Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Buttercream

It has been forever and a day since I baked, much less posted about it. I never thought in a million years being pregnant would make me so tired, but whoa- did it ever! I am well into the 2nd trimester and what they say is true, you get the most energy in these months. I am so glad! I am up to my old tricks again, cooking and doing creative things. I have been busy making nursery plans and finishing up a print for my sweet friend Allison's new baby's room.

Last week two of my coworkers celebrated birthdays. I decided to come out of baking retirement to make a special treat. These suckers were decadent, sinful and delicious! The cake is the tried and true chocolate recipe I always use. Buried inside the batter was a whole mini Reese's Peanut Butter cup and then I topped them off with peanut butter buttercream and crushed pb cups. Derrick had a spoonful of the buttercream and declared it, "the best icing" saying it tasted like peanut butter cookie dough. That can't be a bad thing. :)

Chocolate Cupcakes
Ingredients: (slightly adapted from Paula Dean's Dreamy Chocolate Mousse Cake)
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup cocoa powder (I used ghirardelli)
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1-1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup milk
1 cup strong coffee
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla (I used a little more)

Preheat oven to 350.
Throw all the ingredients into a bowl. Using a wire whisk, whisk the ingredients together until well combined.
Pour into prepared or lined cupcake pan.
Bake for 12-14 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
**I filled the cupcake liners 1/2 way and then added an unwrapped mini Reese's Peanut Butter cup and then topped with the remaining batter.

Peanut Butter Buttercream
Ingredients: (Wilton recipe which can be found here: PB Buttercream Icing)
1/3 cup solid vegetable shortening
1/3 cup butter
3/4 cup peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla
4 cups powdered sugar
4-6 Tbsp milk

Blend shortening and butter together until smooth.
Add peanut butter and vanilla.
Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, blending well between each cup.
Scrape bowl often.
When sugar is completely mixed in, the icing will appear dry.
Add milk, one Tbsp. at a time until you reach the desired consistency.
Icing should be light and fluffy.
Keep covered with a damp towel until ready to use.