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» Pale Yellow

Cream together butter and sugar until pale yellow.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

Tracy Byrne

These could also be called the cuteness of all cutenesses!  I try not to throw that phrase around unnecessarily, as it would lose its meaning, but I think this is applicable usage.  These cupcakes were inspired by many sources.  The idea to put the peanut buttercup inside the cupcake is from The Little Kitchen and the idea for the "mini-cupcake" on top is from Bake Perfection.  Even though both of these blogs had great ideas, I did not want to use either of their recipes because they both rely on boxed mixes.  There is nothing wrong with boxed mixes, it's just not for me, I like the challenge and flavor of from scratch baking much more.

There were a few moans while taste testing these cupcakes. The chocolate cupcake is moist and tender and the frosting is everything a peanut butter frosting should be.  It is creamy, smooth, and has just the right amount of flavor without being overly sweet.  The Reese's cup inside and on top just make the final product that much better!

I made these cupcakes in honor of my dear friend Christopher's birthday.  He is such a fantastic friend he drives my sorry butt home everyday after work even though it is out of his way because he "enjoys" my conversation and company!  I never worry about how I'm going to get home after work events, because he is always looking out for me.  Plus, Christopher is one of my number one test tasters!  It's always fun to bake for people that truly enjoy eating!

Print the recipe.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes Adapted from Barefoot Contessa Yields 21 cupcakes

Chocolate Cupcakes 12 table. unsalted butter, room temperature 2/3 cup sugar 2/3 cup brown sugar 2 large eggs 2 tea. vanilla 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature 1/2 cup sour cream 2 table. coffee 1 3/4 cup flour 1 cup cocoa 1 1/2 tea. baking soda 1/2 tea. salt 21 small Reese’s peanut butter cups, unwrapped and frozen

Preheat the oven to 350 F and beat the butter and sugars in a mixer with a paddle attachment for about 5 minutes or until light and fluffy.  Beat in the eggs one at a time and then add in the vanilla.  Scrap down the bowl.

Sift together the flour, cocoa, soda, and salt on to parchment paper.  Whisk together the buttermilk, sour cream, and coffee in a 2 cup measuring cup.  On low speed add the flour mixture and the liquid mixture to the butter alternating in thirds starting with the liquids and ending with the flour.  Scoop into lined cupcake pans using a standard ice cream scoop.  Place one Reese’s cup in each cupcake and push down.  Bake for 18 minutes and check with a toothpick for doneness.  Let cool in the cupcake pan for about 15 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Peanut Butter Frosting 2 cups creamy peanut butter 10 table. unsalted butter, room temperature 1 1/2 tea. vanilla a good pinch of kosher salt 2 cups powdered sugar 1/3-1/2 cup heavy cream 21 Reese’s peanut butter cups, unwrapped Sprinkles

Place the butter, peanut butter, vanilla, and salt in the bowl a mixer with a paddle attachment and beat on high speed until well combined.  Add in the powdered sugar and mix on low speed.  Gradually add in the cream into the frosting until it becomes a nice spreading consistency.

Using a small piping bag and a Wilton #18 tip, pipe a little frosting onto each Reese’s peanut butter cup, sprinkle with a few sprinkles. Using a larger piping bag and an Ateco #828 tip, pipe frosting onto each cooled cupcake.  Sprinkle the top with a few sprinkles and add a frosted peanut butter cup to each cupcake.