Monday, April 16, 2012

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

There are not many benefits to going to a small school in the middle of central Pennsylvania. In an area that's known for the Amish, corn fields and cows, it's hardly the party town that thrill seeking young adults typically choose for their college years. But there is one HUGE perk....waking up to the smell of chocolate!

Less than 5 miles to the Mars chocolate factory and only 10 miles from Hershey, students attending Elizabethtown College can catch the scent of warm, delicious, milk chocolate as it penetrates the morning air. The sweet, powerful aroma would leave me feeling ravenous for a huge plate of brownies. It was days like these that my roommates and I would pile into my old Saturn and make the fifteen minute drive to Chocolate World to stock up on free candies.  My favorite...Reece's Peanut Butter cups! There is something about chocolate and peanut butter together in one bite that drives me crazy.

Recently there's been a lot of buzz on the blogosphere about marrying these two flavors in a cupcake. Excited about the possibilities, I couldn't wait to try this one for myself! I found a classic chocolate cupcake recipe from The Food Network and combined it with an adapted peanut butter frosting recipe from Annie's Eats. The result? A heavenly, delicious indulgence that melts in your mouth.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

For the Cupcakes
Adapted via Food Network

1 1/2 sticks butter
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cups packed light brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup sour cream
 2 tblsp brewed coffee
1 3/4 cups flour
1 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 bag Dark Chocolate Reece's Peanut Butter Cups

-Preheat oven to 350*
-With an electric mixer, cream the butter and both sugars until light and fluffy
-On medium speed, add the eggs and vanilla, mix until combined
-In a separate bowl, whisk buttermilk, sour cream and coffee
-In another bowl, sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt
-Slowly add the buttermilk mixture and flour mixture to the butter and sugar mixture, alternating each mixture.
-Mix until well combined
-Divide the batter evenly among cupcake liners
-Cut 12 mini Reece's Peanut Butter Cups in half and place 1 half in each cupcake line filled with batter
-Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until toothpick is inserted and comes out clean

For the Frosting
Adapted via Annie's Eats

8 oz. cream cheese
4 tblsp butter, softened
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
3 1/4 cup confectioner's sugar

-Using an electric mixer, combine cream cheese, peanut butter and butter
-Slowly add sugar and beat until creamy
-Fill a piping bag and pipe onto cupcakes
-Decorate with crushed peanut butter cups

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