The well-fed student: Party peanut butter cups

Vegan friendly & gluten free.

Makes 10

It’s the Christmas party season, and these delicious and simple chocolate peanut butter cups are a lovely, fun-size snack to offer to your friends and family instead of the usual variety chocolate boxes that are full of additives and refined sugar.

Cocoa contains compounds that have antioxidant effects on the body, whilst also being rich in potassium, zinc and magnesium. Moderate consumption is said to be good for blood pressure and circulation. The darker the chocolate, the more potent the nutrients, as chocolate with a lower cocoa percentage, such as milk chocolate, has a lot more sugar and fat added to it, often as well as other additives. Go for 70% cocoa as a minimum!

Peanuts are a good source of protein and hearty-healthy fats. Go for the brands that contain only natural ingredients and AVOID PALM OIL! Palm oil production destroys rainforests, which are the habitats of endangered animals like orangutans and tigers. The most widely available brand that I would recommend is Meridian, which is in lots of supermarkets, and I also like The Wild Peanut, which is available in Abu Bakar and does lots of fun flavours. Morrison’s has also just started stocking a new natural peanut butter by Yorkshire-based company called Proper Nutty. Don’t be intimidate by the layer of oil that is at the top of the jar – this is completely natural and good for you, just give the jar a good mix around. The only reason you don’t see this in other peanut butters is because they are full of unnatural additives to prevent oil separation.

You will need:


Large bowl

10 mini cupcake cases

A tray


100g dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids)

2 tablespoons peanut butter

Dried cranberries & pumpkin seeds for decoration

  1. Lay out your cupcake cases on the tray, ready to be filled.
  2. Put some boiling water in a saucepan and turn down to a low simmer.
  3. Place a large bowl on top of the pan, ensuring that the base of the bowl isn’t any where near touching the boiling water – if it is, pour some away.
  4. Break up a third of the chocolate into the bowl and melt, stirring gently. When most of it is melted take the bowl off the heat and stir to melt the remaining lumps. You don’t want the chocolate to get too hot otherwise it will go weird and scrambly.
  5. Attempt to distribute the melted chocolate evenly into each cupcake case – it won’t seem like enough but each only needs a very thin layer. Use a teaspoon to make it spread to the edges.
  6. Put the chocolate in the fridge to set.
  7. Once the chocolate is hard, distribute the peanut butter into even splodges on each chocolate base.
  8. Melt the last two thirds of the chocolate in the same way as before, and again, disperse evenly over the peanut butter and chocolate bases.
  9. Leave to set, preferably at room temperature to try and get a nice shine on the chocolate. When the chocolate is half set but still soft, decorate with the cranberries and pumpkin seeds in a holly leaf-like arrangement. 


Best served with a glass of prosecco!


Patsy O’Neill

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