Saturday, March 15, 2014

peanut butter cupcakes - nutty personal only

Every morning for the past month I've been eating Peanut Butter Sandwiches. Two toasted slices, spreaded with two tablespoons of peanut butter on the toasted side while it's still warm and folded in half. The bread is soft, but crispy on the inside filled with gooey, peanut buttery goodness, it's been the highlight of my day for, like I've said, the past month which is - pretty sad. But because I enjoy my preday peanut butter sandwiches so much, I decided to make a peanut butter dessert that paid a very special homage to that. 

These "Double" Peanut Butter Cupcakes are moist and dense on the inside but light, crispy and golden on top. Which aesthetically doesn't matter because we're just going to cover it with a delicious Peanut Butter Frosting. However texture wise it almost exactly replicates what I love so much about my morning Peanut Butter Sandwiches. 

Usually cupcakes are way to sweet, especially the frosting, which is why I prefer to make my own. And not to toot my own horn but, I think my frosting is the pandemic to curing world peace. All in all once you try these I think you would all agree that this cupcake is a peanut butter lovers dream dessert. So be sure to stick around so you can learn how you can make these delicious chow-fections!

The first step is to preheat your oven to 350. Using a mixer cream together butter, peanut butter, and sugar until smooth and light in color. I think it goes without saying that your butter should be room temperature. Once everything is nice and creamed, add in an egg and a drop of vanilla extract. 

In another bowl whisk together your dry ingredients to ensure their are no large lumps. Whisking achieves the same goal as sifting but instead of making a mess all over the countertop you keep it in the bowl. Begin by beating in 1/4 cup of milk to loosen the mixture. Then add half of the flour. Make sure all of the flour is incorporated before you add in another 1/4 cup of milk. Alternate with the rest of the flour and finally finish with the last 1/4 cup of milk. At this stage you can switch to a spoonula because we don't want to overmix the batter. 

This recipe will yield exactly 18 cupcakes, which means you should fill each cupcake tin about 2/3 of the way up. For this recipe, because this is a peanut butter cupcake, I used yellow cupcake wrappers. However if you didn't have those just try to choose ones that are peanut butter looking, like a brown or orange. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean and the top is golden. Let these cool on a wire rack. 

While these are cooling you can make your frosting. This is super simple. Take peanut butter, confectioners sugar, honey for stability, and vanilla and whisk this together. Add tablespoons of milk until you've reached a frosting consistency. 

Ten minutes later your cakes have probably cooled enough to frost. If you have a piping bag that would be ideal, but for me I just used a plastic bag with the corner cut off. For this cake I think it's best to use the largest piping tip you have because I think thick swirls of frosting look the best. 

Double Peanut Butter Cupcakes are the perfect dessert for the nutty people in your life. I personally enjoy a tall glass of milk with this cupcake because I find the cake is very dense and you'll need that something to wash it all down. 

As you know peanut butter works all kinds of wonders with different flavor profiles like jam, and chocolate. For fun variations you can add chocolate chips into the cupcake batter, or swirl some raspberry jam into the frosting. There's an infinite amount of possibilities, okay...I'm not going to BS you, there are probably ten more variations you can do with this. But like you already knew what I was going to say, anything you try will taste delicious. Just remember to be creative and push the boundaries. That is it for this recipe, hope to see you next week. And as always, 



For the Cake

1/3 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup milk

For the Frosting

1/3 cup peanut butter
2 cups confectioners' sugar
2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 to 4 tablespoons 2% milk

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