Monday, September 3, 2012

Peanut Butter S'mores Cups

This is it.

These s’mores cups are my last attempt to grasp hold of summer. To enjoy the fleeting heat and streaks of sun. To ignore the fact that it’s already September (woa) and already Labor Day (double woa).

I love fall. It is my favorite season. But I’m not quite ready for it. I want the boots and the sweaters and  the caramel spice and the falling leaves just as must as anyone else, but not right.this.minute.

I am done with work for the summer. I am putting off packing for school. I am looking at reading lists and scavenging for used books. I am dragging my feet.

The added weight of these Peanut Butter S’mores Cups is making it a little bit easier to dig in my heels. They are allowing me to say no to fall; no to the pumpkin and muffins and warm tea, no to it all, for the time being. 

Right now, I just want to say yes to crumbly graham cracker crust, rich chocolate peanut butter filling, and toasted meringue tops. Yes and yes and yes.

Peanut Butter S’mores Cups (makes 16 – 18 cups)

1 sleeve graham crackers

1 cup old fashioned oats

½ tsp. salt

½ tsp. cinnamon

½ cup (1 stick) salted butter, room temperature, divided

2 cups (1 – 12oz. bag) semi-sweet chocolate chips

½ cup peanut butter (I used extra crunchy, but smooth would be fine too)

1 batch Meringue Frosting (recipe follows)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with liners and set aside.

In a microwave safe bowl, melt 6 tablespoons of the softened butter. Set aside.

In the bowl of a food processor combine the graham crackers, oats, salt, and cinnamon. Pulse until graham crackers are finely ground. Add in melted butter and pulse until ingredients are wet.

Using a medium cookie scoop or tablespoon measure scoop crust into prepared cupcake liners and press down firmly. Bake in preheated oven for 6 – 8 minutes or until edges begin to brown. Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool. Switch oven to broil or preheat broiler, whatever your stove requires.

While crusts bake, make the peanut butter chocolate filling. In a medium microwave safe bowl combine the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, chocolate chips, and peanut butter and microwave for 30 seconds. Stir and microwave for another 30 seconds and stir until chocolate chips are completely melted. If necessary, microwave at 10 second intervals, stirring between each, until chocolate has melted.

Using the same sized scoop, pour chocolate mixture over prepared crusts. Put cups in fridge to harden, at least 20 minutes.

Top chilled cups with meringue frosting and place under broiler until tops are toasted and lightly browned. Keep a close eye on these guys! Don’t close the door and don’t take your eyes off the s’mores cups. You may need to rotate the pan to ensure evenly toasted marshmallow tops.

Chill cups in fridge for another 20 – 30 minutes, or overnight if desired.

Serve cold or at room temperature. S’mores will keep in fridge for up to four days.

Meringue Frosting (originally from Take a Megabite via Joy the Baker)

2 egg whites, room temperature

¾ cup granulated sugar

¼ cup light corn syrup

½ tsp. salt

1 tsp. vanilla

Fill a medium sauce pan with 2 inches of water and set over medium heat until simmering. Don’t allow to boil.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine egg whites, sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Place bowl over simmering water and whisk constantly until sugar is dissolved and mixture is warm to the touch, about 5 minutes.

Remove bowl from heat and using whisk attachment beat on medium high speed until meringue is light and fluffy and holds soft peaks, about another 3 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside until ready to use.

Fall, schmall. 

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