Peanut butter cup is a popular American chocolate candy containing peanut butter based filling. Though the candies can be prepared at home, they are mass produced like other candies. Both regional and local candy makers may be involved in the production of peanut butter cups, with the thickness and diameter of the candies depending upon the willingness of the producer.
The peanut butter cup recipe suggests using chocolate and peanut butter as the two vital ingredients. Both dark and white colored chocolate can be used in the preparation of the candy; however milk chocolate is the common choice. Among peanut butter choices, both crunchy and creamy peanut butter can be used; however, the preferred choice is the smooth and creamy peanut butter, which creates a smooth filling. Peanut butter can be combined with other ingredients like jelly, raspberry jam, or marshmallow fluff to enhance the flavor of the candy. Sugar is used as the sweetening agent for the candies.
The peanut butter cup recipe first suggests tempering the chocolate, so as to make it suitable for use in the preparation of the candies. The chocolate, often milk chocolate, is cut into small sized pieces and melted over simmering water in a bowl. The chocolate is slightly cooled by way of stirring it and again placed over simmering water, so that it gets properly tempered. Thereafter, the melted chocolate is poured into fluted candy cup molds, and allowed to set. Each cup is then filled with a mix of sugar and peanut butter, followed by covering the surface of each cup with melted chocolate. A pastry bag or a paper cone can be used to fill the cup’s surface with melted chocolate. Once the peanut butter cups are set properly, they are removed from the molds, and are ready to be consumed. Refrigerating the candy cup molds helps in setting them well.
It is believed that the flavor and taste of peanut butter cups would be improved, if the filling is prepared by blending peanut butter with the chocolate that has been used in the candy. However, most of the mass producers do not make use of this method for producing the candies.
The two popular brands of peanut butter cups include the following:
- Reese's Peanut Butter Cup– this is the most popular peanut butter cup brand, currently known as Hershey brand. Reese, set up the brand in his own name in the year 1920, which was then sold to Hershey in the year 1963, upon the death of Reese. The candies manufactured by the company are available in several variations viz. dark chocolate, milk chocolate, banana peanut butter filling, and chocolate flavored peanut butter filling.
- Palmer- palmer brand specializes in holiday peanut butter cups. The shape of the cups varies according to the seasons, for example, during Christmas the candies are available in the shape of Christmas trees. Further, the color of the foil packing may change according to the holidays.
Peanut butter cups can be used in preparation of cookies, cupcakes, and brownies.
40.4 g of peanut butter cup candies (which make up about 5 candies) provides around 210 calories. These calories are mainly obtained from 12 g of fat, 22 g of carbohydrates, and 4 g of protein. The candies also contain about 3 mg of cholesterol and 115 mg of sodium. Due to being high in calories and carbohydrates, it is suggested to consume the candies in moderation to prevent weight gain.