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Chocolate Stout Peanut Butter Cups

Chocolate Stout PB cups

Just in time for Super Bowl Sunday — Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups with Stout!! This is one of those three-ingredient wonders — you know, those curious little recipes that crop up on Facebook from time to time and sound way too easy to work.

I made this test batch because I wanted try them out before I bring them to Hamilton  for Sunday’s Wine and Unwind.   If I do say so myself, they are pretty freaking good.  (My 13 year year old thinks they need more textural refuge, though, and suggests I use crunchy peanut butter next time.  It’s a fair critique.  I’ll try that and let you what the cast thinks.)

Oh, and one other little backstage-related detail — the peanut butter I used was “The Bees Knees” from Peanut Butter & Co.  The partner of one of the producers of Kinky Boots owns the company, and sometimes he sends a case or two to the theater for everyone to enjoy.  So I did.

Peanut Butter

Chocolate Stout Peanut Butter Cups

Ingredients:

3 cups of dark chocolate chips (60% cocoa content)
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1/3 cup stout or porter (espresso or smoked flavor would be divine!)

Method:

1.  Line mini-muffin tins with mini-muffin paper cups.  (should need about 24)

2.  Place chocolate chips in a glass bowl and microwave on high for 30 seconds at a time, stirring each time until melted.

3.  Spoon melted chocolate into muffin cups (about 2/3rds full).  Don’t use all the chocolate, as you will need a little bit to smooth off the tops after you’ve piped in your peanut butter.

4.  In a small bowl, beat peanut butter and stout until well combined.  Scrape peanut butter into a Ziploc bag, and cut off one corner to use as a make-shift pastry bag.  Insert cut-off corner into chocolate and squeeze out a good sized dollop.

5.  Top each cup with a small amount of the remaining chocolate to cover the peanut butter and create a smooth top.

6.  Chill until set, about 10 minutes.

I will confess that I used a couple of specialized tools to make this easier and the candies sleeker — a mini-cookie dough scoop really helps get the melted chocolate into the cups cleanly, and a pastry bag makes the peanut butter look very professional.  But really, a spoon and a Ziploc work just fine.  And how can you go wrong with these three ingredients?

Welcome to the Backstage Baker

Welcome to our new blog — The Backstage Baker.  In it, we will document the baking exploits of James Latus, stage manager and baker extraordinaire.  Everyone who has ever worked with him has finished a run at least five pounds heavier, thanks to his inspired and irresistable baked goods.  James and I have been sharing recipes for years and have finally decided to put them all in one place so everyone can enjoy them.

A native of Milwaukee, and the oldest of seven, James was raised in a Taste of Home household where home-cooked meals and home-baked goods were the norm.  “I even remember my mother smuggling margarine across the state line because we couldn’t buy it in Wisconsin due to dairy industry prohibitions.   She still believes that half butter, half margarine is best for baking, especially when baking cookies.”

How can you not trust someone whose mother smuggled margarine across state lines to bake the tastiest cookies??

James is also famous for baking magnificent birthday cakes for cast and crew.  On the back of the actor information sheets he hands out on the first day of rehearsal is the following Birthday Information form:

 If your birthday falls during this production, you have the following options . . .

  • Please DO NOT acknowledge my birthday, I choose not to celebrate.
     
  • Please do acknowledge my birthday, but don’t make a big fuss about it.
      
  • Heck yes, make a big deal about my birthday!  I like the following type of cake:______________

Most actors choose the cake.

He’s made cakes for Pee Wee Herman’s Miss Yvonne, “Bottom’s Dream” cupcakes for a production of “Midsummer Night’s Dream” and a decadent chocolate whiskey cake for “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”  We’ll share photos and recipes for all these and more.

Eat on, MacDuff!