My son Reese can’t have peanut butter (or dairy, or eggs, or soy, or nuts, or……). But he can have these!
Without question, my favorite candy is Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. In fact, any peanut butter based candy is going to top my list. Unfortunately, two of my kids are allergic to peanuts, so I
have to finish my candy before I get home don’t get to have them very often. I mean, it’s just not right for a parent to not share their candy with their kids, right?
Enter: the experiment
I set out to see if I could make this work. I tend to do that in the kitchen. It’s not uncommon for me to respond to “What are we having for dinner?” with “I’m not sure what this is… you may want to come up with a Plan B.” SoI started taking pictures and hoping this would work out.
First of all let me say this: there are a frillion peanut butter substitutes out there. None of them taste like peanut butter. They are all good, and they are all their own thing with their own flavor. But they’re not peanut butter. If you like sunflower seeds, though, these are delicious (and my allergy kids have no idea they are any different!).
So, like I said, two of our kids are allergic to peanut butter. One of those two (our EOE kid) is also essentially allergic to all other nuts and soy, so that leave us with SunButter. If you aren’t familiar with this, it is a nut-butter substitute made from sunflower seeds. I mixed that together with some powdered sugar to make the filling to these candies.
SunButter is pretty thick stuff, so it took some stirring and mixing to get it all mixed together. It will make a moldable dough and should be pretty uniform in color.
One I had that dough sorted, I started parting it off and rolling it into small balls. I didn’t have much of a plan, I just took a whack at it; remember, it is still an experiment at this point. If you do it right, it should give you 16 evenly-sized balls. I got 15. Whoops.
“But, those are a little flat to be considered balls, aren’t they?” Why yes they are. Because halfway through rolling them, I decided to shift gears. At first, I was going to just dip them in chocolate. I decided instead to do “peanut butter” cups, so I flattened them a bit. I just figured it made more sense that way.
Then I turned my attention to the chocolate. This is where experimentation really came into play. I used Enjoy Life Mini Chocolate Chips. These are the same things I used in my Chocolate Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies. We love them!
To make it a little smoother for dipping, I mixed in a little coconut oil in while I was melting them. Turns out that I may have added a little much. In the recipe below, I am suggesting using one third the amount I used, and then you can add more if you need it. Adding too much coconut oil will make the chocolate melt in your fingers very quickly. Like this:So, yeah. Don’t go overboard on the coconut oil. (*NOTE: I have been told that by adding a little bit of food-grade paraffin wax to the chocolate, you will make it more stable and less likely to melt in your hands. Also, you can go through a process of slowly raising and lowering the temperature of the chocolate (called tempering) to achieve a similar result. I couldn’t be bothered to do either. If you do, let me know how it turns out!)
If done correctly, you will always learn something from an experiment. It may not be what you expect, it may not fit your hypothesis, but you’ll learn something. In this case, I learned that I need to use cupcake liners the next time I do this. Please use cupcake liners! These were SO hard to get out of the pan. Cupcake liners will make it a piece of cake. And now we assemble!
Spoon a little bit of chocolate into the bottom of the cup of a mini-muffin tin (that has a mini-cupcake liner!), then carefully plop in a sunbutter ball. Then spoon some more chocolate on top. This is where gently flattening the balls helped. I had very few finished candies with a weird lump on top. Do this to all the pieces.
I tapped the tin on the table a bit to try to shake out any bubble and even it out. I’m not sure it did anything but annoy everyone else in the house. Either way, there was a payoff. Put this in your fridge until set.
Again, I can’t stress enough the use of liners. Getting these out was so hard. So I set the tin in a bath of warm water. That worked quickly, but then the chocolate was super melty (see adorable above picture).
Lennox and Reese’s SunButter Cups
- Mix together SunButter and powdered sugar until it forms a moldable dough.
- Roll into even bite-sized balls (approximately 16 balls).
- Melt chocolate and coconut oil together, stirring until smooth.
- Put a small amount of melted chocolate into lined mini-muffin tin cups.
- Place SunButter balls into cups.
- Top with more melted chocolate.
- Chill until chocolate is set.
While these aren’t exact copy’s of my favorite Reese’s peanut butter cups, they are excellent, and my allergy kids love them!
NOTE: The links to SunButter and Enjoy Life are not indications of sponsorship or affiliations. I use and believe in these products and am providing links so you can read about them and find where you can get them.