Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes

I keep having the problem where I don't feel like I know where start here in this blog.  I guess I could start by saying Hello! Welcome!  This is my little space in the internet world that doesn't have to deal with my everyday work, but it occasionally does.  It is my spot to share my adventures and mishaps in baking.  My corner to expound on what its like to be in my 20's living in DC, working to make a living and learn about life, and then getting to work on the fun stuff, like baking, too.  I haven't been writing much lately because real life, real work stuff has been crazy, but good too.  Real life has been a whirlwind...as in I finally moved in with the boy and we are starting to get settled.  Oh yeah and that whole planning for a wedding thing...good thing its not until June 2014.  Whew. 
But in all seriousness I am completely thankful for my life, friends, family, and work.  Lately I have been going with the idea that things will work out the way they are supposed to.  In the mean time, I will just keep plugging away, running around, and baking anytime I get the chance.  For me baking truly is an outlet.  It is that activity that completely takes my mind off of work, of the other stresses going on around me, because I know if I am not concentrating I might forget one ingredient and then my cake might fall, my cookies might turn out tasting like bricks, or the pie might just turn into a runny mess.  
So, after a long week sometimes baking is just what I need.  For instance these cupcakes came after a crazy hectic week, but I knew they would be just over the top enough for the guy in my office who simply requested chocolate and peanut butter for his birthday.  P.S. the peanut butter frosting on these cupcakes is my go to from Ina Garten.  It is simple, delicious and tastes like the center of a peanut butter cup...which there is one on top and hidden in the bottom of these devils food cupcakes.  So if you have a friend who loves Reece's peanut butter cupcakes these are the perfect cupcakes for them or really any peanut butter-chocolate lover.  These are just the start of the peanut chocolate cakes this month, since the same request was made again two weeks later.  A hint the next ones involve cookies.  Enjoy! 
Cookbook out and I am ready to go.

Sifting the dry ingredients when cocoa powder is involved is essential.

I needed my butter to get a little softer so this is when I did some unwrapping.

Top up into sprayed liners...

The butter is soft enough and ready to go.

Gently whisking away.

Don't over fill these...just about 2/3 full.

I love when cupcakes come out of the oven perfectly.

A view of the middle...check out the surprise in the bottom.

Devil's Food Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes:
*makes approximately 22-24 cupcakes
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature, yolks and whites separated
1 teaspoon vanilla
9 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup strong coffee, room temperature
36 Reese's cups unwrapped, 12 cut in half (save for the tops)
Peanut Butter Frosting: (Recipe from Ina Garten - Kathleen's Peanut Butter Icing)
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup heavy cream
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line two cupcake tins with a total 23 cupcake liners and spray with non-stick cooking spray.  Place on Reese's cup in the bottom of each cupcake liner.
2.  In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until well combined.  Add in vanilla and eggs, mix well until combined.

3.  In another large mixing bowl sift together cocoa powder, flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder.

4. Combine milk and remaining coffee in a measuring cup.

5.  Add the flour and coffee mixtures to the sugar-butter mixture, alternating between flour and coffee, mixing between the addition of each.  Begin and end with flour.

7.  Using a tablespoon or small cookie scoop, scoop two tablespoons or scoops into each cupcake liner.

8.  Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until tester comes out clean.  While cupcakes are baking prepare peanut butter frosting.

9.  In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter and peanut butter until light and fluffy.  Then mix in one cup powdered sugar, salt, vanilla extract and heavy cream.  If the frosting is not the desired consistency, mix in a half a cup of powdered sugar at a time until desired consistency is reached.

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