Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Chocolate Peanut Butter Surprise Cupcakes

This recipe comes from Sara Perry's Holiday Baking: New and Traditional Recipes for Wintertime Holidays. I found the original icing way too sweet, but, once modified, the overall result was pretty tasty. I think the best part of the recipe is the idea of putting peanut butter in the middle of the cupcake and peanut butter icing on the top. You could probably just use your favorite cake recipe-- chocolate or otherwise-- and just use the filling and icing from this recipe. I may consider trying the filling/icing with our family birthday cake at a later date.

J'aime beaucoup: Chocolate Peanut Butter Surprise Cupcakes

Peanut Butter Filling:
3 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/4 chunky peanut butter
2 Tbs honey
2 Tbs powdered sugar
1 Tbs heavy whipping cream

Cupcake Batter:
1 cup flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup buttermilk*

2 1/2 Tbs butter, at room temperature
3 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup chunky peanut butter
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup powdered sugar
4 Tbs heavy whipping cream

chopped peanut butter cups, optional

1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line cupcake tin with liners. Makes 15-21.

For the filling:
2. Cream peanut butter filling ingredients with a hand mixer, and set aside.

For the Cupcakes:
3. In a mixer or food processor, cream the butter. Add in the brown sugar and blend until creamy and well combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, and blend completely. Beat in the vanilla.
4. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, salt, and baking soda.
5. Add half of the sifted dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and blend.
6. Add the buttermilk and blend again.
7. Add the remaining dry ingredients, and blend until everything is smooth and combined. Don't forget to scrape the edges. (The batter seemed thick to me, so don't be alarmed if yours is too)
8. Fill each cupcake wrapper 1/3 of the way with batter (maybe 1 regular tsp.) Divide the filling evenly among the cupcakes by dropping a large dollop (maybe 1 heaping tsp.) of the peanut butter filling into the center of each cupcake. Gently nudge it into the batter. Fill the cupcakes with the remaining batter; each one should be approx. 3/4 full.
9. Bake on the center rack until the tops spring back when lightly touched with a finger, approx. 20 minutes. Do not overbake. Cool cupcakes in the tin for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack. Cool completely before icing.

For the icing:
10. Cream the butter, cream cheese, peanut butter, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Alternately add the sugar and cream until the icing is smooth.
11. Ice your cupcakes.
12. Top with chopped peanut butter cups, if desired. Cupcakes may be stored at room temperature for 2 to 3 days... if they last that long!

*I used half plain yogurt, half milk to make buttermilk.
** The original icing recipe calls for 2 cups of powdered sugar and only a quarter cup of peanut butter. I followed the original recipe, found it to be too sweet, and added peanut butter and cream to fix it. The ingredients I've listed here for the icing are more or less a guestimate of what should work best-- or at least what I estimate to be close to what I did. You may have to play around with the consistency and flavor by adding more cream, sugar, or peanut butter according to your personal taste.