Peanut butter cupcakes with chocolate buttercream icing

I don’t need to tell anyone twice that peanut butter and chocolate are a masterful combination.

I’ve been experiencing a peanut butter and chocolate (hereon in to be known as PB&C) revival lately, and I completely blame these cookies of Britt’s that she made back in November.

Since I got my hand mixer for Christmas, I’ve been dying to make some sort of cake and take full advantage of its blending powers. I settled (perhaps settled is the wrong word for something that you truly adored) on these peanut butter cupcakes. We were going over to a family friend’s house for supper and I, true to form, offered to bring dessert. I figured peanut butter was a safe bet. These cupcakes also came with a not-too-sweet, semi-improvised icing that I whipped up to satisfy my chocolate craving. Believe it or not, no one in my family likes chocolate in dessert (terrible, I know), so this was pretty much as far as I could go.

As for the actually cake mixing, it was a dream. My hand mixer made the batter a fluffy, peanut butter pillow which scooped like a cotton ball into the tiny white muffin cups. The oil in the peanut butter made the original muffin cups slip off after baking, and so I iced the cupcakes and plopped them back into fresh, slightly smaller ones. We had to get dressed up for dinner, after all.

In the end, these cupcakes were delicious and, surprisingly, not too dense. A PB&C success story.

Recipe: Peanut butter cupcakes
Adapted from Mother Thyme
– 1/4 cup unsalted butter
– 3/4 creamy peanut butter
– 1/2 cup sugar
– 1 egg
– 1/4 tsp vanilla
– 1 1/4 cup flour
–  1/4 tsp salt
– 1 tsp baking powder
– 2/3 cup whole milk (or do what I did, 2/3 cup regular milk with a tablespoon of butter melted in. Thanks, Joy of Baking!)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Using an electric mixer or a very strong hand, combine butter, peanut butter and sugar until creamy. Add in egg and vanilla and continue to mix until combined.
Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Gradually add to peanut butter mixture, alternating with milk on low speed until all combined and batter is creamy. Make three additions of the flour, two of the milk.
Spoon in to lined cupcake tray ⅔ full. Bake for 20 minutes until tester comes out clean.
Cool on wire racks and place in new, medium-sized muffin cups, if necessary.
Makes 12 cupcakes.

Recipe: Chocolate buttercream icing
– 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
–  1/2 cup cocoa powder
– 2 cups icing sugar
– 1/2 cup whipping cream
– 1 tsp vanilla
– 1/2 cup finely chopped peanuts

In a large bowl, use a hand mixer to combine softened butter and cocoa powder. Gradually add icing sugar and moisten with the whipping cream, creating a smooth consistency. Add the vanilla.

Using a butter knife or icing spatula, carefully spread the icing on the cupcakes.

Evenly spread the chopped peanuts on a plate or cutting board. Turn the iced cupcake on its side and twirl the cupcake rim, lining it in the peanuts.

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