I’ve hit a milestone. My birthday was yesterday (technically my birthday week started like last Thursday :D). I’m now 20. But no, that’s not the milestone. The milestone is the fact that I know I’m officially getting older. I say this because I’m at that point in my life when it’s MY birthday, and yet I’M the one expected to make something to celebrate. The years of my parents coming home with a cake or asking what kind of ice cream I want are pretty much over. From here on out, I’m responsible for providing my baked good. And not only that, but it’s not worth telling anyone about unless I bring some to share. I’m here celebrating my entrance into this world and all and yet I’m the one expected to show up somewhere with a baked something for other people to enjoy, simply because I was born. As long as I get to enjoy it too I guess… :)
SUMMER 2012- Reese Peanut Butter Cupcakes
You really shouldn’t be surprised that these are the cupcakes I’m making for my birthday. The only surprise should be that it’s a chocolate cake- which I have expressed that I’m not a huge fan of. But I am a bigger fan of peanut butter. In my book, anything with peanut butter is good, so this should be no different. And I like Reese Peanut Butter cups, so I figured this would be ok. The first step is mixing up the cake mix. You could use a chocolate cake from scratch, but I decided I have permission to slack on my birthday. I used the Betty Crocker’s Milk Chocolate mix.
I figured milk chocolate would be the most like a peanut butter cup. So the mix, water, oil and eggs go into a bowl (as per the instructions on the box)…
Mix the batter, and bam, you have chocolate cake batter. Simple stuff right. Though I did feel a little strange not using my flour at all during this process. I’m so used to making my own batters. Oh well, I got over it.
Now for the peanut butter filling. It’s pretty simple, just some peanut butter and powdered sugar.
Not going to lie, it tasted like the inside of a peanut butter cup. Yum. I was literally eating the leftovers with a spoon.
And so begins the assembly. First you fill the liners about half way full.
Then you drop in a little peanut butter ball.
Look how fun it looks. Man I love peanut butter.
Followed by a little more batter so it is closer to 2/3-3/4 full.
And bam boom bang, you have cupcakes ready for the oven.
Pop them in for 18 minutes and then pull them out. You can’t even tell the peanut butter is inside. The tops of some got a little pointy though- but I don’t know if that’s because of the peanut butter or not. Either way, it looks like chocolate cake.
Which my family was rather confused as to why I was making something that consisted of a chocolate cake for my birthday. My birthday is usually the very exciting vanilla cake with vanilla frosting. I was a pretty boring child. Though flashback to last year, I made chocolate chip cookie dough cupcakes for my birthday. So I’m clearly getting older and evolving. Anyways, can you spot the mistake with this cupcake:
It has 2 liners. Oops. :) After they had sat in the pan, I transferred them to a wire cooling rack. LOOK, I HAVE COOLING RACKS. I always get a little more shop happy around my birthday. I feel purchases are more justified because I deserve to get myself things. I’ve bought some CDs and these wire racks this year. These wire racks can stand too because they can stack on top of each other. I imagine that would work well for cookies or something. Take up less counter space. Makes me feel pretty official.
Frosting time! I have my own peanut frosting recipe that I love, but I figured I would use this one that came with the recipe. It starts with peanut butter, butter, and a pinch of salt.
After some powdered sugar and a little bit of milk, the end result was still peanut butter frosting.
So I piped these cupcakes. I probably could’ve mixed the frosting a little more and made a little smoother. If I ever sold these or entered them in a contest or something, I probably would. But I was amused because it looked like the consistency of the inside of a Reese’s, and I figured since it was my birthday, I really only had to please myself.
All piped and ready for the next part of decorating.
The next decorating step was melting ¼ cup peanut butter. I realize this shows it isn’t exact, but I was close.
I used a squirt bottle to do the zig-zag on top. I only did it on half the cupcakes…partly because I was having issues with air in my squirt bottle. My air to peanut butter ratio was clearly off.
Then I pressed a mini Reese on top. I couldn’t find the smallest unwrapped kind, so I just went with the minis that are wrapped separately. It’s the times when I’m standing there opening 20 mini PB cups (each with 2 wrappers mind you- the outer one and then that black one on the inside) that I wish I had an assistant or a little brother around or something.
Eventually, they were all done. YAY! They actually looked pretty cute. Points for presentation for sure.
They weren’t as good as I thought they would be. I can’t figure out why. They will still good and I will still eat them, but I was thinking they would be better. I think I put too much pressure on them to be awesome. They also were kind of heavy. Like the peanut butter sank to the bottom of the cupcake and the cake itself felt heavy. The good thing is that they look nice, and that counts for something.
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cupcakes
*Any boxed cake mix, made as directed on the box.
Peanut Butter Filling:
*3/4 cup Peanut Butter (creamy)
*1/2 cup Confectioners Sugar
Sweet Peanut Butter Frosting:
*1 stick Butter (at room temp)
*1 cup Peanut Butter (creamy)
*1 pinch Salt
*2 cups Confectioners Sugar
*1/3 cup Milk
*1/4 Cup Peanut Butter
*Mini Reese’s Cups or Chopped Reese’s
1) Make the cake batter according to the instructions on the box. Grease a muffin pan with non-stick spray or line with cupcake liners. Fill each cup half-way with cake batter.
2) Mix together the peanut butter filling. Combine both ingredients in a bowl. Then drop a small ball of the filling into your cups.
3) Cover the peanut butter with more batter. Bake them for 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
4) To make the frosting, beat together the butter, salt, and peanut butter.
5) Add powdered sugar, beating the mixture continuously. Add milk as needed until your frosting gets the desired consistency.
6) Microwave ¼ cup of peanut butter in a glass measuring cup for approx. 30 seconds and then pour into a squeeze bottle.
7) Drip the melted peanut butter on top of your frosted cupcakes.
8) Top each cupcake with a mini Reese’s or chopped Reese’s cups.
Cue sentimental moment because I know my mom reads these. She’s proud of me I guess. :D
Mom, thanks for putting up with me for 20 years. I know I have my moments when I’m not the easiest person to deal with…but then again I didn’t ask to be born. :) Here’s to many more talks, laughs, fights and tears…and more advice that I don’t ask for… ;) And probably more than enough cupcakes… you always could’ve put me in a sport. :) And thanks for always cleaning up my messes, both in the kitchen and out. You’ve done a pretty good job these first 20 years. Love you momzie. :)