I know. I was that kid on the elementary school playground who honestly couldn't care less as my friends complained about the fact that we weren't allowed to bring peanut butter or shellfish (shrimp sandwiches anyone?) to school; pretty blasphemous at the time, in the world of jk through grade 8. I always thought that peanut butter was responsible for ruining perfectly good ritz crackers and celery sticks (cheese whiz was where it was at) and I swore that I would never consume the stuff if I wasn't forced to on pain of death ... or something similar.
So why did I decide to make a peanut butter cupcake? Good question.
Was I being selfless and simply making a recipe for my friends and family to enjoy? It's a nice thought ... Had I lost my mind? Could be. But whatever the reason, this recipe just seemed to call to me. The first thing I noticed about it was that the frosting calls for about a whole jar of marshmallow fluff. If you've never before experienced the borderline diabetic joy of having your mouth sealed with sticky, gelatin-based happiness ... you've missed out my friends. I guess this was enough for me because before I knew it I was setting my oven timer and seriously questioning my morals.
I set the timer for the recommended 22 minutes (20 minutes just isn't enough) and when the timer went off and I opened the oven door, I was greeted by the sight of 12 perfectly ... sunken cupcakes. Well I sank along with them, to the kitchen floor, and cursed myself for ever thinking the peanut butter gods had forgiven me for my heathen ways.
*** At this point you're probably wondering why I decided to make you read about my picky ways and my baking failure. But read on, dear readers; there's more ***
Being the non-wasteful person that I am, and seeing as I had already been slaving over a hot oven for so long (no sexist jokes please) I decided I might as well follow through, hoping that they would taste better than they looked (which at this point, couldn't be that difficult ... even if they were peanut butter). I put chocolate into those sunken craters and waited for it to melt and harden as I whipped up the frosting. When everything was cool and assembled, I had to admit that they didn't look half bad. I delivered them to my taste-testers (my family) and waited for a polite critique on how they "weren't bad". What I received instead, much to my surprise, were rave reviews!
There were seconds and thirds offered up as my shock began to subside. And then I tried one myself ... seriously people, stop whatever you're doing (aside from reading this of course) and MAKE THESE! Me, the president of the peanut butter haters club, saying this to you. Either something's wrong with me or these are some darn good cupcakes, and since I know it's not the former ... seriously. Dense cake with the perfect amount of sweetness, the creamy frosting melting in your mouth, the chocolate surprise when you take your first bite. Not a whole lot can beat that in my books, peanut butter, or not. Seriously, make these. You will not regret it.
Recipe: Peanut Butter Cupcakes
(slightly adapted from cupcakes! by Elinor Klivans)
1 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 c. smooth peanut butter
1 c. packed dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 c. milk, any fat content
milk chocolate chips or milk chocolate candy bar
fluffernutter frosting – recipe follows
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 12 standard muffin cups with paper liners. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl; set aside.
In bowl of mixer, on medium speed, beat the butter, peanut butter, and brown sugar until smoothly blended and lightened in color, about 1 minute. Scrape down bowl and add egg and vanilla. Beat for 1 minute until batter is smooth. On low speed, alternately add flour mixture in 3 additions and milk in 2 additions, starting and ending with flour. Mix until flour is incorporated and batter is smooth.
Fill each paper liner with a generous 1/4 c. of batter. Bake until the tops feel firm and are lightly browned, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20-22 minutes. There may be a few small cracks on top.
Remove cupcakes from oven and place a piece of a candy bar or several chocolate chips on top of each. Allow chocolate to soften enough to spread. Spread to cover top of cupcakes and allow to cool completely. Frost with fluffernutter frosting. These cupcakes are at their very tastiest when eaten fresh while the chocolate is slightly soft.
Recipe: Fluffernutter Frosting
(adapted from The Recipe Link)
1 c. marshmallow fluff
1/2 c. creamy peanut butter
1/3 c. butter, softened
1/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/3 c. powdered sugar
1-2 Tbsp. milk
In mixer bowl, on low speed, combine fluff, peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and salt until blended. Scrape down bowl, and add powdered sugar. Beat until blended. Add just enough milk to make frosting the desired consistency.
** Recipe from oneordinaryday.wordpress.com/2009/11/08/fluffernutter-cupcakes-for-cupcake-hero-peanut-butter