Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes

I have been looking for an excuse to make chocolate-peanut butter cupcakes, but have had so many others on my list that they have taken a back seat…well shame on me for letting that happen because these puppies were delicious!  So super rich, and perfect for peanut butter lovers.  The icing tastes like the filling in those buckeye “cookies” you might get around the holidays in a cookie tin…you know, the peanut butter truffle dipped in chocolate?!  Yea, it’s that on top of a rich chocolatey fluffy cupcake!  I would surely recommend making these for the birthday of a peanut butter lover in your life, pronto!

For the cupcakes you will need
:
1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 extra large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream, room temperature
2 tablespoons brewed coffee
1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup cake flour
1 cup good quality cocoa powder (I used Ghirardelli)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 350° and fill cupcake trays with liners.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, cream the butter and both sugars on high until light and fluffy – about 5 minutes.  Change the speed to medium and add in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition.  Add in the vanilla and blend well.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, sour cream and coffee.  In a second medium bowl, sift together the fours, cocoa, baking soda and salt.  With the mixer on low, add in the liquid and dry ingredient mixtures in 5 alternating additions, starting and ending with the dry ingredients.  With each addition, blend only until just mixed.  Fold gently with a rubber spatula to make sure everything is incorporated.

Divide batter among the pans using an ice cream scoop.  Bake in the middle rack of the oven for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let cool for 10 minutes in the pans, then remove to wire racks to cool completely.

*Note: if you don’t have buttermilk in your house, don’t fret.  Get your 2 cup pyrex measuring cup out and plop in a tablespoon of plain white vinegar.  Then fill to the 1 cup line with the regular milk you have in your fridge (I used 1%) and stir, then let sit for about 5 minutes.  Voila, buttermilk!

For the icing you will need:
1 cup confectioners sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup heavy cream

For filling/garnish:
chocolate wafers and/or small peanut butter cups

Directions:
Place the sugar, peanut butter, butter, vanilla and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer.  Blend using the paddle attachment on medium-low speed until creamy, scraping down the bowl periodically.  Add the cream and beat on high speed until light an smooth, about 4 minutes.

Put icing in pastry bag and pipe on top of the cupcakes.  Top with either a chocolate wafer like I did, or use a peanut butter cup.

*Next time I make these, I will bake a peanut butter cup into the batter…doesn’t that sound delish?!

Time: about 1.5 to 2 hours, start to finish (i.e. cupcakes ready to eat)
Yields: approximately 2 dozen, generously iced cupcakes
Source: Barefoot Contessa

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