In 1928, a man named H.B. Reese, created the peanut butter cup. Mr. Reese was a dairy farmer and a shipping forman for Milton S. Hershey, and found him inspiring.
Mr. Reese left dairy farming and created the Harry Burnett Reese Candy Co. in his basement within his home located in Hershey Pennsylvania. In 1956, Mr. Reese died, leaving his candy company to his six sons. In 1963, the Reese' sons merged their fathers' company with the Hershey Chocolate Corp. The merger was a tax-free, stock-for-stock merger. The six brothers received 666,316 common stocks valued at $23.5 million dollars in 1963.
There are now 20 variations of Reese peanut butter cups. Even though Mr. Reese created a tasty candy and his six sons made wise business partnerships, their candy's ingredients have become questionable.
Reese's Peanut Butter Cups are made with the controversial ingredient PGPR (Polyglycerol polyricinoleate, which is used as a substitute for cocoa butter. The FDA has determined it to be "safe for humans as long as you restrict your intake to 7.5 milligrams per kilogram of body weight. Otherwise you'd be open to reversible liver enlargement at higher intakes".
Let's take a look at the other ingredients in one of the worlds' most favorite candy.
Reese's peanut butter cup ingredients:
Milk chocolate, (milk, chocolate, sugar, cocoa butter, chocolate, no fat milk, milk fat, lactose, soy lecithin, PGPR), peanuts, sugar, dextrose, salt, TBHQ and citric acid.
•PGPR (polyglycerol pilyricinoleate): Reese's are made with this controversial ingredient PGPR that has replaced cocoa butter in an effort to cut down on manufacturing costs. PGPR is made from castor beans that reduces the viscosity of chocolate. This chemical has been found to cause gastrointestinal discomfort and allergic reaction in children.
•Soy lecithin: 93% of soy is genetically modified. Soy lecithin can cause breast cancer, has negative effects on fertility and reproduction, may lead to behavioral and cerebral abnormalities. (Read More About Soy Lecithin)
•TBHQ (tertiary butylhydroquinone):
TBHQ comes from petroleum and is related to butane. This can be toxic and also cause nausea, vomiting, ringing in the ear, delirium and collapse. It is shown to cause stomach cancer in lab rats, fragment DNA and cause damage to humane lung and umbilical cells. In children it can cause anxiety, restlessness, and intensify the symptoms of ADHD.
Want to make your own? Enjoy this recipe I have included:
Organic Peanut Butter Cups
12 muffin tin liners
12 oz of organic dark chocolate
1 cup organic peanut butter
1/4 cup raw honey
1/4 tsp organic salt
- Trim the off muffin cups so that they are shallower.
- Pour the chocolate into a small sauce pan and place on the stovetop with low heat. Stir the chocolate gently, and let them sit for a minute or so. But be very careful not to overcook the chocolate or it turn to thick unusable chocolate.
- Using a teaspoon, spoon a portion of the chocolate into the middle of a muffin cup. Draw the chocolate up the edges of the cup with the back of the spoon. Coat the entire inside of the muffin cup with chocolate and place it into a muffin tin. Repeat with the remaining muffin cups and then put the whole muffin tin in the fridge so that the chocolate hardens.
- Combine the organic peanut butter, raw honey and organic salt in a medium bowl.
- When the chocolate in the muffin cups has hardened, spoon the peanut butter into another small sauce pan over low heat on the stove top. This will soften up the peanut butter so that it easily flows into the cups.
- Spoon a small portion of peanut butter into each of the chocolate-coated cups. Leave room at the top for an additional layer of chocolate, which we'll add later. Put the cups back in the fridge for about 10 minutes, then use the back of a small spoon to flatten and spread out the peanut butter. Then, return the cups back into the fridge for an hour or until the peanut butter has hardened.
- When the peanut butter filling has hardened, re-warm the remaining organic chocolate on the stove top. Use a teaspoon to spread a layer of chocolate over the top of each candy. Chill the candy once again to set up the chocolate.
Makes 12 candies.
By Anya V via Living Traditionally
Image Credits: Flickr