This post is sponsored by the National Peanut Board. I received compensation, but all opinions and content are my own.
Spoiler alert, peeps: this ginormous milk chocolate peanut butter cup is basically the best thing I have ever made. Peanut butter and chocolate is my absolute favorite combo, and I think you can guess what my favorite candy might be . . . and why Halloween might just be my favorite holiday. (On Halloween, I feel fully justified in buying myself a bag of mini PB/chocolate cups and eating the entire bag solo — no sharing with my kids — and all this, regardless of whether I am accompanying said kids trick or treating, or not). But here’s the thing: now that I have created this HOMEMADE (and very large . . .) milk chocolate peanut butter cup, I may never purchase another bag of minis again. And you might not, either.
So, to say that I am grateful for what is now my SECOND opportunity to create a peanut butter forward recipe for the National Peanut Board, is in fact a (ginormous) understatement. Moreover, I’d say this recipe is coming at you at the ideal time, as this giant cup is nothing if not the PERFECT treat for celebrating all things back to school (including Halloween, just saying . . .).
Peanut butter is a fantastically versatile ingredient, particularly when it comes to feeding kids. I mean, toast with peanut butter, sliced bananas and a drizzle of honey for breakfast on the first day of school is not-only kid friendly and scrumptious, but nutritious, as well. As is a peanut butter sandwich with grape jelly tucked into a lunchbox. And, yes, even the giant milk chocolate peanut butter cup sitting on the kitchen counter for your littles to enjoy post-school has protein, fiber AND unsaturated fats in every bite, not to mention the fact that after the kids taste it, you will hence be known for all eternity as “super mom.”
Moreover, in addition to peanut butter’s above-mentioned attributes — of which there are many — when it’s used to fill a milk chocolate shell in a tart pan, it shines more, and is more knock-your-socks-off delicious, in my humble opinion, than in any other application.
And the making of the cup is just so darn easy. First, you melt some milk chocolate chips, along with some shortening, which contributes to a more manageable and smoother melted chocolate. You then pour the chocolate into a 10-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom and use a large spoon or a small offset spatula to gently spread the chocolate over the base of the pan and up the sides. And speaking of the “sides,” the fluted edge of the pan is what gives the cup its signature packaged PB cup look. But if you only have a straight-sided tart pan, it will work, too.
You then place the tart pan in the freezer so that the chocolate can set-up, and in a medium bowl, you combine the peanut butter, a stick of butter, brown sugar, as well as some confectioners’, salt and some vanilla. The mixture is warmed in the microwave or over a make shift double boiler until the butter melts.
The peanut butter filling is then transferred to the chocolate-coated tart pan and spread with an offset spatula until smooth and flat.
Additional milk chocolate is then melted and poured over the peanut butter filling and smoothed with an offset spatula. A sprinkling of flaky sea salt around the edges of the tart, is a lovely addition, both visually and because sweet + salt = yum. The tart is placed in the refrigerator to firm up for about an hour, and is then sliced into slivers and enjoyed with glasses of icy cold milk around the kitchen table after school and before homework. Done and done.
I’m hoping you will try your hand at making this giant PB cup for your littles sooner rather than later, but I would also love to know what sweets you like to make with peanut butter. Please let me know in the comments, and on Instagram using the hashtag #howdoyoupb, and please check out these peanut butter-centric recipes, both sweet, and savory!
Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup
- 4 1/2 cups about 27 ounces milk chocolate, chopped or chips, divided
- 4 Tbsp vegetable shortening divided
- 2 cups smooth peanut butter not all-natural
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- Have ready a 10-inch tart pan with fluted sides and a removable bottom.
- Melt 2 1/2 cups of the chocolate and 2 tablespoons of the shortening in a small microwave-safe bowl on high power, in 20 second bursts, stirring after each one, until smooth, about one minute. Alternatively, place the bowl over a pot of simmering water, over medium to medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until melted.
- Spread the melted chocolate on the bottom of the tart pan and up the sides with the back of a spoon or with a small offset spatula. Place the tart pan in the freezer until the chocolate is hard, about 25 minutes.
- Combine the peanut butter, butter, vanilla, salt and sugars in a medium-sized microwave-safe bowl and heat on high power, for 60 to 90 seconds, until the butter melts. Alternatively, place the bowl over a pot of simmering water, over medium to medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until the butter is melted. Stir to combine with a rubber spatula.
- Transfer the peanut butter mixture to the chocolate-coated tart pan and spread with an offset spatula over the chocolate. Place back in the freezer while you melt the remaining chocolate.
- Melt the remaining chocolate and shortening as you did the first -half, and pour over the peanut butter filling in two stages, smoothing with an offset spatula.
- Sprinkle with flaky sea salt, if you so desire, and place in the freezer to set up, about 45 minutes. This time in the freezer will facilitate the removal of the tart bottom.
- When ready to serve, remove the sides of the tart pan and then the bottom, using a small paring knife, to dislodge it, if necessary. Place on a serving platter and let sit for about 20 minutes or so, depending on how warm your kitchen is, to soften slightly. Slice with a large chef’s knife, dipped in hot water and wiped dry, and serve with glasses of milk.
- The giant cup will keep wrapped in plastic wrap in the refrigerator for up to a week.