Mid-Week Tangent: Battle of the Peanut Butter Cups

It’s been…a week, friends.  I am staring unemployment in the face for the second time in the last four months (both times by choice, mind you) and it’s stressing me out hard.  When I’m stressed, I turn to my constant friend and comfort, candy. I’ve been eating my weight in peanut butter cups these days, which has inspired me to ponder the very unimportant question: in a battle of the peanut butter cups, who would reign supreme?

Let me present you with the :


At the bottom of the heap, I’d squarely place Justin’s Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups in a dead tie with Theo Peanut Butter Cups.

–Let’s start with Justin’s: People go nuts over these things, I think under the illusion that organic ingredients somehow make them more healthy. Let me tell you, there is no mass-produced peanut butter cup on the planet that is legitimately healthy.  Plus, don’t ruin my peanut butter cup high with your dark chocolate. Don’t you dare. (Sidenote: Perhaps the milk chocolate variety is more delicious, but I have yet to see them readily available in Canada).

–On to Theo we go:  I mean really, these are at the same level as Justin’s. They are candy masquerading as healthier treats. The biggest issue I have with Theo peanut butter cups is the cost, a whopping $3.49.  If I’m going to pay $3.49 for a peanut butter cup it better weigh more than 38 g and it better pack some serious sugar punch. These do not. While I enjoy unsweetened, natural peanut butter on my toast in the morning, I like my peanut butter cups on the sickeningly sweet side of the scale and these are nowhere near that.

One level up from these peanut butter cup travesties, we find my perfectly acceptable range for peanut butter cups: the classic Reese’s peanut butter cup and the PC brand mini peanut butter cups.  Why do these outperform Justin’s and Theo? They are made as peanut butter cups are meant to be, unabashedly artificial and saccharine!

–First, the beloved Reese’s: Let’s be honest, these are pretty fantastic. They don’t really taste like peanut butter, but that’s somehow perfectly acceptable.  What keeps these from the top of my peanut butter cup pyramid are two minor problems: the chocolate layer is too thin and the peanut butter to chocolate ratio is all wrong.

–Next up, President’s Choice mini peanut butter melts: I am as shocked as anyone that these made it above the bottom of the list. I expected them to be repulsive.  However, they are not. They present an appropriately thick chocolate layer and an only vaguely peanut buttery filling that is reminiscent of the great Purdy’s peanut butter finger (a treat only omitted from this list because it does not meet the cup-shaped criteria). You’re probably wondering how something that does not taste exactly like peanut butter made the list. I urge you to try these and then ask me that question.

At the very top of the peanut butter cup hierarchy, however, are two of my most treasured peanut butter treats: the Reese’s Big Cup and the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory (Giant) peanut butter cup. Let’s give these treats the recognition they deserve.

–I’ll start with the Reese’s Big Cup: This beauty corrects all the issues I have with the original Reese’s. It has a thick chocolate layer, particularly enjoyable when chilled, and a perfect ratio of chocolate to filling. I also swear the filling tastes different, more like actual roasted nuts, but that is likely confirmation bias hard at work. I want to like these more, so I look for all the things that I’d want in a better version of the standard Reese’s cup as evidence of its superiority, and then find it whether it truly exists or not.

–Last but certainly not least, I have my magical RMCF giant peanut butter cup:  This is true love in a peanut butter cup. It is mammoth, as evidenced by its calorie count (which I saw by accident and wish desperately I could unsee)–530 for those who are curious. It has what some would consider too thick a chocolate layer, though chocolate thickness is never something I would personally complain about. It’s peanut butter filling is clearly blended with other delicious things. It lacks a distinctly peanut flavour, but has a sublime creaminess that will make you not care.  I wish I had one of these in my face right now. It would be the perfect antidote to the Wednesday blues.

So there you have it, I have presented you with the thing you never wanted nor cared about: a peanut butter cup hierarchy complete with commentary that is purely subjective. You’re welcome. Happy Wednesday. I’m going to go eat a Big Cup (because I do have one of those in my fridge right now).



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