The Perfect Combination
Milk and cookies; warm apple pie and ice cream; college students and beer (ok, the last one came from Joshua who just turned 21!) What do these things have in common? They are pairs that are simply “meant to be.”
There is one other pair that is perfect when combined…peanut butter and chocolate. I must admit, I find it very hard to pass up a Reese’s cup (especially the dark chocolate ones.) Actually, I have the same challenge with the many zillion other ways that people around the world have come up with to create temptations using these two ingredients.
So I figured what better way to pay proper homage to peanut butter and chocolate than to create a Giant Peanut Butter Cup.
The base of this wonderful dessert is a peanut crust, baked and cooled before the incredibly delicious peanut butter layer goes on. Of course the top of the cake gets a fabulous layer of chocolate to envelope the entire dessert so that it resembles a giant peanut butter cup.
Now I know, placing the Reese’s miniature peanut butter cups on top is just showing off a bit, but quite frankly, I couldn’t resist. There is also the fact that buying a bag of Reese’s miniature peanut butter cups because I ‘need’ twelve mini-cups, gives me the opportunity to eat all the others in the bag. Don’t worry, I share (kind of.)
|Giant Peanut Butter Cup
- 2 cups lightly salted peanuts
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 2 cups peanut butter, creamy
- 1 cup confectioners sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ¼ cup heavy whipping cream
- ⅛ cup (2 tablespoons) light corn syrup
- 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
- 12 Reese's® miniature peanut butter cups
- Preheat the oven to 325°. Set a 9" springform pan aside.
- For the crust:
- Place the peanuts and sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Process on/off until the nuts are fine pieces. Add the butter and process until well combined. The mixture will resemble a loose paste.
- Grease the pan (i.e. Pam®). Press the mixture into the bottom of the springform. Place on a sheet of aluminum foil and bake in 325° oven for 10 minutes. Cool completely on a cooling rack.
- For the filling:
- Beat the cream cheese, peanut butter, confectioners sugar, vanilla and heavy cream on medium speed, until well blended.
- Press the filling evenly into the springform, on top of the crust. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- For the topping:
- Melt the butter, heavy cream and corn syrup together over medium low heat. When it starts to simmer, turn the heat off and add the chocolate. Stir until smooth.
- Remove the sides of the springform. Using a long, straight metal spatula, transfer the Giant Peanut Butter Cup to a serving plate. (If you do not have the spatula, leave the Cup on the bottom of the springform, place the springform on the serving plate and continue).
- Pour the chocolate topping over the middle of the Giant Peanut Butter Cup. Use a small spatula to spread the topping over the sides as well as the top of the cake. Unwrap the Reese's® cups and place them on top of the cake (think of a clock and place them where the numbers would be).
- Refrigerate for 20 minutes to set. If serving later in the day, remove from the refrigerator for 25 minutes before serving, to allow the chocolate to cut easily.