Christmas Candy Recipes: Bourbon Peanut Butter Cups

by Pamela

peanut butter cups, christmas candy recipes, homemade peanut butter cups, peanut butter cup recipe, bourbon balls, makers mark bourbon

They say (they = everyone but you because they are more intelligent and wittier than you are) inspiration can come from anywhere.  Considering this is a food and relationship advice blog, and not a website about intergalactic space travel (i.e. JPL) it really is true what “they” say.  Inspiration can come from anywhere.  This quote, appeared on Twitter November 29th, 2010: “Alcohol-infused Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. A man can dream, can’t he?”  It was tweeted by none other than Denis Leary (yes, that Denis Leary-or maybe I should say that @denisleary).

I thought that his tweet was quite amusing, given my proclivity for alcohol laced food items, and well…my booze posts on Friday’s.  So I re-tweeted the post to see if it would get more acceptance.  I, being of eastern European Catholic descent, much like Mr. Leary…see only an upside to adding booze bourbon to one’s favorite treats.  But, for once I thought I would err to the majority side if I could find more lush’s like ourselves.  And….I did. (Thank you @PolitoSara – yes, I only needed one more to consider it a landslide victory.)

So, you’ve got one of the the world’s most famous, and favorite, candies (Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups) coming up against one of America’s favorite libations – bourbon.  All rolled into, what I considered,  a dare by one of America’s best comedians/actors.  And yes, I am COM-PLETE-LY biased, as I also think Denis Leary is totally sexy. (If you know my husband, you know I’ve got a thing for a gap tooth man.)  And if you’ve seen Rescue Me (on FX) well, I don’t think I need to say anything more.  Again, I remind you, I grew up in an eastern European Catholic family…the alcohol was an integral part of everything.

So you’re all familiar with the Reese’s peanut butter cup recipe and you’re probably somewhat familiar with the bourbon ball recipe (if not think rum ball, minus the rum and plus bourbon).  This homemade peanut butter cup recipe is what you get when Reese’s peanut butter cups, becomes Miley Cyrus and smokes a bong full of salvia rebellious and drinks in some bourbon to become a spiked peanut butter cup.

Last year, I made a battalion of peanut butter snowmen.  Oh they were cute, but people wouldn’t eat them because they were too cute or because they had faces on them.  UGH!  What happened to gluttonous barbarians?  This year, I had already decided that there would be no treats with a face, so Makers Mark Bourbon and homemade peanut butter cups, boozified, made perfect sense.  Besides, most of our friends were hedonist alcohol loving people like us.  So it was a win-win situation.  Thank-you-Denis-Leary for that fine suggestion!

I like to use Makers Mark bourbon when I’m cooking or doing any of my infused bourbon spirits.  It’s a really nice, well-rounded bourbon that plays nicely with other flavors.  For straight up drinking purposes, I tend to use different bourbons, depending on what drink I’m mixing.  But the Makers Mark bourbon is a great all around spirit that won’t break the bank and is readily available.

Relationship Advice

I wish I knew then what I know now.  You 20 somethings may not agree with my choice in men (fine by me…less competition) but as you get older, your idea of sexy changes and you get smarter.  (Getting older is not all about wrinkled skin and wearing Spanx.)  And being that is the season of giving and all, I thought that I would share some of my hard earned knowledge with you.

  • If a guy rejects you, it most likely has nothing to do with you, it’s all them.  Trust me on this.  Guys in there 20’s don’t know anything.  They’ll figure it out at some point, but by then you’ll be long gone.
  • Leopard print pants don’t look good on anyone – ever.  Don’t kid yourself.
  • You may be able to eat or drink anything now, but that will change.  Eat as healthfully as you can, you will be rewarded handsomely later.
  • Don’t spend more than you make.  You may think you’ll find a rich guy to take care of your debt, but you probably won’t and then you’ll both be in debt.  And that sucks!
  • You are a lot hotter than you think you are.  Don’t compare yourself to what you see in the magazines (that’s the only place you’ll see people that look like that).  I live in LA, and I still don’t see people on the street quite as hot as they are in the pages of magazines.
  • You will survive if you stop seeing a guy, quit a job or drop a friend that is sucking the life out of you.  In fact, you’ll thrive after you do it.
  • Have a good attitude.  It will help you to gain friends and have a better time doing anything you want to do.
  • Screw ups don’t go down on your permanent record.  Don’t be afraid to take chances.  When you’re young is the only time to really do this.
  • Always use double protection.  He may seem like a dream now, but he’ll be a forever nightmare if he gives you an STD or a baby.
  • You are the only one who can control your destiny.  Stop whining and complaining and do something about your situation if you’re not happy.


Bourbon Peanut Butter Cups Recipe

Makes 3 dozen


  • 3/4 Cups Smooth Peanut Butter (do not use all natural peanut butter with the oil on top)
  • 1/4 Cup Unsalted Butter (at room temperature)
  • 1/2 Pound Powdered Sugar
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla
  • 4 Tablespoons Bourbon
  • 2 11.5 Packages of Milk Chocolate or Dark Chocolate (divided)*


In a mixing bowl, combine peanut butter, butter, powdered sugar, vanilla and bourbon.  Mix until thoroughly combined and set aside.

Cut down the sides of 36 cupcake liners by half.  Doing this makes the peanut butter cups roughly the same size as the store bought brand.  It also makes them easier to eat.

In a microwave safe glass bowl, melt one package of the chocolate in the microwave using 30 second increments.  Stir chocolate after each 30 second increment until melted.

Drop 1 teaspoon of melted chocolate into a cupcake liner.  Using the back of the spoon, or a silicone brush, spread the chocolate evenly across the bottom and up the sides of the liner.  Place filled liners into a cupcake pan to set up and harden.

Once all of the liners have been filled, set them aside for 15 – 20 minutes to harden up.  (They probably won’t be completely hardened, but that’s okay.)

Scoop 1 tablespoon of the peanut butter mixture into a ball.  Roll it between your palms and then flatten it into a disc that will fit inside the filled cupcake liner.

Place the disc of peanut butter into the chocolate filled liner.  Repeat this process until all of the liners have a peanut butter disc in them.

In a microwave safe glass bowl, melt the other package of the chocolate in the microwave using 30 second increments.  Stir chocolate after each 30 second increment until melted.

Spoon the melted chocolate on top of the peanut butter and fill until the peanut butter is covered.

Once filled, smooth out the chocolate with the back of the spoon to give it a nice finished look.

Leave the peanut butter cups in a cool place to set up and harden completely before removing from cupcake pan and serving or gifting.

* You may need more chocolate depending on how thick or thin you make your chocolate coating.


Welcome to My Man's Belly! Leave me a comment and let me know what you think about the site or if there's a recipe you'd like to see here. Have a great day.


Julia October 20, 2011 at 11:14 am

Holy EFF batman. I’m in love.

Mark December 21, 2010 at 8:37 pm

You just combined two of my favorites, bourbon and peanut butter. These flavors must work great. Thanks!

MCook December 20, 2010 at 7:02 am

Cant’ wait to try these. How do you keep from drinking the bourbon while you are making these? LOL

Brook December 19, 2010 at 11:14 am

I just re-posted this on my FB site…saying “What a great way to preserve peanut butter!”
Enjoyed reading your post so much, and the recipe looks incredible.
When I was little, my mom used to make Bourbon Balls every Christmas. I hated the boozy taste. Now, well, she’s been gone for years and I miss so many things about her. Wish I had one of those Bourbon Balls now.
I am going to make your recipe as a tribute to her…
Thank you for inspiring me ~

Brook December 19, 2010 at 11:17 am
Pamela December 19, 2010 at 1:49 pm

I’m glad you liked this and that I was able to inspire you. 🙂

shannon December 19, 2010 at 8:49 am

Great blog…love the name!! Great recipe for some wicked holiday candy!! I love the little wrappers! Congrats on food buzz top 9!!!

Robin @ Yankee Kitchen December 18, 2010 at 7:50 pm

This look incredible, far better than a Reese’s. Terrific shot, it is nearly making me drool.

Kim-Liv Life December 18, 2010 at 3:19 pm

An excellent recipe!!! My husband will go nuts for these, as will I. Your photo is absolutely amazing, the pic says it all!

Pamela December 18, 2010 at 7:55 pm

These things have been quite the hit. Who knew people wanted booze in their peanut butter cups?

Cristina @ Teenie Cakes December 18, 2010 at 9:39 am

I LUV what you’ve done with these peanut butter cups! My Hubbs fav candy is peanut butter cups and I know he’d get a kick outta these bourbon ones. What a great idea!

The relationship advice was so fun & enjoyable…thank you for a great read this morning with my coffee and Happy Holidays to you! 🙂

Pamela December 18, 2010 at 7:57 pm

I’m glad you enjoyed it. I love hearing that people are entertained with my site. 🙂

Jenny @ melting butter December 18, 2010 at 1:58 am

what perfect little xmas pressies!

buffalogal December 17, 2010 at 10:09 am

What’s an 11.5 chocolate bar? lb? oz? kg? Just wondering ’cause I want to try these out!

Pamela December 17, 2010 at 10:16 am

I used 11.5 ounce bags of chocolate chips. But if you’ve got a chocolate bar that you really like, you can weigh out 11.5 ounces of it (make sure to chop it into small pieces so that it melts easier).

Pamela December 18, 2010 at 7:59 pm

It’s 11.5 ounces of chocolate. I used bags of really good chocolate chips which are sold in 11.5 ounce bags. But you can use 11.5 ounces of chopped chocolate bars or discs.

sippitysup December 17, 2010 at 9:47 am

Bourbon candy. Is there any other kind? GREG

Nancy@acommunaltable December 16, 2010 at 9:24 pm

Shhh…. don’t talk about this so loudly!! Reese’s and the food police might hear us!!! These are… amazing, addictive, revolutionary?? All of the above?? Oh yeah!!! I have just the folks to make these for… can’t wait!!!

fooddreamer December 16, 2010 at 2:12 pm

I am with you and @denisleary…alcohol, chocolate and PB together is a winner, you hardly even needed to ask!

claudia lamascolo aka pegasuslegend December 16, 2010 at 7:27 am

Very good recipe. I love the addition of bourbon but of course you knew this would get my attention! Merry (hiccup) Christmas love it! I just fell out of my sleigh!~

Heather December 15, 2010 at 10:11 am

Holy crap, you just improved upon the peanut butter cup! I didn’t even think that was possible.

Belinda @zomppa December 15, 2010 at 10:11 am

All good tidbits!! LOVE the candy…dreaming about it now.

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