March 20, 2014

Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes

It's hard to beat the combination of peanut butter and chocolate, which explains why I have so many recipes bookmarked with those ingredients, including multiple cupcakes. One can never have too many cupcakes.

I made this version from Two Peas & Their Pod, which disappeared without a single photograph. My 2-year-old son helped with these, putting in all the cupcake liners by himself and putting the peanut butter cups onto the batter. He doubled up the peanut butter cups in one cupcake ... I'm not sure why I corrected his "mistake." I think he's a culinary genius.

The cupcakes have a nice dark chocolate flavor, but mine were a bit drier than I would have liked. Overall, though, this is a winner cupcake.

Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
2 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 cup cocoa
3/4 cup  flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. baking powder
2 large eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
 12 Reese's Peanut Butter Cups
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1 Tbsp. heavy cream
Reese's Pieces or miniature peanut butter cups, if desired

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 12-cup cupcake tin with paper liners, and set aside. Place butter, chocolate and cocoa powder in a medium heatproof bowl. Microwave in 30 second bursts on 50 percent power, stirring in between, until the butter and chocolate are melted. Set the mixture aside to cool until it is warm to the touch.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and baking powder.  

Whisk the eggs in a separate large bowl to combine, and then add the sugar, vanilla and salt and continue whisking until fully incorporated. Add the cooled chocolate mixture to the bowl, and whisk to combine. Sift one-third of the flour mixture into the bowl, and whisk gently to combine. Add the Greek yogurt or sour cream, and whisk to combine. Finally, sift the the rest of the flour mixture into the bowl, and whisk until everything is well combined. The cupcake batter will be thick.

Place a dollop of cupcake batter on the bottom of each cupcake liner. Place a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup on top of the batter. Cover the peanut butter cups with remaining batter, filling each about 3/4 full. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcakes comes out clean, about 18 to 20 minutes. Remove the pan to a wire rack, and let the cupcakes cool for 5 minutes before removing them to a wire rack to cool completely.

While the cupcakes are cooling, make the peanut butter frosting. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter and peanut butter until creamy. On low speed, add in powdered sugar. Mix until combined, and add the heavy cream. Mix until frosting is fluffy. You can play around with the amounts of powdered sugar and heavy cream to get the desired consistency.

Frost cooled cupcakes with the peanut butter frosting, and top each cupcake with garnish, if desired. Makes 12 cupcakes.

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