Halva Studded With Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

Halloween is on my mind.

I’ve always loved Halloween. From the scary stories to the cool costumes, Halloween is arguably the best time to be a kid. What kid wouldn’t want to run around with friends, sporting the costume of his or her favorite fictional character or real-life idol and collecting a lifetime supply of free candy?

Nowadays, however, Halloween doesn’t seem to carry the same magic for me. Maybe I’m just getting older. Honestly, at 16 years old, dressing up as someone else is probably the least appealing thing I can think of — I’m trying to figure out who I am after all, let alone act like someone else. Especially with college lurking right around the corner.

The only thing that holds that last glimpse of Halloween magic for me is the candy. With a sweet bite, I can take myself back to the days when I could go out and celebrate the holiday without worrying about studying for the following day’s tests.

And let it be known, not all Halloween candy is created equal. I have always been partial to the chocolaty candies, as the fruity ones tend to be cloyingly, tooth-achingly saccharine. Anything from Twix to Rolo to 3 Musketeers will do, but my all time favorite, however is Reese’s. The secret to this candy lies in the ratio — a perfect combination of smooth milk chocolate and salty, slightly gritty peanut butter. Yum.

Yesterday, the idea hit me that hit me that I should combine my favorite Halloween candy with a Syrian confection to feature on my blog. I realized that Syrian halva, which is a deliciously nutty, sweet, creamy-yet-crumbly sesame fudge, would go perfectly with Reese’s. Halva traditionally comes either studded with nuts or marbled with chocolate, so I thought that the peanut butter cups might just provide the best of both worlds to create a mind-bogglingly delicious dessert.

Boy, was I right.


Halva Studded With Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

October 21, 2014


  • 1 1/2 lb tahini (sesame paste, can be found at most grocery stores)
  • 1 1/4 lb granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 cup chopped Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (or a combination of Reese’s, chocolate chips and peanut butter chips)
  • 1/2 Tbsp kosher salt


Grease two 9×5 loaf pans.

Measure out the sugar, water, and salt, and mix them together in a large pot.

Stir the sugar-water-salt mixture and scrape down the sides until the liquid reaches a boil, after which do not stir at all. Use a candy thermometer to make sure that it gets up to exactly 248F.


Meanwhile, measure out your tahini and microwave it for 1 minute.

(is my tahini tub big enough???)


Pour the warmed tahini into a stand mixer or large, sturdy metal bowl. Cover it to keep the tahini warm until the sugar comes to temperature.

Now is also the time to chop up the Reese’s.


Once the sugar reaches 248F, turn off the heat and carefully pour it into the warm tahini.

With the cover off to release steam, mix the tahini and boiled sugar on very low speed. It will look like a gloopy mess at first.


This is how the mixture should look after about thirty seconds. You can start to see clear lines, but it is still very gloopy.


After about a minute, the mixture will look crumbly but still moist, just like good cookie dough. Immediately stop mixing! If you mix more, your final product will be crumbly and not creamy.


Working quickly, spread 1/4 of the mixture into each loaf pan, and cover the rest of the mixture so it doesn’t dry out.

Sprinkle the chopped Reese’s on top (as you can see, I opted for a combination of Reese’s, chocolate chips, and peanut butter chips because that is what I had on hand. Just using Reese’s is absolutely fine).

Divide the rest of the tahini-sugar mixture in half, spreading each half over the top of the Reese’s layer. Don’t worry about the candy melting, it actually creates a lovely marble effect.


Spread the top layer evenly and press it down to make the halva nice and compact.

Cover the halva with plastic wrap and let it cool for at least an hour.
20141020_082406Once the halva is cool, cut it into cubes and serve! Or, for an even more decadent treat, try tipping the halva in tempered chocolate to create a sort of “Reese’s inside a Reese’s” effect.


And don’t forget, if you enjoy this recipe, please consider donating to The After School Special’s fall season charity for UNICEF’s Children of Syria fund below. Thank you so much!

Syria Donate Button

 {click the UNICEF button to donate to The After School Special’s fundraiser for children in Syria}

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