These cupcakes are downright messy to eat, leaving you with chocolate on your face and both hands smeared with chocolate. And it's worth every brown smudge.
These cupcakes certainly are a treat, not meant for everyday consumption unless you run at least 6 miles on a daily basis. (I'm grateful for my 8-mile run this morning to negate the cupcake I savored this evening.) However, they were an instant favorite for my husband and me.
I'll admit the High Hats are a bit more work than the traditional cupcake, but they look quite impressive for a relatively simple process. As I got near the bottom of my dipping chocolate, I actually ended up spreading the chocolate on the last cupcake using my finger. (Don't worry, that was the cupcake my husband ate.)
These cupcakes are a hybrid of Bakers Royale's Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cupcake and Betty Crocker The Big Book of Cupcakes Peanut Butter High Hats. I was going to follow both recipes to make each cupcake separately, but I thought it was crazy that Betty Crocker did not use a chocolate cupcake in its version.
Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter High Hats
1 cup butter
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate
1 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup sour cream
24 miniature peanut butter cups
1 1/2 cups butter, softened
1 1/2 cups peanut butter
7 oz. marshmallow fluff
3 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
3 cups chocolate chips
6 Tbsp. shortening
Preheat oven to 350° F. Line 24 cupcake tins. Combine butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl, and microwave on medium power, stirring every 30 seconds, until smooth. Stir in cocoa until smooth. Set aside until mixture cools to near room temperature.
Whisk flour, baking soda and baking powder in small bowl to combine. In separate bowl, whisk eggs, and then add sugar, vanilla and salt until fully incorporated. Add cooled chocolate mixture, and beat until combined. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture, and mix on low until combined. Beat in sour cream until combined, and then add remaining flour mixture. Beat on low until batter is combined. (Batter will be thick.)
Fill cupcake line 1/4 full. Add a peanut butter cup to each cupcake, and then finish scooping cupcake batter on top until batter is evenly divided. Bake until skewer inserted into center of cupcakes comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. Cool cupcakes on wire racks to room temperature before frosting.
To prepare frosting, beat together butter and peanut butter until smooth. Whip in marshmallow fluff. Gradually add powdered sugar and then vanilla. Beat on high 3 minutes until fluffy. Use a large piping tip to frost cupcakes, making sure you have a large dome similar to an ice cream cone on each cupcake. Place cupcakes in the refrigerator or freezer for at least 45 minutes to harden the frosting.
Melt chocolate chips and shortening together in a heatproof bowl in the microwave, stirring at least every 30 seconds. Dip cupcakes into chocolate to coat frosting completely, shaking off extra chocolate. Chill cupcakes at least 5 minutes to set frosting. Makes 24 awesome cupcakes!