Cure for a Bad Day: Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

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Sometimes, when I have a long day at work, all I want to do is sit on the couch and not think. Other times, I’m still so amped up when I get home that I have to do something.  Last Wednesday was one of those days when I had a curious case of exhaustion mixed with adrenaline and couldn’t sit still. So, I made cupcakes.

To be honest, I’m not a huge fan of cupcakes. When it comes to things I’d like to bake, cupcakes are not at the top of my list. I’m not sure if it’s because it’s just in my nature to dislike trendy things, or because I don’t really like to eat cake that much, or because my last couple attempts at making cupcakes haven’t gone so well. But these cupcakes — these are cupcakes I can stand for.

They’re pretty much the opposite of healthy. They’re rich, dense, and filled with peanut butter. Seriously, they’re filled with peanut butter. And the frosting — it’s smooth and creamy and although it is really sweet, it doesn’t have that cloying sweetness that frostings often have.

I’m definitely going to make these again, and although I have plans for various alterations, I made hardly any changes to this recipe from Annie’s Eats, and they turned out pretty much perfect:

Chocolate Peanut Butter Buckeye Cupcakes
Adapted (barely) from Annie’s Eats Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

Ingredients:

Filling:
1 to 1 and 1/4 cup confenctioner’s sugar (I started with 1 cup, but ended up adding about 1/4 cup as my mixture wasn’t thick enough with just 1 cup.)
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter 4 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Cake:
1 and 2/3 cups flour
3/4 cup dutch processed or dark cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup sour cream
2 tbsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 and 1/2 cups sugar 2 eggs

Frosting:
8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
3 and 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar
1/2 cup frozen whipped topping, thawed

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare your cupcake pans by lining them with cupcake liners.

Filling: combine the confectioner’s sugar, peanut butter, butter and vanilla in the bowl of your mixture.  Beat on medium speed until well combined. Roll the mixture (I found it easier to wet my fingers with a little water while I did this) into 1 inch balls (about 24) and set on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Cake: In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Use a whisk to combine, and then set aside.  In a liquid measuring cup (or a small to medium bowl), stir together sour cream, milk and vanilla. Set aside.  In the bowl of your mixer, combine the butter and sugar. Beat on medium speed for 2ish minutes until combined, light and fluffy.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time.  Turn the mixer down to low speed, and alternately add the dry ingredients and the sour cream mixture. Begin and end with the dry ingredients.  Mix until combined, don’t over mix.

Put together: Spoon about a tablespoon full of the batter into each cupcake liner. (I started with 12 since I wasn’t sure if the batter would really make 24 cupcakes.) Then place a peanut butter ball into each cupcake.  Then go back and top with another spoon full of batter.  The recipe makes about about 18-24 cupcakes

Bake for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cupcake comes out clean.  Cool in the pan for about 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to let cool completely.

Frosting:  In the bowl of your mixture, combine the cream cheese, butter and peanut butter until smooth. (It’s pretty important that all of these things be at room temperature of softened)  Slowly mix in the confectioner’s sugar. I used a little more than the original recipe because I like a thicker frosting, but if you use too much it will change the flavor of the frosting. Then mix in the whipped topping until smooth.  Frost the cooled cupakes and enjoy!

* I topped my cupcakes with chocolate sprinkles and Reeses minis, but these are just as delicious without those.

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Filed under Cupcakes, Recipes

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