I make almond butter a lot and while I love it on toast or on various fruits or on my spoon about to enter my mouth I longed for something different this time. I was thinking about the various applications of other nut butters and became fixated on peanut butter cups. This was my AHA moment and I suddenly became very devoted to the cause of making my own almond butter cups. It also gave me just the opportunity to use the mini muffin pans I had acquired at a garage sale. My mom makes mini pies in them too so I may have to whip out that recipe sometime soon or I could actually make smaller muffins. Therein lies my true problem though; I love large muffins too much to make them any smaller. But back to the recipe at hand! I had a great opportunity to use up my own homemade almond butter and to use my mini muffin pan so I was totally in business. On top of that (yes! In infomercial style there IS more!) I was making candy so I was gaining yet another prospect for screwing my friends and family out of real gifts and leaving them with homemade food products.
Wow. With all of the benefits stacked up against me I made them and they were great. They were really easy—requiring only two ingredients once if the almond butter has been made in advance—and actually pretty fun. But man o man, were the rewards bountiful. I love chocolate covered almonds but I would say that these were better and more exciting.
I melt the chocolate on a homemade double boiler instead of the microwave because it makes me feel more professional. On top of that though, it takes a lot longer to harden and is easier to heat up again if necessary. I mostly just kept it at a really low simmer almost the entire time.
I used a spoon to spread chocolate around and up the side of the paper cup. I don’t know if anyone else feels this way but the miniature Reese’s cups have too much chocolate going on when what I really want is the peanut butter inside. I wasn’t about to let that happen to me so disperse the chocolate evenly.
I don’t know why chocolate covered almonds seem so natural to me but it took me a while to discover this lovely combination. Worth the wait though.
I kept them in the refrigerator the whole time because almond butter has the potential for spoilage and also it made it pretty easy to get them out of the paper muffin cups.
I think I made about 20 in total but the measurements are very lax. I have two rules though: 1. Make your own almond butter if only to feel super accomplished and 2. Spring for the good chocolate chips, I’m talking Ghiradelli or something.
1 ½ cups dark or milk chocolate chips. More if necessary*
About ½ cup of almond butter. Again more if necessary*
1. Fill a saucepan halfway with water, place a glass bowl on top, fill the bowl with 1 cup of the chocolate chips, then bring to a very gentle simmer. Stir the chocolate chips frequently. Meanwhile, fill two mini muffin pans with paper liners. When the chocolate chips melt, remove from the heat and stir in the remaining chocolate chips until all of the chocolate is smooth.
2. Using a spoon, dollop a small amount of the chocolate into a paper liner. Use the spoon to push the chocolate up the sides of the paper as much as possible. Repeat with the remaining liners. Place pans in the fridge and wait about 10-15 minutes until the chocolate has set and hardened.
3. Fill each of the cups with about ½ tsp of almond butter. Place the bowl of chocolate back on the simmering water until it is melted and smooth again. Use a spoon to dollop chocolate on top of the almond butter and spread the chocolate to the edge if necessary. Refrigerate again until set.