Daisy, this one’s for you…

If you know me, you know that I have an insatiable sweet tooth (seriously, it’s embarrassing). If you know me, you know that I’m a teacher.  If you know me, you know that around lunch time, said insatiable sweet tooth roars loudly and demands an immediate treat.

My mafia style search of all that is sugary/chocolatey often took me on the hunt for chocolate throughout the hallways of McKinley Elementary. My wonderful co-teacher, Daisy, always had a tub of sweets.  Specifically Trader Joes mini peanut butter cups.  I could always depend on her to have a stash in her classroom closet.  And I could depend on her to have far better self-control than I have, hence why she always had a chocolate stash for me.  Daisy, this one’s for you!

Paul and I invited my little brother (I say, “little”, but in fact he’s 36 years old but in my eyes he’ll always be my “little” brother) and his family over for dinner tonight.  I arranged a simple menu of flak steak with a chimichurri sauce, grilled vegetables, and a Peruvian quinoa salad.  As dessert I chose a mini peanut butter chocolate cupcake knowing that my three year old niece (and the rest of us) would devour them.

The appetizers of steamed artichokes with garlic oil dip, plus fresh tomotoes, basil, and burrata cheese with rosemary crakers were devoured early on in the evening.  Paul grilled the fresh vegtables, then the steak.

We served everything family style… grilled steak with cilantro/parsley chimichurri sauce,  grilled vegetables, and a simple quinoa salad with fresh ingredients.

Dinner was followed by the mini peanut butter chocolate cupcakes.  I was concerned with a few things before serving them.

  1.  The Trader Joes mini peanut butter cups stuck to the cupcake paperss which in turn changed the entire cupcake itself, flavor and all. Solution: place a dab of batter at the base of the cupcake liner, place 1-3 mini peanut butter cups on top of each dab of batter, then cover and fill each cup with batter until 2/3 capacity.
  2. The frosting didn’t come together as described.  I had to play with it quite a bit… adding both additional cream and peanut butter.  Supposedly it turned out okay.

But with all of my fret and concerns, everyone loved them.  Phew!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes (care of gimmesomeoven.com)

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

Side Notes:

  1.  There was a large amount of batter left over after filling 24 mini cups of batter.  I ended up making 8 additional normal-sized cupcakes.
  2. I would HIGHLY suggestion placing a dab of batter in each cup before placing the mini peanut cupcaked inside of each cup.  In doing so, you will avoid the mini cups sticking to the paper liners.
  3. Play with the amounts of frosting ingredients.  It didn’t seem right with the amount of ingredients mixed together.  It might have been me, but I had to play with this quite a bit.

CUPCAKE INGREDIENTS:  1/2 cup (1 stick) butter (softened), 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, 2 eggs, 2 tsp. vanilla extract, 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder,, 1 tsp. baking soda, 1/4 tsp. salt, 1/2 cup buttermilk, 1/2 cup coffee (lukewarm), 24 mini peanut butter cups, (optional: melted chocolate for drizzling)

PEANUT BUTTER FROSTING INGREDIENTS: 2 cups creamy peanut butter, 1/2 cup (1 stick, room temperature) butter, 2 tsp. vanilla extract, 2 cups powdered sugar, 1/4 tsp. salt, 1/4 cup heavy cream

DIRECTIONS:  Prepare 24 baking cups with paper baking liners. Place a peanut butter cup in each baking liner. Set aside.  In the bowl of stand mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add in vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt until combined. Then in an additional separate bowl, stir together buttermilk and coffee. Add dry ingredients to creamed butter mixture alternately with buttermilk and coffee, beating well after each addition. Fill baking cups with batter on top of the peanut butter cups until they are about two-thirds full. Bake at 375° for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.

Top with peanut butter frosting. (Optional: Then drizzle with melted chocolate.)

PEANUT BUTTER FROSTING:  Using an electric mixer, beat peanut butter, butter and vanilla together on medium speed until combined and smooth. Add remaining ingredients and beat on low speed until incorporated. Then beat on medium-high speed for an additional minute until smooth and fluffy.

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