The Parisian Peanut Butter Cup!

Parisian peanut butter cup recipe | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Every Halloween when my boys come home with their pillow cases full of candy, I always bargain to get the peanut butter cups. It is my candy weakness, well one of the many. Chocolate and peanut butter is a great combination, but for some reason not the picture of sophistication. Peanut butter is thought to be something that you spread on bread and serve to kids when you are in a hurry. But, why not use it for something beyond PB&J? This struck me recently when my 10 year old was doing a STATE project for school about Ohio. He made “buckeye” treats, a sweet resembling the nut of the state tree of Ohio. It is a ball of peanut butter fudge dipped in chocolate (think truffles for kids). He brought them to school and his classmates begged him for the recipe.

I considered showing you the recipe as he delivered them, but to my taste they were a tad sweet and a real mouthful (he insisted they be life size buckeyes). Don’t get me wrong, I ate my share, but I thought with a little tweaking this could be a dessert both children and their parents would devour. I took the filling from the buckeye treats and sandwiched it between two chocolate-almond macarons from La Maison Du Chocolat. It makes me smile to think of the quintessential American candy blended with the dainty French confection. Fantastique! The light, crisp chocolate cookie is the perfect balance for the rich filling.

(Henri’s “Buckeyes”)

Chocolate-Almond Macarons from La Maison du Chocolat:

1 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon ground almond

2 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

3 cups confectioner’s sugar

5 large egg whites

Peanut butter cream filling from Ohio:

3/4 cup creamy peanut butter

2 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 teaspoon salt

4 ounces bittersweet chocolate for painting on macarons, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line two or three baking sheets with parchment paper. Set up a pastry bag with a large round tip.

Sift together the ground almonds, cocoa powder, 2 cups confectioner’s sugar in a bowl. Set aside.

Beaten egg whites with a firm peak | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Beat the egg whites in your stand mixer until they are firm peaks, ten slowly add the remaining 1/2 cup sugar. Beat until the whites are stiff peaks.

Combining almond mixture with beaten egg whites | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Sprinkle 1/3 of the almond mixture over the whites and gently fold them in with a rubber spatula.

Folding chocolate almond macaron dough | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Repeat with another 1/3 of the almond mixture and fold in.

Folding chocolate almond macaron dough | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

add the final 1/3 of almond mixture and fold in. The mixture will be quite thick, but still a little runny. In other words it won’t be light and fluffy like you might expect with all that egg white.

Filling pastry bag with macaron dough Folding chocolate almond macaron dough | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Fill the pastry bag 1/3 full.

Piping macaron dough onto baking sheet Folding chocolate almond macaron dough | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Pipe the batter out onto the parchment in about 40 small round mounds, about the size of a quarter.

Bake for 18 minutes. Remove and cool completely on rack, before peeling the cookies from the parchment. These have the texture of a dacquoise and if you bake them too long they will be crisp. One batch came out this way and my family loved it, so you determine which you prefer.

Cooling macarons on baking sheet | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

While they cool you can mix up your peanut butter filling.

Peanut butter filling for homemade peanut butter cups  | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

In a mixer with the paddle attachment mix the peanut butter, sugar, butter, vanilla and salt.

Once the macarons are cooled, paint the underside of all of them with the chocolate, using a pastry brush. Allow the chocolate to set. Putting them in the refrigerator for a few minutes will do the trick.

Place the peanut butter mixture in a pastry bag and pipe onto half of the chocolate painted macarons.

Parisian peanut butter cup recipe | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Cover the peanut butter with the remaining macarons.

Parisian peanut butter cup recipe | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

These chocolate macarons would also be lovely with the outrageous mocha buttercream or chocolate ganache.

Check out the post I did for Ari at baking and Books while she is on vacation! I made a Strawberry-Rhubarb and Thyme Shortcake!

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39 thoughts to “The Parisian Peanut Butter Cup!”

  1. Macarons….sigh…..I am terrified to make them, but dying to eat the. At last, this weekend my chance will come at a local street fair! Yours are very tantalizing with the chocolate-PB combo.

  2. PB cups are like my Kryptonite. A total weakness! I love how you’ve made them into something so pretty, but still,, at the same time, pig-outable!

  3. When I was reading about the cookie part, I thought it sounded like a dacquois (which I have yet to make). I too am a sucker for the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (and pieces) and likewise would like to see more PB and PB&C treats. I’m sure there is a silk pie that uses PB and there are plenty of cookies. One of the simplest things I’ve found that is good is PB between two Ritz crackers and then dipped in white chocolate (or white chocolate bark). I can’t wait to try these cookies.

  4. I cannot believe that I have not discovered your fabulous blog before! These macaroons are so wonderful! I do so want to try making them! (I love La Maison du Chocolat and I love peanut butter!)

  5. I’m not really a fan of Pb and chocolatre but I love that you brushed them with chocolate- genius!

    These would be fantastique with the buttercream or ganache that you suggested- yum!

  6. Hi Zoe,
    My daughter-in-law and I make Buckeyes every year at holiday time. We give them as gifts and the recipients look forward to them each year. Maybe we will surprise them this year with your Parisian-Style Peanut Butter Cups. I don’t think anyone will be disappointed. They look and sound so delicious.

  7. Oh my gosh. I have 5 egg whites languishing in my freezer! Do you think they would still beat up properly after being frozen? Sigh. I hope so. Because the PB and chocolate is calling me!! If not, it’s a protein packed omelet for me. If I need to start with fresh eggs, do you have any suggestions for the 5 yolks 🙂

  8. These look like my favorites from Switzerland – made by
    Sprungli. Forget what they’re called. My husband just brought me a box of chocolate and vanilla ones~! Yummmmmmmmmmmmiiiiieeeeee~!!!!

  9. Hi Pete,

    You can find some at Trader Joe’s. I’ve used it several times and it is great. It is a little bit coarser than other brands so you want to sift it through a mesh, but not too fine of one, first and then measure.

    Enjoy! Zoë

  10. These are darling! I absolutely adore the PB/Choc combo. Just created a cookie this week combining the two. I’m so pleased with the way these look and I’m wanting to make these now!

  11. One of my parents’ neighbors makes buckeyes every Christmas. My sister can down the entire batch in one sitting. I’m like you, I like them but they don’t rock my world. These sound much better to me! Too bad I already made macarons this week. Oh well, there’s always next week!!

  12. We have a hard time finding ground almonds here sometimes too. If you have a small hand held coffee grinder, they do the job well. I usually by the almond slivers (if I can’t find ground).

  13. Your cooling macarons on parchment reminded me of (a very fancy version of) those candy dots on paper. If I can get over my pastry bag phobia, I’d love to give this recipe a whirl. Mmmm, amazing!

  14. Oh my, these sound wonderful, Zoe! I can’t wait to try them. I’ve been wanting to attempt macarons for so long and now I have the perfect recipe 🙂

  15. Can someone please help me!? I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong but everytime I try to make macarons I am able to get the little shell BUT they’re hollow inside! I can’t get them to be that soft cookie.

    Can anyone tell me what I’m doing wrong?

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