The Classic Peanut Butter Cup
Posted on 24 January 2017
This is the fourth post in our series that peeks inside some of our confections, and today I am using another arbitrary but delicious holiday -- National Peanut Butter Day! -- to tell you all about our Classic Peanut Butter Cup.
I made my first peanut butter cup in the early 2000s, and truthfully, I didn’t know what I was doing. Every year for the holidays I hand make gifts for friends (I still do). That year I decided to make a peanut butter cup. Please keep in mind this pre-dates YouTube so I didn’t have the privilege of watching experts teach me how to temper. I was reading about the technique in books.
I remember hand painting the candy cups with, what I assumed, was tempered chocolate. I also remember cranking the air conditioner in my house and setting up fans to help the chocolate set. However, I don’t remember if it worked. But they tasted good so no one really minded that much.
While difficult, I enjoyed the challenge. I had been teaching myself how to hand roll truffles and how to make various caramels, but I kept coming back to the peanut butter cup. I began wondering about other nut butters, and so I started tinkering.
Chocolate and peanut butter. So quintessentially American and such a perfect marriage of flavors. I wanted a peanut butter cup that both celebrated this ideal pairing and showcased the flavor of the peanut. To that end, the filling is a careful blend of a flavorful organic peanut butter and dark chocolate. I lost track of how many versions I created before finally creating the right one. The creamy center is complemented by the crisp snap of the dark chocolate shell and the slight crunch from the hint of salt on top.
While I could have added salt to the buttery filling, I prefer sprinkling it as a topping so when you eat it, that salt dances on your tongue at the very end, punctuating the classic flavor profile. Of all the butter cups, these need to be eaten from the side, rather than the top, so you get a little bit of salt in each bite.
This is the one that started it all. It is the flavor with which most people are familiar, before they begin to explore the rest of the flavors. And we often describe the collection of butter cups by quipping that it is "the peanut butter cup, all grown up." So, as much as I relish the new and unique, there's something very special about a classic.