly distribute (as best you can) the chocolate into the paper liners. I used a regular spoon to put a tablespoon-like dollop into each one, enough to cover the entire bottom of the liner, but in not too terribly thick of a layer.
  4. Put the pan into the freezer for 15 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, mix together the peanut butter, margarine and powdered sugar. The original recipe says to use a hand mixer, but I hate having to drag out an extra piece of equipment, so my suggestion is to pop the bowl full of ingredients into the microwave for 20 seconds, then stir together. The margarine will melt, the peanut butter will significantly soften, and this will make it easier to portion it out into the cups.
  6. Pull the pan out of the freezer and evenly distribute the peanut butter. I found that the suggested measurements for the peanut butter make pretty much exactly what you need, down to scraping the bowl for the last little bit. If this seems too scary, make a little extra of the peanut butter mixture so you know you’ll have enough for each cup.
  7. Pop the pan back into the freezer for 15 minutes.
  8. Melt the remaining chocolate in the microwave using the above method, and when the peanut butter layer’s 15 minutes are up, once again evenly distribute the top layer of chocolate.
  9. One more 15 minute round in the freezer.
  10. Peel off the paper liner and joyfully consume.


The peanut butter cups do not necessarily have to be stored in the fridge, but with the weather warming in most parts of the country, I’d recommend it. The end result tasted very close to a real peanut butter cup, enough to where the mister (who can still more or less eat whatever dairy he wants, the jerk) also noted the similarity. Though making these involves a lot of waiting around, they were still very easy, even for someone like me who is impatient and somewhat unskilled at dessert making. Do give these a go.

By Sara Habein

Sara Habein is the author of Infinite Disposable, a collection of microfiction, and her work has appeared on The Rumpus, Pajiba and Word Riot, among others. Her book reviews and other commentary appear at Glorified Love Letters, and she is the co-manager of Electric City Creative.

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