Thursday, July 24, 2014

Small Batch Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Frosting

Birthdays are a big deal to me as you can probably tell based on Jake's Cars and Superman parties.  That being said, we celebrate all four of our birthdays, Chanukah, and Christmas in a 5 week span.  This means that most of our celebrating for the year is clumped together.  To help spread it out, I like to celebrate half-birthdays too.  We don't do presents or parties or anything like that, but I do make Jake a special cupcake every year on his half birthday.  I ask him what he wants and then I create it.  This is his chance for an over-the-top treat and he definitely makes good use of it.

This year we weren't together on his half birthday.  He was having a "vacation" at my in-laws and we were in England for my younger sister's wedding.  Once we got back it was cupcake time.  After changing his mind a few times he finally settled on a chocolate peanut butter cupcake with peanut butter chocolate chip frosting.  Since these cupcakes are made just for us, I didn't want a whole batch of cupcakes tempting me so I made this tiny batch.  These make 2 regular size cupcakes or 3 slightly smaller cupcakes (just right for our little family because Lucas is not eating treats yet). 

These cupcakes are super easy to make and don't need anything fancy.  Start out by whisking together a little bit of flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.  Add in some milk, vegetable oil, and a splash of vanilla.  Whisk it all together until well combined.

For the peanut butter component I chopped up a Reese's peanut butter cup and stirred that into the batter.  Then I filled my silicone cupcake molds about half full.  On our way home from the airport I saw a couple of billboards for the Ben and Jerry's ice cream with the caramel core.  Inspired by this, I put a dollop of peanut butter in the center before baking them.

If you want them to look a little bit prettier you could swirl the peanut butter in, but I really wanted the peanut butter core.  Also, it is going to be covered with frosting, so I didn't care what it looks like underneath.

Once they were cooled it was time for the frosting.  I'm not generally a fan of frosting but when it's peanut butter frosting, sign me up.  Add in some mini chocolate chips and I couldn't stop eating it.  This frosting is super easy.  Cream together some room temperature butter and peanut butter.  Add in some powdered sugar and beat until it's well combined.  Add in a splash of vanilla and a little milk if you need it.  Then stir in some mini chocolate chips.  Because of the chocolate chips, you can't really pipe the frosting so just drop a big spoonful on top and spread it around.

We stuck them in the fridge before eating them and I highly recommend that.  The peanut butter frosting gets a little thicker and oh so good!  When you bite into the dark chocolate cupcake with the cool peanut butter core topped with the creamy peanut buttery frosting and the slight crunch from the mini chocolate chips you will be in chocolate peanut butter heaven!

Excellent choice Jake, excellent choice!

Small Batch Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Frosting
Adapted from BrettBara Chocolate Cupcakes and The Comfort of Cooking

For the cupcakes:
  • 3 tbls. flour
  • 2 tbls. sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbls. dark cocoa powder
  • 1/8 tsp. baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tbls. milk
  • 1 tbls. vegetable oil
  • splash of vanilla
  • 1 Reese's peanut butter cup, chopped
  • 1 - 1 1/2 tbls. creamy peanut butter
For the frosting:
  • 2 tbls. butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp. milk 
  • 2 tbls. mini chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 325.
  2. In a small bowl whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.  Add in milk, vegetable oil and vanilla and whisk until combined.  Stir in peanut butter cup pieces.
  3. Fill cupcake tins or silicone cupcake molds about half full.  Add a dollop of peanut butter (1 - 1 1/2 tsp.) in the center of each cupcake.
  4. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until the top springs back when lightly pressed.
  5. While cupcakes cool, make frosting.
  6. Cream together butter and peanut butter.  Beat in powdered sugar.  Add in vanilla and milk, beat until combined.  Stir in mini chocolate chips.
  7. Spread frosting on cooled cupcakes and refrigerate until ready to serve.

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