BitterSweet

An Obsession with All Things Handmade and Home-Cooked

Treats Without Tricks

56 Comments

To the sugar-crazed youth of America, Halloween must be one of the most highly anticipated days of the year. After all, what could be better than dressing in some crazy garb, going out in the dark of night (or mid-afternoon), and getting free candy from any house you stop at? Kids have all the luck on this one magical evening, and the world is their oyster… But once you hit a certain age, this sort of parading about becomes unacceptable, and you are forced to hang up your treat bag for good. I for one am particularly nostalgic about the ritual of trick-or-treating, but now that I am past that age and also unable to eat 95% of the dairy- and egg-laden morsels that are bound to be collected, there’s simply no turning back.

However, even in my prime as an avid candy hunter, there was something about this whole trick-or-treating business that just didn’t sit right with me. After all, who made these rules about only using hermetically sealed, vacuum packed treats made from giant machines that ended up being about as tasty as chemically-treated plastic? Wouldn’t it be even better if these treats were actually… Well… A treat to receive, not just another brand name product found in every supermarket and gas station around? How I begged to hand out homemade candy to the youngsters in costumes in later years, watching them come and go while I remained home. But no, that simply wouldn’t be safe; We all know about the “dangers” of adulterated Halloween candy already, so attempting to pass out something homemade, with real ingredients?! Simply reprehensible!

So perhaps it’s the trick-or-treaters who are missing out, because I’ve decided that I’ll still make my own simple sweets this year, but I’ll only be treating my friends- You know, for the sake of “safety.” And the labor involved in making them is certainly nothing to fear, as these chocolate morsels are so quick and easy, you could decide to make them only an hour before guests arrive for a Halloween soirée.

Who doesn’t love the combination of peanut butter and chocolate? A great classic, based on a classic candy but reinvented with quality ingredients. Besides, when you make them yourself, they can be dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free, and gluten-free. Don’t feel you need to stop there though, because any sort of nut butter would work just as well and perhaps even raise the bar in terms of sophistication. Think of almonds, hazelnuts, or pistachios instead, and this childhood favorite can morph into grown-up indulgence. But let’s say you have some picky guests coming over, or have to cater to someone with severe nut allergies. Never fear, because there are other options…

Simply rework the filling and you’ve got yourself a peppermint patty instead, containing absolutely no common allergens! An intensely minty center enrobed in a dark, decadent chocolate shell should satisfy even the most discerning chocolate or candy connoisseur.  But if chocolate’s not your thing for one reason or another, no need to fret- You can also substitute carob chips instead!

This recipe will make one dozen peppermint patties and one dozen peanut butter cups, so if you only want one of the two for your party, go ahead and double the recipe for that filling.

Chocolate Candy Cups

1 Cup Chocolate Chips

Peanut Butter:
1/2 Cup Creamy Peanut Butter
1/4 Cup Confectioner’s Sugar
Splash Vanilla Extract

Peppermint:
1/3 Cup Vegetable Shortening
2/3 Cup Confectioner’s Sugar
1/2 – 3/4 Teaspoon Peppermint Extract (depending on desired intensity)
Splash Vanilla Extract

For both treats, begin by melting you chocolate in the microwave 30 – 60 seconds at a time, and stir thoroughly until completely smooth. Use a spoon, thin spatula, or paint brush to brush the melted chocolate over the insides of paper mini muffin cups, making sure to leave no holes and spread it as evenly as possible. No need to go crazy though, because even if the walls are too thin and break when removed from the wrapper, I doubt anyone will mind after they take a bite! You will only use about 1/2 – 3/4 of the chocolate, so set the rest aside for later. Place the chocolate-covered papers into mini muffin tins so that they retain their shape, and let them cool and set completely. You can speed up this process by placing the tins in your refrigerator (or on the windowsill like I did- It suddenly got cold out!)

To make the peanut butter filling, just stir together the peanut butter, sugar, and vanilla until completely homogeneous and toss the mixture into the microwave for 30 – 45, just to warm it through and liquefy slightly. Give it another good stir to combine everything again, and drop dollops of the filling into your prepared chocolate cups. Be careful not to rub the sides too much so as not to melt the chocolate, and fill each up to about 2 – 3 mm from the top. Let the filling cool completely.

To make the peppermint filling, place the shortening into a bowl and microwave it briefly until just melted. Add in the sugar and both extracts and stir everything together until smooth. Drop the mixture into the cups as described above for the peanut butter cups, and let cool.

Finally, take out the remaining chocolate and melt it back down into a liquid state. Spoon the chocolate onto each of the filled cups and spread it out to the edges to fill in any gaps. Let it cool once again until set, and enjoy your ghoulish goodies with friends!

Printable Recipe

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Author: Hannah Kaminsky

Author of My Sweet Vegan, Vegan Desserts, Vegan a la Mode, and Easy as Vegan Pie.

56 thoughts on “Treats Without Tricks

  1. Yes, as much as I miss trick-or-treating, the fact that Halloween candy can be tainted with (and the fact that I can’t eat practically ANY of the “treats” that people hand out, since, as you said, they’re most likely dairy-laden – or worse!), I’m happy with just celebrating Halloween by watching horror films and baking Halloween-themed treats :0)

    Oh my goodness those peppermint cups (and the chocolate-peanut-butter cups ESPECIALLY) sound enticing – I’ll take mine with carob, please ;0)

  2. dee-licious! I’ve been itching to make PB cups lately.

  3. I used to love the big name brand (non-vegan) peanut butter cups so thanks so much for sharing your recipe! I hope to make these ASAP!

  4. Woohoo! I love these!

  5. Awesome! These sound sooooo yummy. I have to admit I have missed peanut butter bups immensely. These sounds a hundred times better. I have a halloween party on Saturday to attend, I think I’ll bring some of these along!

  6. It’s totally crazy that homemade is seen as dangerous while all that corn syrup candy is a-ok. I wish I could hand out cookies or little candies like these, which by the way look outstanding. I’m hoping to find some time to make them soon!

  7. Yum! The peanut butter cup photo is SO delicious-looking that I’m starting to drool here at my desk. Are there any leftovers?

  8. yum, yum … yum!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. I have to try this. Peanut Butter Cups are one of my favorites!

  10. These look so cute and delectable! How I wish we could give away homemade treats. I remember growing up during the time people began tampering with them and only being able to eat the wrapped candy. Such a shame.

  11. oops! I was so excited about this recipe that I prematurely posted . . . it happens to the best of us now and again. ANYWAY . . . MAN, I can’t wait to try this.

  12. Oh my gosh! These look amazing! I’m making these too pass out trick-or-treating at my church party. At least THERE you don’t have to get all the “safe” candy.

  13. Do I stay up late and make these for my party?

  14. Thank You !

    Blessings
    Citizen Soul Power

  15. omg these look SO good! Thank you for sharing your recipe :) yum yum yum

  16. I am impressed that YOU are the “hawt post:” at Word press here(congratualations!!!!)
    I am of course impressed by your recipe; just my style ..easy enough but looks difficult.!
    (and yummy of course!)]

  17. Wow I want to come trick or treating at your house!! Those treats look great and the photos are beautiful.

  18. wow hannah!
    those look so beautiful and delicious. I really know what you mean about wanting to give out homemade treats. When I was a little girl, there was a woman in our neighborhood who gave out homemade popcorn balls. I really remember what a special treat that was, and I wish I could do it in return. In the end, I’ve come to the same solution you have – make goodies for my friends.
    have a great halloween!

  19. these look awesome!i made pb cups earlier this year but really wanna try out yr peppermint variation!
    and i’m super excited for the book!how much longer?!

  20. Holy cow! I’m so excited about this recipe! I can’t wait to try it!

  21. This is a real treat, yummy

  22. I came to the same conclusion- it’s ridiculous that I’ll have to give trick-or-treaters some lame hard candy (the cheapest vegan stuff I could find at the store!) with artificial crap in it, even though I could give them homemade cookies and candies and stuff. Ah well, the power of urban legends prevails!
    Your candies look so good and professional- lucky friends!

  23. These would be wonderful to give as gifts during Xmas time, Hannah! Love the idea!

  24. Looks absolutely delicious!

  25. I can’t wait to try these! What a great idea. I do miss things like peanut butter cups and candy bars sometimes. (Oh Heny, I miss you!).

  26. this looks awesome what a great job!!! thanks for share the recipe!

  27. Oh.. these peanut butter cups looks delicious!

  28. Just wanted to say thanks for thinking of those of us living with food allergies! Always nice to see a creative twist on an old favorite that’s safe for us–those peppermint cups look fantastic. I think I’m going to try using Sunbutter (sunflower seed butter) instead of peanut butter, too.

  29. Oh! That’s lovely! I’m going to make those. I was taking issue just the other day with a survey that declared the Ultimate Hallowe’en Candy to be mini-Snickers. And I wondered who they interviewed, because it’s surely peanut butter cups. :)

  30. I remember the days when we used to get candy apples and popcorn balls in our treat bags at Halowe’en. I would have loved to have these peanut butter cups in my loot bag!!

  31. Hey dearest <33 just a super-quick question, do you think this would taste odd with jam filling instead of peanut butter or peppermint? Would it be too overpowering?

  32. I’ve been meaning to make candy cups for some time now, I even have the supplies already! It looks like I need to get to it.

  33. I think everyone is in agreement – We’d buy these over Reese’s any day?

    Awesome.

  34. I made the peppermint version using coconut oil instead of vegetable shortening. It was really good ! I can’t wait to try the PB version

    Thanks for the recipe !

  35. i can/t wait to make vegan versions of so many delicious chocolate cup treats…i/m drooling already. thankyou for posting

  36. Move over, Reeses… These PB cups look so good, I’m afraid I might drool on my computer screen ;)! Thanks so much, Hannah, for sharing them with us. We are excited to have them featured in this week’s FoodieView Recipe Roundup!

  37. These are so great and easy to make. I was just looking to make some home-made candy and this is perfect…Thanks, I’m going to make these next!

  38. I just made the peanut butter variation, and they’re delicious! I used Ghiradelli’s chocolate chips, which made the chocolate part perfect. One thing, though – when brushing the chocolate onto the paper cups, it’s best to not brush the chocolate up and over the rim, as it makes it hard to remove the PB cup later.
    Thanks for the recipe!

  39. Pingback: Cookthink: Five Halloween Treats To Make This Weekend

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  41. YUM

    I <3 you for posting this

  42. Pingback: DIY Vegan Halloween Candy « Epicurvegan

  43. Hi Hannah,

    I came by with a mission: searching for carob based sweets. My search turned up this post in your archives. My stepmom was recently diagnosed with an allergy to chocolate (have you ever heard of such horror?) and yeast. Well since quitting both of these her symptoms cleared up and her health is much better. She is such a big chocolate fan and I am so sad for her as we going into the season of sweets. It occurred to me that carob may be the answer. I’ve actually never had it, is it a proper chocolate substitute? Might candies like these make a chocolate deprived person feel like that are pretty close to the real deal?

    Thanks for your input!
    Sarah

  44. I made the peanut butter cups and they’re delicious!

  45. These sound fantastic! Can’t wait to try them. Just curious, do you know the nutritional content of these?

  46. There’s gotta be something better than veg. shortening for the peppermint ones!? Think of something, hmmm. How about some kind of coconut butter? And u could make fillings with Cashew butter and Date butter…. mix in nuts, oh my. ;o)

  47. I just made these last night, they were really good but, I used natural peanut butter and it was not ideal. Tasted ok but, texture and color where way off.

    Great recipe though, thanks!

  48. Thanks for the great recipe. These were really easy to make. Next time I might up the PB and confectioners sugar quantities, since with the stated quantities the filling didn’t come up quite as high as I would have liked. They were delicious and would satisfy any Reese’s PB cup lover.

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  50. Pingback: Peanut Butter Cups / Peppermint Patties « The Grub Shack

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