Full disclosure: This recipe used pretty much exactly from HalfBaked Harvest because it sounded so good!
Second peanut butter recipe in as many weeks, which is really unusual for me, as I am not really a PB fan. Well, ok, not a peanut butter on bread with jam (or anything else for that matter) fan, but once you pair it with chocolate … well, I am all over that, which is why I like this recipe. Super yummy. It is, however, really rich, so maybe just eat one piece at a time. OK, maybe two.
for the salted bourbon sugar
1/2 cup course sugar (such as Demerara Sugar or Turbinado Sugar)
1 vanilla bean, seeds removes
2 tablespoon bourbon
flaky sea salt, to your taste (I used about a 3/4 teaspoon)
for the fudge
1 1/2 cups cold peanut butter cups, chopped
12 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
5 ounces milk chocolate, chopped
1 can (15 ounce) sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons bourbon (optional, but who doesn’t like booze in their chocolate)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
For the salted bourbon sugar
Preheat the oven to 250F. Line a baking sheet with sides with parchment paper.
To the baking sheet, add the sugar, vanilla bean and bourbon. Toss well to combine and moisten the sugar. Place on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 1 hour, tossing the sugar twice throughout cooking. The sugar is done when it feels dry to the touch and has a golden, caramel hue to it. It is OK if some of the sugar clumps together, but you don’t want any giant clumps, break those up while the sugar is still warm. Mix in a pinch of salt. Let cool completely before storing. Can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 months.
for the Peanut Butter Cup Fudge
Chop the peanut butter cups into chunks and then place in a bowl in the freezer. Spray an 8-inch square pan with cooking spray and then line with parchment paper to create a sling
In a medium saucepan, heat the semi sweet chocolate, milk chocolate, condensed milk and cream over low heat until melted and smooth. Remove from heat; stir in bourbon, vanilla, salt and peanut butter cups. Mixture will be thick, but stir slowly until combined being careful not to break the peanut butter cups up too much.
Spread the mixture in the prepared pan. Stick a few more peanut butter cups in the top to create a neat pattern (I think thy look like lilypads). Sprinkle with the bourbon sugar. Refrigerate about 1 hour or until set.
Remove the parchment paper sling to a butting board and cut with sharp knife into 4 rows by 4 rows. Store in airtight container in refrigerator.