Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

I really have been on a cupcake kick lately. I watched the 'Barefoot Contessa" the other morning and she was making a chocolate peanut butter cupcake, and it looked soooooo good! But I had to put a Reese's Peanut butter cup in mine for a filling, plus when I made the icing I put a little more powdered sugar in it. I posted here what I did. Back in my teen years I would crave the Peanut butter filling from Reese's PB cups, so I would melt Peanut butter and add powdered sugar in it till it was thick, it would fix my craving, and that is what this icing reminds me of, only this frosting is better! Enjoy!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

Makes: 14 to 15 cupcakes

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk, shaken, at room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature
2 tablespoons brewed coffee (I left this out when I made mine, because I don't drink coffee, still yummo)
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (can use cake flour, just increase the amount by 3 Tablespoons)
1 cup good cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Mini Reese's Peanut Buter cups, FROZEN --this helps them so they don't melt all over the place.**See note
Peanut Butter Frosting
Chopped salted peanuts, to decorate, optional

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line cupcake pans with paper liners.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and 2 sugars on high speed until light and fluffy, approximately 5 minutes. Lower the speed to medium, add the eggs 1 at a time, then add the vanilla and mix well. In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, sour cream, and coffee. In another bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. On low speed, add the buttermilk mixture and the flour mixture alternately in thirds to the mixer bowl, beginning with the buttermilk mixture and ending with the flour mixture. Mix only until blended. Fold the batter with a rubber spatula to be sure it's completely blended.
Divide the batter among the cupcake pans. Take the papers off of the Reese's peanut butter cups, and poke one into the middle of each cupcake down into the batter. Bake in the middle of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean (don't poke the toothpick into the peanut butter cups! I just touched the tops of the cupcakes with my finger and if the cake springs back they are done). Cool for 10 minutes, remove from the pans, and allow to cool completely before frosting.

Frost each cupcake with Peanut Butter Icing and sprinkle with chopped peanuts, if desired.

Peanut Butter Frosting:

2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup heavy cream

Place the confectioners' sugar, peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium-low speed until creamy, scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula as you work. Add the cream and beat on high speed until the mixture is light and smooth. If frosting isn't quite smooth enough add a bit more cream a Tablespoon at a time till you get the right consistency. You want it thick enough to be able to pipe onto cupcakes with a decorator bag and tip, and not run off the cupcakes, but not so thick you couldn't spread it with a knife if you want to frost them that way. Frost, and then add a few chopped peanuts to the top!

**Note: A few of my cupcakes had holes in the top from where I put the peanut butter cups. I just filled it in with frosting and no one knew the difference! You can't have too much frosting if you ask me!!

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