Thursday, May 24, 2012

Peanut Butter Cream-Filled Chocolate Cupcakes

Chocolate and Peanut Butter go hand in hand.  This cupcake doesn't disappoint at all.  I was in the mood to bake, and this was sitting at the top of my list.  Ok, so I'm pretty much always in the mood to bake, but I really wanted to make something really good.  Knowing that some of my taste testers love the combination of peanut butter and chocolate made me pull out this recipe in the first place.  After making these, they are now a personal favorite of mine.  The best part is it's not really that hard.  Use your favorite from scratch or box cake mix - if the recipe calls for water, switch out the amount of water for hot coffee (same amount).  You wont taste the coffee, it really brings out the chocolate and you wont be disappointed at all. 

I had filled my cupcakes and had tossed the extra peanut butter cream.  After I had dunked each cupcake in chocolate, I was mad at myself - I should of saved the extra peanut butter cream to top each cupcake.  You can leave them plain like I did, or top them with the extra peanut butter cream, chopped peanuts, or even chopped peanut butter cups.  That was my only regret, not saving the extra cream, but I wasn't about to dig through my trash to get it out, even if it was in a ziplock bag.

Peanut Butter Cream-Filled Chocolate Cupcakes

1 box cake mix or favorite from scratch recipe for chocolate cake
For the Filling:
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
pinch of salt
For the Ganache:
4 oz semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup heavy cream
topping (nuts, extra pb cream, etc - optional)

  1. Make cupcakes according to directions.  Let cool completely. Once cooled, cut a slit in the middle of each cupcake for cream to go in.
  2. Make the cream: Beat the butter and peanut butter on medium speed until fully blended.  Reduce speed to low and gradually beat in the confectioners sugar.  Add salt and increase speed to high and beat for 3-5 minutes, until smooth and fluffy.  Spoon the filling into a pastry bag fitted with a medium plain tip.  Insert the tip into the slit in each cupcake and fill until each cupcake is full. 
  3. Make the ganache: Place the chocolate in a heat safe bowl.  Heat the cream in a small saucepan until scalding.  Pour the cream over the chocolate and let sit 1 minute, then whisk until smooth.  Let sit 10 minutes, until thick but still pourable.  Dunk the tops of each cupcake into the frosting to coat, then place on a wire rack and sprinkle with optional toppings.  Transfer to the refrigerator for 20 to set.  

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