around came one of those weekday mornings that make you want to curse alarm clocks, traffic lights and paperwork. instead, you put on a coat of positivity, some high heels and walk through the hallways of work like it's just another day. you're trying. i was doing a lot of ho humming on the inside on a day just like this. with a sigh, i stepped into the workroom to put my lunch in the refrigerator when a friend of mine had something huge wrapped in bubble wrap that she presented to me. for meeee? what's the occasion?!
it was just because and just because i was having an awful morning it meant that much more to me. with all the sweets i bring in to work for my friends, she decided to treat me to an awesome cupcake carrying case. not only does it hold two dozen cupcakes, but it is shaped like a big cupcake itself. could you think of anything cuter? me either! i also assumed this was an appropriate excuse for me to bake some cupcakes so that i could try out my new carrier.
i knew just what i wanted to bake- peanut butter cupcakes with chocolate cream cheese frosting. after bringing them to work for all my friends and co-workers to taste, i've never received such rave reviews. i'm almost brazen enough to say this was my most well-received cupcake to date. may i brag? i'm going to anyway. they really were delicious. want to make some yourself? let me walk you through it.
first, make sure your butter is softened so that it will cream easily with your peanut butter. start whipping these two ingredients up with your stand-up mixer on medium speed. after the two butters are bonded better than the best of friends, add in the sugar and eggs. then, add the vanilla and give it another good whirl until all ingredients are well blended.
now, move on to your remaining dry ingredients. namely, the flour and baking powder. whisk them together in a separate bowl from your 2/3 cups of milk.
start pouring small measurements of your dry ingredients into your stand-up mixer bowl already filled with the other goodies. then, pause and add a little milk. continue back and forth like this, ending with dry ingredients until everything is swirling together in peanut buttery harmony.
remove the bowl from the mixer, add in your peanut butter morsels and stir with a spoon or spatula until each little morsel is tucked in a blanket of batter.
with a small ice cream scoop, fill your lined baking cups with the cupcake batter and send each one off with a well wish of tastiness if you know what's good for you.
as the cupcakes are baking for 15-20 minutes, be a productive person and clean some dishes, check your email, play with your dog, wash your hands again. after about 15 minutes, continued to check your cupcakes with a toothpick until it pulls out clean. overbaking will cause them to become drier than your mouth desires.
while baking the last batch of cupcakes, get to work making the piece de resistance- the chocolate cream cheese frosting.
this time, cream your butter with softened cream cheese. then, add the vanilla for a little pizazz. the way to make a traditional butter cream frosting is with a whole lotta confectionery sugar and this recipe calls for that as well. the only difference is, you've already got the cream cheese in this recipe so it won't take on the traditional fluffy texture. as my eye guy put it, it looks creamier.
add your sugar a little at a time, inserting bits of the cocoa powder as you go until it is the consistency you desire. if it is too thick for your liking, add a little milk and if it is too thin, add a little more confectionery sugar.
once all your cupcakes are out of the oven, wait patiently for them to completely cool. maybe do a little more dishes like me. then, frost your peanut butter cupcake delights with this decadent frosting and feel like you've died and gone to flavor heaven.
after making these little darlings, i packed them away in the giant plastic cupcake i now call my favorite carrier. they all had sweet dreams and woke up refreshed and ready to be eaten. yikes, maybe it was more like little sugary nightmares. for me and the others who enjoyed them...nothing but sweetness.
chocolate peanut butter cupcake sensations
makes about 30
adapted from howsweeteats.com
peanut butter cupcake ingredients
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup creamy peanut butter
2 cup sugar
4 whole eggs
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups flour
3 teaspoon baking powder
2/3 cup milk
1 1/2 cup peanut butter chips/morsels
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and peanut butter together. Add the sugar and eggs and beat on medium speed. Then, add the vanilla extract and cream until fluffy.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder. Then, alternate adding the dry ingredients and milk to the ingredients in the mixer's bowl while keeping it on low. End with the dry ingredients.
In the bowl of the blended batter, fold in some peanut butter morsels.
With a small ice cream scoop, fill lined baking cups about 2/3 full and bake for 15-20 minutes. Check with a tooth pick that pulls out dry to avoid over-baking. Let cool and then add the delicious frosting.
chocolate cheesecake frosting
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 blocks cream cheese (12 ounces), softened
1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
6 cups confectionery sugar
1/2 cup dark cocoa powder
1-2 tablespoons milk (if needed)
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter and cream cheese. Add the vanilla. Then, begin alternately adding the confectionery sugar and cocoa powder, ending with the sugar.
Add milk only if needed.