chocolate peanut butter cupcakes

During the year I spent as an exchange student in 1987 in Salisbury, Maryland, I discovered a culinary delight from Reese’s peanut butter cups. I remembered eating them as if the world was ending and I will never get to eat them again. So, by the end of the year, my waist line grew and the scale proved 30 pounds heavier, yikes!!

I told myself that if I ever came back to the U.S, I would not eat so much junk food. Well, okay, maybe in moderation. Over 20 years of living here, I am now older and wiser with more self control. I have ever so often indulged in a little bite here and there of peanut butter cups. I would never have said this even last year but at the moment, I LOATH the things!! I really don’t want to see them in my house until the next millenium (sorry, that’s a bit of exaggeration).

It’s the case of too much of good things became bad. It started with leftover PB cups from Christmas and then Valentine’s and some from Easter. After that those once upon a culinary delight is now forbidden to reside in my household. (Just a probation period, I will likely lift off the ban by the end of the year)

But being a frugal soul, throwing them away just seem wrong so here is what I did with them. And then, there are not so bad after all.

(Whew! I feel much better after my ranting…thanks for putting up with me.)

1 cup               cocoa powder
2 cups             boiling water
1 cup               unsalted butter, softened
2 1/2 cups      sugar
4 eggs
2 3/4 cups     all purpose flour
2 tsp               baking soda
1/2 tsp           baking powder
1/2 tsp           salt
2 tsp              vanilla extract
4 cups            chopped peanut butter cups

peanut butter frosting
chocolate shavings and chopped peanuts for garnish (optional)

Combine cocoa powder and water in a bowl, stirring well. Set aside. Cream butter and butter over medium speed fo a mixer, beating well. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt together until well combined. Gradually add 1/3 flour mixture to butter mixture over medium low speed. Then add half of cocoa to mixer and repeat process until all flour in used up. Stir in vanilla and PB cups. Do not overbeat.

Using a medium size scoop, scoop batter into cupcake pan lined with paper cups. Bake in a preheated 350F for 15-18 minutes or until toothpick inserted in a center of cupcake comes out clean. Cool in pans for 5 minutes and remove from pans to cool completely on wire racks. Serve with frosting with a glass of milk.

Makes 30-36 cupcakes

Peanut butter frosting

1/2 cup                 salted butter, softened
8 ounce               cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup                smooth peanut butter
8 cups                  powder sugar, sifted
1/3 cup                milk
1 tsp                     vanilla

Beat butter, cream cheese and peanut butter until well combined. Gradually add powdered sugar, mixing well. Stir in milk and vanilla, beating unitl smooth. Use immediately or freeze for up to 3 months.

There will be some leftover frosting after you frosting all the cupcakes. The frosted cupcakes freeze beautifully for up to 3 months.


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