Thai Peanut Butter Cups

By • February 15, 2012 • 81 Comments



Author Notes: Take your favorite spicy Thai peanut butter sauce and put it in a chocolate candy cup and voila: two great tastes that taste *really* great together (to coin a phrase). We make these every year with our collection of holiday confections and they're a big hit with grown ups and kids alike despite the heat and spice. Part of its appeal is the excitement of seeing something that looks familiar, but then being surprised by the decadent, mischievous filling. I admit, it's a little bit of work, but for such tasty results, I think you can make the time.

You'll wind up with more filling than you need for 36 cups, but once you taste the filling, I don't think you'll have trouble thinking of ways to eat it.
vrunka

Food52 Review: WHO: vrunka lives in Portland, OR and blogs at http://www.tinysandwiches.com.
WHAT: Homemade peanut butter cups that put Reese's to shame with a complex base of Thai flavors.
HOW: You infuse coconut milk with all your favorite curry flavors: galangal, lime zest, lemongrass, and Thai chilis. But the similarities end there -- the strained milk is blended with peanut butter and piped into tiny chocolate cups.
WHY WE LOVE IT: These treats are definitely for grown-ups! Not-too-sweet and with a hint of spice, we'll never turn to the storebrought stuff again.
A&M

Makes 36 cups

  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 stalks lemon grass, cut into 2-inch segments and bruised with the back of a knife
  • 4 large coins galangal, bruised with the back of a knife
  • 3-5 Thai chilis
  • 2 teaspoons lime zest, grated
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 2 pounds bittersweet chocolate
  • 36 small candy cups
  • 36 small strips of candied ginger (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons roasted peanuts (optional)
  1. In a small sauce pan, bring the coconut milk to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Add the lemon grass, galangal, chilis and lime zest. Muddle the spices with the back of a spoon. Continue to simmer very low for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and strain out the solids.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine peanut butter, coconut milk and lime juice. Mix thoroughly and spoon into a piping bag. Place the bag in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or until it solidifies slightly.
  3. Meanwhile, chop the chocolate into chunks. You may temper the chocolate for a nice, finished look. For directions on how to do that, see David Liebowitz’s website. http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2005/08/tempering-choco/ You may also simply melt the chocolate by placing it in a large bowl and microwaving it for 30 seconds at a time. Stir well between each round in the microwave.
  4. Once the chocolate is ready, prepare your chocolate cups. Keep all the cups in a stack, but loosen the top one. With a pastry brush (silicone works great), coat the inside of the cup with melted chocolate. Set aside and continue doing the same with all of the cups. Whatever chocolate is leftover, set aside and you can retemper (or just remelt) for the topping later.
  5. Once the chocolate in the cups has hardened, take your peanut butter mixture and pipe it into the cups, leaving about ¼ inch at the top. Remelt or retemper the chocolate and either put it in another piping bag or leave it in the bowl. Top the candy cups by piping the chocolate in a spiral from the outside in. Or you can simply spoon the chocolate from the bowl and gently spread it over the tops of the cups.
  6. You may optionally top each cup with a roasted peanut and a sliver of candied ginger. Drop them on the top while the chocolate on top is still melted so that they’ll stick.
  7. These peanut cups are considerably creamier than the store-bought kind so it’s best to eat them in a single bite. They’ll keep for a couple days in a cool, dark place (they’ll last a bit longer in the fridge).
Jump to Comments (81)

Comments (81) Questions (2)

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3 months ago EGlove

Can you make these cups ahead of time and freeze them?

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3 months ago Gaia Goodness Natural Foods

Wow! This sounds amazing and delicious. What a creative combination. When I try this recipe I think I'll swap the sugar for coconut sap and see what happens.

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about 1 year ago kmpmilano

Oh great, just what I need: another addiction.
I only had big cups and the result was about 15 or so. I can see how bite-size would be better cos the big ones were pretty intense. Plus my galangal was ancient and I toned down the chili cos not everyone in my house is a spicy fan. They were still fantastic; I'm looking forward to making them again with a bit more heat and some fresh galangal.

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over 1 year ago Burf

These are awesome! I had an eye on a 9-week old pup, so my coconut milk mixture stayed on the heat a little longer, but it made the PB filling a little firmer than was probably intended. FANTASTIC. I used the mini liners because it's what I had. The hardest part was painting the bottom chocolate on those little buggers, but it was a small price to pay. I'll definitely make these again.

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over 1 year ago vrunka

SO glad you enjoyed them! I agree that it's kind of a pain to paint the little cups. I've learned that the key to making it less tedious is to keep the cups in a stack (for structure) and to really get a lot of chocolate on the brush so that you can "paint" the bottom and sides in one big swirl.

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over 1 year ago ThereseTetzel

Instead of making cups could you make the filling into truffles and dunk them into chocolate?

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over 1 year ago vrunka

Hi Therese, The filling on these is quite soft so I don't think that would work. But I have experimented with adding melted white chocolate to the mix -- this makes it firm enough to cut when it's cooled, but does dull the flavor a little. I've also thought about adding coconut oil to get it to set up more, but haven't experimented with that yet. If you do try dipping the centers, let me know how it goes!

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9 months ago Eva

freezer?

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over 1 year ago RavensFeast

It's worth mentioning that these are made by a beloved Portland chocolatier called Alma Chocolates. Sarah's known for her Thai Peanut Butter Cups: http://www.almachocolate...

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over 1 year ago vrunka

Hi RavensFeast -- I've seen Alma's version, but I've never tried them. I'm sure they must be awesome, though, because all their chocolates are!

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about 1 year ago kmpmilano

Ooh, I do like the idea of a little sea salt on top. I'm a bit of a sucker for adding salty to sweet.

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almost 2 years ago Cinnamin

Lemongrass and chocolate- who'd a thunk it? Now my Reese's Peanut Butter cups just look boring.

Claire

over 2 years ago midnitechef

Congrats on winning with a family favorite ;)

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over 2 years ago broccolirose

Natalie is a recipe tester for Food52.

Added bonus- these are vegan!

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over 2 years ago vrunka

yes, indeed!

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over 2 years ago vvvanessa

Deee-licious! As a close relative, I claim first dibs on all future batches of Thai Peanut Butter Cups!

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over 2 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

These have a great blend of sweet and savory with a nice little kick from the spices. I claim second dibs!!

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over 2 years ago lapadia

I claim long distance dibs!!! :)

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over 2 years ago Kitchen Butterfly

Leaving me with.....distance-cannot-separate-a-girl-and-her-food dibs! I'm in Nigeria....so what :-)

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over 2 years ago vrunka

haha! Looks like I need to buy some stamps! Kitchen Butterfly, you're in NIgeria?! You should be able to get some great local (or local-ish) peanut butter and chocolate!

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over 2 years ago lakelurelady

Congrats vrunka! Brilliant recipe.

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over 2 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Huge congrats vrunka! These look so yummy!

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over 2 years ago Marlin Darlin

Congrats! this is the bomb! Can't wait to try these.

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over 2 years ago Midge

Congrats vrunka!! A brilliant recipe and well-deserved win!

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over 2 years ago Panfusine

YAAY!! COngratulations Vrunka!

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over 2 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Congrats Vrunks, love the Thai flavors in these.

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over 2 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Congrats, vrunka!

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over 2 years ago NakedBeet

Look forward to making these—love the lemongrass and thai flavor angle!

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over 2 years ago vincentinparis

Ohmygosh, the filling is really tasty. I had to substitute kaffir lime leaves for the lime zest, but I think I have been faithful to the spirit of the original recipe.

I now have a bag of it waiting in my fridge, ready to be piped as soon as I can get my hands on some chocolate. I am just hoping that I don't suck it all right out of the bag before then.

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over 2 years ago vrunka

can't wait to hear how they turn out!

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over 2 years ago Nico-Nico

These look so great, but I have one question. Does the peanut butter need to be commercial peanut butter that doesn't separate like Jiffy or can natural peanut butter be used?

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over 2 years ago vrunka

Hi Nicole. I've used natural peanut butter and it's fine. You may get a little separation, but these are meant to be eaten in one bite so it doesn't really matter. They also don't keep for terribly long -- but that's not usually a problem!

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over 2 years ago vrunka

Hi Nicole. I've used natural peanut butter and it's fine. You may get a little separation, but these are meant to be eaten in one bite so it doesn't really matter. They also don't keep for terribly long -- but that's not usually a problem!

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over 2 years ago Ms. T

Wow. Brilliant flavor combo. I must try these. Congrats!

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over 2 years ago vrunka

I hope you give them a try -- they're fun to make!

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over 2 years ago Anna "newbie"

I agree with Panfusion "Genius."


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over 2 years ago vrunka

that's very kind -- thank you!

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over 2 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

My mouth is actually watering right now! I tried (unsuccessfully) to make homemade peanut butter cups a few years ago. This recipe gives me the courage to try them again. Many congrats on being finalist this week!!

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over 2 years ago vrunka

I hope you give it a try again -- it's a bit of work, but fun to do!

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over 2 years ago BlueKaleRoad

Congratulations! Your peanut butter cups are inspired and I can't wait to try them.

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over 2 years ago vrunka

thank you, BKR!

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over 2 years ago Midge

I knew it! Congrats vrunka! What an honor to be a finalist with these beauties.

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over 2 years ago vrunka

haha, you did call it! thanks and good luck to you, too!

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over 2 years ago Meatballs&Milkshakes

Congrats! These look wonderful!

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over 2 years ago vrunka

thanks, CRS!

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over 2 years ago arielleclementine

how gorgeous! can't wait to try them!

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over 2 years ago vrunka

thanks so much, arielleclementine!

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over 2 years ago Anitalectric

Anita is a vegan pastry chef & founder of Electric Blue Baking Co. in Brooklyn.

These are all my favorite flavors! Bravo. And finally, a vegan contest finalist. I am a big fan of this recipe.

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over 2 years ago vrunka

thank you!! they're even gluten-free, too! :)

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over 2 years ago susan g

And yippee for you! This was an early save for me -- just reading the recipe sets up the craving mechanism again.

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over 2 years ago vrunka

I hope you get a chance to give them a try -- they're fun to make!

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over 2 years ago vrunka

woo-hoo! how exciting! it's my first time as a finalist! yippee!

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over 2 years ago PistachioDoughnut

Wow! loved these ..congrats!

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over 2 years ago vrunka

thank you!!

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over 2 years ago Beautiful, Memorable Food

These look so fantastic! Congrats and good luck!

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over 2 years ago vrunka

thanks for the nice compliment!

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over 2 years ago gingerroot

Congrats, vrunka! I bet these are amazing.

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over 2 years ago vrunka

thanks so much, gingerroot!

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over 2 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Yay vrunka!

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over 2 years ago vrunka

yay, thanks!

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over 2 years ago EmilyC

Congrats vrunka! Great recipe!

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over 2 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Congrats Vrunka! These look amazing! It's a spicy peanutbutter and chocolate face off this week!

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over 2 years ago vrunka

haha, it's true! seems like it's a winning combination!

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over 2 years ago Bevi

Congrats Vrunka - totally beautiful recipe!

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over 2 years ago vrunka

aw, shucks! thanks!

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over 2 years ago Panfusine

Simply genius of a recipe, Congratulations on the well deserved finalist nod!

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over 2 years ago vrunka

thanks for such a nice compliment!

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over 2 years ago raspberryeggplant

These look delicious! I love using Thai flavors in sweets and this is right up my alley. Plus, I love Reese's peanut butter cups, so I may have to make these this weekend. :)

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over 2 years ago vrunka

I love cooking with Thai flavors, too, and it works really well in this combo. let me know how it goes if you make them!

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over 2 years ago vrunka

We should definitely get together for dinner and Oven & Shaker has been on my list. A certain other Food52er happens to be coming to visit next week so maybe we could get a group together!

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over 2 years ago vrunka

whoops, that was supposed to be a response to hardlikearmour way down below...

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over 2 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Sounds great! Keep me posted.

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over 2 years ago lapadia

Hi Vrunka! I totally agree with midge and my fingers are crossed :)

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over 2 years ago vrunka

thanks so much, lapadia! it looks like all our finger-crossing paid off!

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over 2 years ago Midge

These are brilliant. Total finalist material.

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over 2 years ago vrunka

Thanks, Midge! fingers crossed!

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over 2 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Wow--fabulous!

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over 2 years ago vrunka

thank you!

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over 2 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

These sound amazing! How does one get to be a recipient of your annual candy goodies?

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over 2 years ago vrunka

Well, I had a box all made up for you on New Year's Day... but we missed each other! You're first in line for next year.

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over 2 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Argh! We did the first run, came home and drank way too much sparkling wine, went to bed about 4 am, and didn't get up until afternoon. I didn't feel human enough to socialize! We should get together for dinner out soon! Have you tried Oven and Shaker yet??