“Little darling, it’s been a long cold lonely winter…Little darling, the smiles returning to the faces.” Ah, haven’t had many posts in a while, let alone a Beatles reference as awesome as Strawberry Fields Forever. Well, here ya go.. with both! I’m on a bizarre, obsessive SunButter kick right now. Last Sunday we had SunButter Kind of Love Fudge, and today we have Here Comes the SunButter Cups! To alleviate some of your pain from the cold (and from the lack of posts), I created these beauties for you. So for all those out there who have peanut allergies and the like, I give you a SunButter Cup that is equally delicious to it’s nutty cousin, the peanut butter cup. Made from sunflower seeds, these are a great nut-free, gluten-free, tree nut-free alternative. Of course, check your chocolate as well.. but at least the filling is copacetic for the allergy-laden gnomies in the crowd. So “here comes the sun, here comes the sun, and I say it’s all right.”
2 C vegan chocolate chips, or a chopped chocolate bar to 2 C (make sure you quality control your chocolate by tasting it prior to melting – if it needs to be sweetened add some sugar accordingly)
1 TBSP Earth Balance Vegan Butter *optional for a more ganachey consistency or leave it out if you don’t want the added fatty goodness
1/2 C SunButter, creamy or chunky – however your prefer your cups
1/4 C powdered sugar, sifted
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla
1. In a small sauce pan, add about 1-inch of water and bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer. In a dry, heat proof glass bowl, add chocolate chips, 1 TBSP vegan butter, and sugar (if necessary) and place over the simmering water. Keep an eye on it..make sure no steam or water droplets get into the water – this can cause the chocolate to seize..and well, seizing chocolate isn’t as fun as seizing the finished product into your gently smiling jaws. If your chocolate suddenly clumps up and looks gross and no longer shiny, it’s been seized – there’s no saving it, so set aside to eat at a later moment and start over. The melting takes only about 5-10 minutes, so be patient. As I said before, in the PB Cup post, that equally applies here: “As with almost everything in life – you start out cute as a button, go through an awkward, only-see-the-inner-beauty phase, then before you know it you only have a few lumps…and you blossom into smooth, luscious ganache!”
2. Meanwhile, with a hand mixer or wooden spoon, combine SunButter, sugar, salt, and vanilla until combined. Fill a pastry bag with the SB mixture and set aside, [or prep a melon baller or small spoon]. **When you’re ready for it, microwaving the SB mixture (before adding it to a plastic pastry bag) for about 30 seconds will help make the mixture easier to work with.
3. In a mini-muffin tin lined with candy/foil wrappers, fill with about 1 tsp melted chocolate with a spoon, a small melon baller, or chocolate in a pastry bag (the latter two I find to make things more manageable, but feel free to get your fingers dirty. What a tragedy..licking chocolate-covered fingers.) Place a hefty dollop, about 2-3 tsp of the SB mixture (again a pastry bag or melon baller seems to make things easier for me) and press down so it’s cozy in the chocolate. Top with remaining melted chocolate, about another tsp, to cover SB center. Give the muffin tin a good shake, then place in fridge about 15-20 minutes for chocolate to set!
*Confectioner’s Notes: Your chocolate bowl needs to be 100% dry – not a speck of water. Don’t rush the melting of the chocolate. Stir occasionally with either a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. Remember…good things come to those who wait, and those who rush get unworthy chocolate. Keeping the heat low will also help prevent the burning of the chocolate – which is also not a good thing.