Feb 20, 2012

Peanut Butter Cupcakes

Peanut Butter Cupcakes - AKA Super rich, super delicious, super need-a-glass-of-milk, super want-5-but-luckily-your-belly-probably-can't-hold-more-than-3-in-a-ten-minute-period cupcakes. Super yummy! 

After 15 years of college (minus two years for a church mission), my amazing husband finally earned his Bachelors Degree in Business. When he was still attending college full-time, we made the choice to leave and move back home to follow a promising business opportunity. FAIL. But, that move allowed us to live with my mom in the last year of her life - an experience worthy of any sacrifice. 

That move also slowly pushed my husband's career in the right direction for our family and he has become very successful in what he does. He now has a job that he enjoys, supports our family, and allows him to work from home. I wouldn't change a thing about his career choices. He's worked hard and the effor thas paid off. Through it all, he's been working on his degree... and he just finished! 

We surprised him with a graduation party a few weeks ago and I, being the amazing self sacrificing wife that I am (ha), made him these cupcakes. I tried to think of what kind of treats he loves that I never make because I'm not a fan. Peanut butter treats were high on the list. I have never been a big fan of peanut butter anything - except Reese's. However... I LOOOOOVED these! Like really really loved. 

I used Ghirardelli Chocolate Squares, Sour licorice, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, and mini chocolate chips to make cute little graduation caps on top (just do a Google image search for graduation cupcakes). But make sure you don't use mint flavor. Mint + peanut butter = no bueno. Blech.

I asked my husband, the college graduate (wooo!), to briefly describe these and he said, "Phenomenal. Practically Perfect Peanut Butter Cupcakes. I used alliteration. It's cool." See? 13 years of college did him well. 

Cupcake Recipe (adapted from Martha Stewart's Peanut Butter Cupcake recipe)
makes 18

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 1/3 cups sugar
2/3 cup natural, creamy peanut butter
3 large eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk dry ingredients in a large bowl. Cream butter and sugar with a mixer until light and fluffy. Mix in peanut butter. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition.
Reduce speed to low. In a small bowl, add vanilla to sour cream. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture in 3 additions, alternating with sour cream mixture and ending with dry. Scrape sides of bowl. Divide batter among muffin cups, filling each with 1/4 cup.
Bake cupcakes until testers inserted into centers come out clean, about 20 minutes. Let cool in tins on wire racks. 

Frost with Peanut Butter Frosting:
1 cup natural, creamy peanut butter
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
6 tablespoons milk


Beat peanut butter and vanilla until blended. Add 3 tablespoons of milk and the sugar while beating. Add the rest of the milk and beat until smooth. Add more milk, if needed. 

Drizzle with Chocolate Ganache:
3/4 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

Melt chocolate and cream in double boiler, stirring consistently.
A double boiler is just a metal or glass bowl set on top of a pot of simmering water. 

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