As a chocoholic, I naturally gravitate toward any and all holidays that shamelessly encourage gorging on candy. I love a good box of truffles on Valentine’s Day (even if I buy them for myself), caramel-filled eggs on Easter and peppermint bark at Christmas. But Halloween is my holy grail.
Halloween takes me back to my childhood in Minnesota, where my hometown was a patchwork of subdivisions, so my haul was only limited by my tolerance of the October chill (and my curfew). I schlepped home candy bars by the pillow case, eating them only after I’d meticulously sorted them by type, an early display of my detail-oriented tendencies.
Now that I am nearly thirty, trick-or-treating is naturally inappropriate, but I’ve discovered a new love: candy-making. Making homemade Halloween candy, for me, is all about focusing on the classics. I love taking a cue from my childhood favorites, like peanut butter cups. My recipe is incredibly easy, even if you’ve never made candy before.
I use miniature muffin cups to shape milk chocolate shells that hold sumptuous peanut butter centers. Peanut butter cups are a universally loved sweet treat perfect for the A-list trick-or-treaters in your building, Halloween party favors or as a sweet dessert while watching fall football.
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 17.6-ounce bar milk chocolate, chopped (or about 1 ½ cups chopped)
3 tablespoons shortening
1. Using a mixer or by hand, beat together peanut butter, butter, powdered sugar, and salt until smooth and creamy. Set aside.
2. Combine chopped chocolate and shortening together in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at half power for 30 second intervals, stirring as you go along, until chocolate is fully melted. You’ll want to keep an eye on it as it heats to make sure the chocolate doesn’t burn.
3. Drop teaspoonfuls of the chocolate mixture into paper-lined miniature muffin cups. (To make mine extra festive, I opted for Halloween-themed mini muffin cups.) Use the back of a spoon to “paint” the chocolate up the sides of the cup to create a shell, adding additional chocolate as needed.
4. Top each with a teaspoonful of the peanut butter mixture and then top with another teaspoon of the chocolate mixture, spreading as necessary to enclose the peanut butter filling. Refrigerate until set. Store in an airtight container.