I must confess something. I have food obsessions. What do I mean by that? Well, I find a food that I love and I will eat it daily for anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 months and beyond. I eat it until I get so sick of it and can’t eat anymore (or I learn that moderation is better). I’ve gone through normal foods (such as apples, ice cream, cheese and cucumbers), unhealthy foods (Pop tarts, Strawberry Shortcake snack cakes, caramel apple suckers and salt and pepper kettle chips), to the just plain strange (Wheat thins dipped in applesauce, white rice with spaghetti sauce, anything dipped in applesauce, and cold pepperoni). But an obsession that stays with me: peanut butter.
I’ve ate peanut butter so many ways: on bread/toast (alone or with jelly), on a spoon straight from the jar, on cinnamon raisin bagels, on pancakes, etc. Peanut butter never lets me down. When the world collapses, there will be a jar of peanut butter there to help me through it (or so I like to think). When people let me down or when I’m crazy happy, a jar of peanut butter is not far away. I guess you could say that if I don’t have access to baked goods, peanut butter helps me through my emotions. So it only makes sense that I would combine my two loves and put peanut butter in a cupcake.
WEEK TWO: PEANUT BUTTER CUPCAKES
Within seconds of finishing my cupcakes last week, I was flipping through my book trying to see if there was anything good for my second week. Of course, this page stopped me dead in my tracks. There was no “maybe I’ll try this one”, it was an “I’M DOING THIS ONE!!!” And so here I am and I’m oh so happy. This recipe started off with 4 different ingredients, blending and then adding another and then more blending. It called for two eggs to be added separately and since I was just working with my 2 hands, I separated my eggs first. In my defense: Egg separating isn’t my best skill. Sometimes I do it perfect, other times, the shell goes everywhere. Don’t judge. :) But of course the first thing to be put in the bowl was PEANUT BUTTER!
After adding all the first 4 things together, I had this beautiful creamy start of a batter. The smell was absolutely amazing. I wish you were there, just so you could experience that smell. And the adventure had only just begun, so I was very excited that the kitchen already smelled amazing.
Then, in a separate bowl, there were 4 dry ingredients to mix together. Well actually, it was a pile of flour and a couple other minor things. After whisking that together, it was time to alternately add the flour mixture and milk to the creamy start of the batter (that you remember, smelled amazing).
And then the batter was complete! Well almost. There were 2 things left to do. Number 1: Lick mixer and relive childhood.
Number 2: Stir in chocolate chips. That’s right, as if peanut butter alone wasn’t enough; I was now being instructed to add chocolate chips. It doesn’t get much better than this, that’s for sure. The recipe called for mini semisweet chocolate chips. Well I didn’t have mini, so I made a judgment call of the bigger the chocolate chips, the better. So normal sized chocolate chips it was.
I will take this moment to talk about my mom (don’t worry, it relates, I promise. And I will keep it short). So my mom is kind of amazing. Well, not just kind of, she is amazing. There, short enough (like her, and me…stupid genes). Anyway, by this time my mom had arrived home. I typically like to bake when I’m alone. But this week I have started working my full time job (aka wearing business casual clothes Monday-Friday from 9-5) so making cupcakes is more of a challenge. I actually have to figure out the day that I want to bake and stick with it. Anyway, my mom was in the kitchen and wanted to help. I let her wash the dishes. :) Cue her saying “Well, this is no fun. This is what I always do, wash dishes” Oh, how I love her. :) But before that, she told me that using an ice cream scoop would be better for filling cupcakes, and that’s what she thought I should do. Well not thought, that’s what she wanted me to do. Literally. She made me take the ice cream scoop from her. That’s ok, it worked well. (I have used them before and I knew it worked).
And then it was time for my little peanut butter and chocolate cups of goodness to go into the oven. But before I did that, my mom informed me that the spaces I don’t fill in the tin are to be filled with water. Good to know…
Homemade frosting time again. After last week, I was a little worried. But this week I had my mom there. And things are always better when moms are around, as they seem to know everything. And my mom really wanted to help. Wait, did I just say really…I meant REALLY REALLY wanted to help (note the capital letters and the underlines). She was saying how she “wasn’t having any fun” so I let her help me with frosting. And it worked out really well actually. She ran the mixer, I added the ingredients. It started out with butter and peanut butter…it was starting the same way the batter was started…only this one had more butter.
See how well this was working?
And this frosting turned out absolutely perfect. I couldn’t have wished for better frosting. And now I know how frosting is supposed to turn out. Thanks to my mom. :) So homemade frosting doesn’t scare me so much anymore. I really hope I didn’t just jinx it…
Time to take these out of the oven. Exciting!
So…these turned out perfect. Again, I know cupcake timing (not cookie timing).
This past weekend, I went to the store and just bought some cheap plastic frosting tips. I will probably invest in some nicer ones, but I wanted to make sure I could use them before I dropped money on a nice set. The problem, I’ve never used a tip with a coupler before. And then I stared at the bag, the coupler, and the tip and tried to figure out how in the world I was supposed to make it work as one cohesive unit.
After I stared at it for awhile and my mom stared at it for awhile we were still not making progress. My friend then came over to rant to me and stare at me while I baked but first I made her try to figure out my piping bag. And, of course, she got it. Thankfully, we had wasted enough time for the cupcakes to cool. It was time for me to try piping. I just put a little frosting in the bag to begin with and it went good. First cupcake, SUCCESS!
Frosting, frosting, frosting, frosting. Oh how I love frosting. And I learned I have should invest in some fancy piping tips because I do know how to use them. And I need more bags. This is going to be the start of such a fun new adventure!
FROSTING DONE! My piping wasn’t perfect, but I will improve. And it’s a good start. And I feel accomplished.
And now came the moment I was going to try my cupcakes. And they were fantastic! Totally worth it. I truly have no complaints and I wouldn’t do anything differently. The recipe says to put chocolate chips on top and melt peanut butter and chocolate chips and put on top as well (step 5 listed in recipe). But the frosting was good enough to stand on its own, that again I made the executive decision, there were big chocolate chips in the cupcakes that it didn’t need any on top. They were perfect with nothing on top. And I would make them again in a heartbeat.
I have included the recipe for these cupcakes because I loved them that much. AND everyone else loved them as well (in the words of my coworker eating them: “Sarah, this smells so good. –she takes a bite- OH MY GOD, I THINK I JUST DIED!!!”) Maybe I’m not the only one with a peanut butter obsession. ;)
Recipe from: The Cupcake Bible
1 cup creamy peanut butter, divided
¼ cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 ½ cups mini semisweet chocolate chips, divided, plus additional for garnish
Peanut Buttery Frosting (recipe below)
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 24 standard muffin cups with paper baking cups.
- Beat ½ cup peanut butter and butter in large bowl with electric mixer at medium speed until blended. Add brown sugar and beat until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Add flour mixture alternately with milk to peanut butter mixture; beat at low speed until well blended. Stir in 1 cup chocolate chips.
- Spoon batter evenly into prepared muffin cups. Bake 15 minutes or until toothpick inserted into centers comes out clean. (Cover with foil if tops of cupcakes being to brown too much). Cool completely in pans on wire racks. Meanwhile, prepare Peanut Buttery Frosting.
- Pipe or spread cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting. Place remaining ½ cup peanut butter in small microwavable bowl. Microwave on HIGH 15 seconds or until melted. Place remaining ½ cup chocolate chips in another small microwaveable bowl. Microwave on HIGH 15 seconds or until melted. Drizzle peanut butter and chocolate over frosting. Garnish with additional chocolate chips.
Makes 24 cupcakes
Peanut Buttery Frosting:
Beat ½ cup (1 stick) softened unsalted butter and ½ cup creamy peanut butter in medium bowl with electric mixer at medium speed until smooth. Gradually add 2 cups sifted powdered sugar and ½ teaspoon vanilla until blended. Add 3 to 6 tablespoons milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, until smooth. Makes about 3 cups.