I blame these on Trader Joe’s.

Salted Caramel Peanut Butter Cups, www.mountainmamacooks.com

Because, guess what?
Trader Joe’s opened in Utah last week.
I am so beside myself, I can hardly contain my excitement. And I am not alone. The Salt Lake Trader Joe’s was the biggest opening in the history of the chain. Biggest opening day and biggest opening weekend. It’s kind of a big deal if you consider that is without the sale of alcohol. We are in Utah after all……so even though we don’t drink, apparently we like grocery stores that do virtually zero advertising.

homemade peanut butter cups with sea salt and caramel, www.mountainmamacooks.com

My mom and I made a morning of our first visit last week and spent a good hour or so browsing the isles picking up our favorite items as well as trying some new ones. I went a little crazy in the perishable and frozen foods sections. My new favorite finds are frozen kale and mini frozen croissants that you let rise and then bake for those lazy Saturday mornings when only a straight from the oven pastry will do and you don’t want to put a bra on and go out in public. You know those mornings.
But my new favorite, favorite item might be the Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Salted Caramel Truffles that somehow jumped into my cart while I was standing at the check out line. I have one word for you: ohmygod. Every thing you want in a sweet is wrapped up in one little bite. My mom and I weren’t even ten minutes out the door (of course we opened them right away to try them) and I declared to her that we had to try and recreate them when we got together to do our annual holiday baking day a few days later.

Salted Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups with Caramel, Mountain Mama Cooks

So what could have been a typical Sunday actually turned out to be a day my life changed for the better and the recreation of the truffles was born. I don’t really make much candy (like I’ve never made it in my life) and have no idea how to even attempt making a truffle so instead I did the next logical thing. I made peanut butter cups and filled them with caramel and topped them with sea salt. Dare I say these are even better than the Trader Joe’s truffles???? Duh, of course they are! They’re homemade. And you can never go wrong when you start from scratch and go at it with love.

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups with Sea Salt and Caramel, Mountain Mama Cooks

These homemade peanut butter cups are so over the top, I don’t want you to be surprised if you close your eyes and starting making weird throat noises while you’re eating them. No one will notice because they’ll be doing the same thing. I promise. So really, all I have to say is, make them. Share them or don’t, but make them. They will be the easiest and best thing you put in your mouth this entire holiday season.

The end.
ps- Is anyone else weirded out by my teeth marks on the peanut butter cups in all the pictures?

Salted Caramel Peanut Butter Cups

Yield: 24 peanut butter cups

The ultimate homemade peanut butter cup with caramel and sea salt.


  • 16 oz chocolate chips (any combination is fine, I used 75% dark & 25% milk)
  • 1 teaspoon shortening
  • 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4-1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup thick caramel sauce (I used Trader Joe's Salted Caramel Sauce)
  • flakey sea salt (like Maldon)


  1. Prepare a 24-cup mini muffin tin with small cupcake liners.
  2. For the peanut butter filling, mix peanut butter, softened butter, 1/4 cup powdered sugar and vanilla together until smooth and combined. If the mixture isn't as thick or as sweet as you like, add a tablespoon of powdered sugar at time get desired consistency; Set aside
  3. Place chocolate and shortening in a microwave safe bowl and cook on high at 30 second intervals, stirring often, until chocolate is melted and smooth.
  4. Spoon roughly a teaspoon of the melted chocolate into each liner and use either the back of a spoon or a pastry brush (my personal favorite) to coat the inside of the liner and sides with chocolate. Repeat a couple times to make sure there is a good layer of chocolate. Chill the whole pan for 10-15 minutes until chocolate hardens. Fill each liner with a heaping teaspoon of peanut butter filling and press down a bit to flatten. Top the peanut butter filling with a dollop of caramel. Top with remaining melted chocolate to evenly cover the caramel and peanut butter and fill to the edges. Sprinkle the tops with a small pinch of sea salt.
  5. Chill for another 10-15 minutes until chocolate hardens again.
  6. Store in the fridge until ready to serve.
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37 Responses to Salted Caramel Peanut Butter Cups

  1. Evil. So good. Yet so evil 🙂

  2. Linda says:

    Perfect for me to make and then eat while on the treadmill. Your P.S. made me laugh out loud because in my mind I thought, wow, she has really straight teeth.

  3. Jess says:

    Allow me to be the first to validate every sentiment in this post. Oh…my…God, they were ridiculously good and I was so happy to be the recipient of one! Thanks for sharing the treats and the recipe, Kell.

  4. Maria says:

    I don’t think I should make these. I know I would eat them ALL!

  5. I love these! I have such a soft spot for salted caramel!

  6. I have a bucket of those mini chocolate pb cups in my pantry right now!! I had to hide them cause if I saw them on the counter, I’d open it and take a handful 🙂 I need to save my calories! I love that you recreated it 🙂

  7. You KNOW I’m making these. ASAP. You are my hero.

  8. Karista says:

    Oh no you didn’t… Probably one of the most decadent and delicious recipes I’ve seen this holiday season. And I’m making them. And eating them too. I don’t think I’ll give these away. 🙂 Love to ya!

  9. Mary Lynn says:

    Can’t wait to make these. Thanks for creating the recipe for us.. Oh, and my husband is a Dentist…we have seen it all…lol Merry Christmas

  10. kellie says:

    oh my heavens. these look awesome!! can’t wait to try! and congrats on your trader joe’s opening!! 😉 i was so excited when ours opened.

  11. Glad you’re able to enjoy some TJs action now – congrats!

    And that salted caramel sauce of theirs is THICK. Like, I am always shocked every time I use it. Love it.

    These are beautiful & creative and delish!

  12. Becky says:

    oh dear!!! These do look amazing. Wishing you lived closer to me 🙂

  13. Seriously now this is over the top!!! What a great treat to give as a gift!

  14. Oh. Em. Gee. These look utterly incredible. Perfect for this overindulgent time of year!

  15. looking great Kelley! MIss you

  16. Megan says:

    How delicious! I love salt with anything sweet. And I’m a bit envious you have a Trader Joe’s so nearby 🙂

  17. elizabeth says:

    Wow! I’m making these for a new year’s brunch. They seem pretty straight forward. Love your blog…great recipes and you take beautiful pictures. Thanks so much for your effort!!

  18. Sonii says:

    shortening ?? seriously, anyone still eats that ?? Use some coconut oil.

    • Kelley says:

      SERIOUSLY! I buy a great organic brand from Whole Foods made by Spectrum- organic and no hydrogenated oils. It’s not an ingredient I use all the time but sometimes it’s ok. I use coconut oil in a lot of cooking/baking but don’t always want the coconut flavor. If you make them with coconut oil, I’d love to hear how they turn out.

  19. Sue says:

    These are sinfully delicious. Very labor intensive though. I will make these again for the holidays and give them only to very special people as gifts. Thank you soooo much for the recipe

  20. Such exciting news about the Trader Joe’s! I can’t control myself in that place! These PB cups look so amazing!! I like your teeth marks in the picture – it means you really enjoyed them 🙂

  21. I’m such a sucker for chocolate-peanut butter anything, and add a little bit of extra salty-sweetness and you’ve really got me hooked. Do you think it could be made without the shortening at all, by any chance? I don’t touch the stuff and am still a little skeptical of the non-hydrogenated varieties that places like Whole Foods sell, but I’d love to try this recipe out sometime.

    I also wanted to let you know that I thought this was such a great idea, that I featured your post on my blog’s Weekend Wrap-Up today, and hope you’ll stop by to check it out. Thanks for contributing to some amazing blogging this week, and enjoy your weekend!


  22. Stephanie says:

    I made these today and they are AMAZING!! What was even better is they weren’t super hard to make either. Thanks for sharing!

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