Monday, January 28, 2013

Reese's Peanut Butter Cupcakes

Some combinations are just so monumentally Earth shatteringly brilliant like cookie dough and ice cream or chocolate combined with peanut butter that one's life cannot be labeled complete until their mind has been blown by the flavor pairings. This year for Halloween, I did a lot of soul searching and tried to figure out how I could possibly make the grandaddy of chocolate/peanut butter permutations, a Reese's, even more delicious (Did anyone else just get a mental image of a Rhesus monkey at a BBQ? No, just me? Good.). After countless hours and much cursing of the stars, it finally popped in my head. I could surround them with even more chocolate and peanut butter! It was just crazy enough to work.

Reese's Peanut Butter Cupcakes
Modified from
Servings: 24 cupcakes
Time: 45 minutes

3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 cups milk
10 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp cider vinegar
2 tbsp vanilla extract
24 Reese's peanut butter cup miniatures, frozen
48 Reese's minis (yeah there's a difference)
Peanut butter frosting (recipe follows)

Inspiration for filling these with a frozen peanut butter cup courtesy of Cadbury Creme Egg Cupcakes
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Whisk the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt together in a large bowl.
  3. Stir the milk, vegetable oil, vinegar and vanilla together in a stand mixer at medium speed.
  4. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ones at low speed until just incorporated.
  5. Fill lined cupcake tins 2/3 full with batter. Place one frozen Reese's miniatures in each cupcake.
  6. Bake for 16-22 minutes or until the toothpick test comes back clean (be careful of the peanut butter cup). Make sure to rotate once halfway through.
  7. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack.
  8. Cover in peanut butter frosting and garnish with two Reese's minis.
This is my go-to chocolate cupcake recipe with the added twist of having a frozen Reese's peanut butter cup inside of it (freezing it keeps it from melting while baking). The cupcake itself is wonderfully moist and bouncy with just the right hit of chocolate (while also being eggless!). But who are we kidding. Even if it was a terrible cake, it would be completely redeemed by the awesome inner peanut butter cup filling.

This recipe was inspired by my friend Alex who loves her some Reese's peanut butter cups, but hates her some egg allergy.

Peanut Butter Frosting
Adapted from the Brown Eyed Baker

2 cups confectioner's sugar
2 cups creamy peanut butter
10 tbsp unsalted butter, room temp
 2-3 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2/3 cup heavy cream

The results will look shockingly like peanut butter but be 10x as bad for year!
  1. Beat the peanut butter, butter, vanilla and salt together with an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium-low speed until creamy.
  2. Slowly add the confectioner's sugar until smooth.
  3. Add in the cream and beat at high speed until light.
Not surprisingly, the frosting is like a creamier, sweeter peanut butter that brings home that peanut butter taste without giving you unfortunate peanut butter mouth (note to self: go as "unfortunate peanut butter mouth" for Halloween next year and just wait for the ladies to come rushing over)

Rich doesn't even begin to describe these.
Our second cupcake of Halloween was a far prettier delicious morsel with swirly frosting and additional Reese's minis toppings. These chocolatey peanut butter powerhouses fittingly encapsulated the spirit of the almighty Reese's (ok now all I can see are Rhesus monkeys wearing crowns and holding scepters) with each bite incorporating multiple, seemingly never-ending layers of chocolate on peanut butter (or is it peanut butter on chocolate). This debaucherous cupcake will surely stand out at any Halloween gathering with its unforgettable combination of tastes. However, I find myself having to declare the salty, sweet Salted Caramel Apple Cupcakes the victor of my self-imposed Halloween Cupcake Wars. Fortunately, both were absolutely amazing, so I didn't have to soak my slutty Einstein costume in tears. Check back later in the week for the final entry in my Halloween Bakeathon- Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies.

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