I didn’t eat chocolate for a year once. Admittedly, my anti-confection atonement was bizarre and completely vanity driven but at the time it felt good to exercise a little personal self-control. Before you are wowed by my efforts too much though I should point out that I had one caveat to my chocolate ban. I continued to eat white chocolate. But even the U.S. Food and Drug Administration doesn’t consider white chocolate to be real chocolate so I still feel confident that my chocolate-free year was truly chocolate-free.
This was not an easy goal to accomplish. One of my co-workers at the time had the best stocked candy dish in the company. To this day her candy efforts have yet to be matched. Mary’s dish would conjure up Jelly beans at Easter, Peanut Butter Trees during Christmas, and Mini-Snickers bars just because. Photocopying got you down? Get some M&M’s. Client leaves you a rude voice mail: a Peppermint Pattie will fix it! When Mary found out about my personal ban on all things milk and dark chocolate a continuous stream of caramel creams and white chocolate peanut butter cups began to appear in her dish. It was like my own personal Sorcerer’s Apprentice Hat, but for candy.
Over those 12 chocolate-free months I managed to keep my “sanity” with the occasional indulgence in other candy and when the year was up I ended the chocolate ban with a huge bang by attending the annual Chocolate Lover’s Fling where I thoroughly gorged myself on decadent treats all in the name of charity. However, to this day, anytime I happen to come across a white chocolate peanut butter cup I can’t help but fondly remember Mary’s seemingly never-ending candy dish.
White-Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
Loosely adapted from Nigella Lawson’s recipe for Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cups
For the base:
2 ounces soft dark brown sugar
7 ounces confectioner’s sugar
2 ounces butter, softened
7 ounces smooth peanut butter
For the topping:
16 ounces white chocolate (not white chocolate bits)
Place all the ingredients for the base in the bowl of a food processor. Blend the mixture until the mixture takes on a sandy texture.
Place 12 cupcake liners into a muffin tin. Using a medium ice cream or cookie scoop place 1 scoop of the base mixture into each cupcake liner. Press the mixture down into the cases to form an even layer at the bottom of each cupcake liner.
Melt the chocolate over a double-boiler. Using your scoop, top each peanut butter filled cupcake liner with 1 scoop of chocolate. Smooth the tops of the Peanut Butter Cups with the back of a spoon.
Refrigerate for 1 hour or overnight.