If you love Peanut Butter cups as much as I do, you’ll love this lighter version. It’s full of peanut butter chocolatey goodness and the perfect creamy consistency thanks to the low-fat cream cheese.
Peanut butter and chocolate. In my opinion, it’s a match made in heaven. I decided one day to try putting together my own peanut butter cups using natural peanut butter and dark chocolate.
I exert very little discipline when it comes to Reeses peanut butter cups despite the knowledge of the additives, one of them being soy lecithin (an emulsifier that creates that silky texture). So, if I wanted to indulge my craving with something more natural, I’d have to make it myself.
My search for copycat Reeses peanut butter cups came up with numerous results, so I made a few versions with just peanut butter, powdered sugar and chocolate in a mold, which I then froze. Even with a thin layer of peanut butter, the result was a mouth full of too much gooeyness that wasn’t quite enjoyable.
Then, I remembered that classic peanut butter fudge pie recipe that I’ve made so many times as a quick, no-bake dessert that everyone always enjoys. The peanut butter is enlightened to a level of fluffy, creamy goodness and frozen in a pie shell. So, I made this (portion-controlled) treat by adding the peanut butter mixture in a silicone baking mold (which was perfect for popping out these treats without damaging them). I then layered the peanut butter layer with a layer of chocolate.
I didn't put a bottom layer of graham cracker crumbs in each mold, which I think would have been a nice touch and would have prevented them from melting so quickly in my fingers. (Although these are so good, they won’t last more than a few minutes in your hands anyway.)
For the chocolate, I melted dark chocolate (you can also use semi-sweet chocolate) with a little coconut oil to make the chocolate harden more like a shell. You can also use butter or shortening, but coconut oil is more heart-healthy.
Cream cheese or Neufchatel? Are they the same thing?
Not really, but they can be used interchangeably. American Cream Cheese and American Neufchâtel are both dense, tangy and spreadable. The biggest difference between them is that Neufchâtel is made using only milk (23% milkfat), and, cream cheese is made with milk and cream (33% milk fat). Here, in the United States, Philadelphia cream cheese markets their low fat cream cheese as Neufchâtel.
According to the USDA, regular cream cheese must be <55% moisture and >33% fat. Neufchâtel cheese must be <65% moisture and between 20-33% fat.
You could also try making these peanut butter pie treats using non-fat cream cheese. Although, honestly, it's the difference of about only 5 calories per piece.
Frozen Peanut Butter Pie Treats
1 cup dark chocolate chips or chocolate pieces
2 teaspoons coconut oil
½ cup creamy Natural Peanut Butter
4 oz (1/2 an 8 oz package) of low-fat (or non-fat) cream cheese, softened
½ cup powdered sugar
½ cup whipped cream or Cool Whip
Makes about 18
Mix together the peanut butter, powdered sugar and cream cheese in a bowl.
Fold in the whipped cream.
Spread mixture into a metal or silicone muffin baking tin. I spread it to ~1/2 inch thickness, but you can make them as thick or thin as you’d like.
Place chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl along with the coconut oil.
Microwave on 70% power for one minute.
Drizzle chocolate over each peanut butter piece.
Freeze at least 2 hours. Enjoy right out of the freezer!
Fat: 7.2 grams
Protein: 2.5 grams Carbohydrates: 136
Did you try them? Let me know!