Mocha Peanut Butter Cups (gluten free, vegan)
Growing up I wasn't a fan of a Reese's peanut butter cups. I hated whole peanuts and didn't like peanut butter unless it was paired with double the amount of jam. (Side note, I'd never eaten a PB&J sandwich until I was 12!) In fact, I pretty much wrote off all sorts of nuts until I tried almond butter. That was my "gateway" nut, and now I enjoy all different kinds. I still don't like those Reese's though. You know what is good? Justin's peanut butter cups. I could eat those all day. Turns out it's not so much the combination of peanut butter and chocolate that I dislike, it's the use of poor quality ingredients, which equates to terrible texture and flavor. Of course, this meant I had to try making them myself.
It's pretty far fetched to call these cups a health food, but I thought I could try making them a little less unhealthy. Gary recently picked up some peanut butter that had added protein powder and flax seeds, making it a more nutrient dense alternative.
I used a blend of dark and bittersweet chocolate because I like how it tastes against the PB, but also because it has less sugar. To make it mocha flavored I added instant coffee powder. If you're avoiding caffeine I'm sure you could use Dandy Blend, thought I haven't tried it. If you want to make these vegan friendly, make sure to use chocolate without added milk. As long as you use your favorite chocolate bar, you can't really go wrong!
Mocha Peanut Butter Cups - just a guideline, not a recipe -
dark chocolate nut butter honey or maple syrup instant coffee powder, to taste
Carefully melt chocolate in a double boiler or microwave. (It's not "wrong" to melt chocolate in the microwave! Just keep an eye on it, don't let it melt all the way, and stir it through to have the residual heat melt the rest of the pieces. If you keep these in the freezer it doesn't matter if your chocolate is out of temper, anyway.) Mix instant coffee into melted chocolate. Spoon chocolate into silicone or paper cupcake liners, just enough to have a decent coating on the bottom. Place cups in freezer. Mix a little bit of honey with your nut butter of choice. You only need a little bit, enough so you can form a ball with your hands. To make 3 nut butter cups, I used about 1 tsp of honey. Take cups out of freezer when they've solidified a bit, then roll the nut butter into a flattened ball and place on top of chocolate. Spoon more chocolate on top, then place back in freezer until solid, about 15 minutes.