Homemade Sunflower Butter Cups
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Recipe courtesy of Alex Guarnaschelli

Homemade Sunflower Butter Cups

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 3 hr (includes freezing time)
  • Active: 40 min
  • Yield: 12 to 16 smaller cups or 6 to 8 larger ones
I really love candy bars. I grew up eating them and especially enjoyed all the various sizes and types I'd get in my trick-or-treat bags. I am not suggesting that we do away with the classics, especially peanut butter cups, but I do want to share a fun homemade version that can be a nice complement to the ones that come in perfect shapes in colorful wrappers. These are tasty, and obviously healthier. It's nice for kids (and adults) to know that they can make things themselves, and Halloween candy is a really big part of childhood memories. This is also a good nut-free option so kids (and adults) with nut allergies don't feel left out of the festivities. Use sunflower butter or cinnamon cookie butter for this recipe, and feel free to substitute white or milk chocolate for the dark chocolate, if preferred.



  1. Make the chocolate layer: Gently melt the chocolate in a double boiler (a fitted bowl over a pot of simmering water), stirring the sides with a spatula so the chocolate does not stick or scorch on the edges.
  2. Spread 8 to 10 cupcake liners (or 12 to 16 small ones) on a baking sheet and spoon a thin layer of chocolate in the bottom of each, 1/4- to 1/2-inch thick. (This should use half of the melted chocolate. Keep the remaining chocolate warm over warm water.) Place the baking sheet in the freezer for at least 15 to 20 minutes and up to 4 hours to allow the chocolate to set up.
  3. Make the "butter" layer: Drain the excess oil off the top of the sunflower butter. Add the sunflower butter (or cinnamon cookie butter) to a medium bowl. Sift the confectioners' sugar (use 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar if using cookie butter, or 1/2 cup if using sunflower butter) over the top of the butter and fully combine using a rubber spatula. Roll the butter into tablespoon-sized balls for the large cups, or teaspoon-sized balls for the small cups. Flatten gently between your palms. Remove the baking sheet from the freezer and place the flattened butter patties on top of the chocolate, pressing down lightly. Tap the tray on the counter a few times to help flatten the layers. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 12 hours.
  4. Remove the baking sheet from the fridge, then gently press any uneven layers down and spoon the remaining melted chocolate over the butter layer on all of the candies. Refrigerate until it hardens, at least 1 hour and preferably up to 12 hours. Keep refrigerated and wrapped in plastic if serving the next day. (If using white chocolate, store finished treats in the freezer.)

Cook’s Note

Tips for success: 1. If you use white chocolate, you must freeze and serve the candies frozen. The white chocolate is not firm enough otherwise. 2. White chocolate chips don't work as well as using chopped white chocolate bars (solid white chocolate contains cocoa butter, as opposed to the oil that chips contain). 3. If your cupcake liners are thin, use a double layer for each candy so the sides don't collapse or become wonky when filled. 4. A note about cupcake liners: Use 2-by-1 1/4-inch (which hold about 1 1/2 ounces) or 1-inch (hold about 3/4-ounce) for this recipe. Or use a mixture of both!