Thursday, October 13, 2011

Exactly one year from today

These two

will say...

...and these two families will be
over the moon with love and happiness
(and probably champagne)!!

Let the wedding countdown officially begin!!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes...mmmm

Our baby girl recently turned 21.  Since she's away at college, a traditional birthday cake isn't very practical, so I decided to bake her some cupcakes and drive them up to her. 

Now this is a 21st birthday, so it had to be a special cupcake.   To me, the most perfect flavor blend in the world is chocolate and peanut butter, so....Chocolate Peanut Butter cupcakes...and yes, they're as good as you think they are!  I ran across this recipe on Pinterest (which I am completely addicted to), and it led me to the little kitchen blog.  It's a very easy recipe and well worth the effort.

To die for Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes

1 (18.25 oz) package devil’s food cake mix (I used Duncan Hines)

1 (3.4 oz) package instant chocolate pudding mix

1 cup sour cream

1 cup vegetable oil

4 eggs

2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 Tbsp instant espresso granules, dissolve it in 1/2 cup warm water

30 Reese’s Miniatures peanut butter cups, frozen.  You might have extras, so prepare to eat them...sacrifice, I know.

Peanut Butter Buttercream Icing

3 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 cup creamy peanut butter

2 Tbsp pure vanilla extract

2 lbs powdered sugar

3-4 Tbsp low-fat milk (I used skim since it's what I had on hand)

Reese's peanut butter cups minis (in a bag & they come unwrapped)



Be sure to preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Place cupcake liners in your cupcake or muffin pan.  I think I got about 20 cupcakes from this recipe since my liners were slightly larger than normal.

In a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer or your stand mixer bowl using the paddle attachment, mix together all of your ingredients except the peanut butter cups for minute or two until well mixed.

Place 3 Tbsp of cake batter in each cupcake liner (I used an ice cream scoop as a measurement, due to my larger liners). Take one frozen peanut butter cup and place in the center of each cupcake on top of the batter, press down a little bit.

Bake for 18 to 22 minutes or until several cupcakes pricked with a toothpick come out clean. Do not prick the cupcake where the peanut butter cup is inserted. There will be a slight indentation or hole where the cupcake is sunken in from the peanut butter cup, you'll fill that with icing. Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan for 5 to 10 minutes.

Remove cupcakes from the pans and place them on a cooling rack & let them cool all the way. While the cupcakes are baking you can make the buttercream icing.

Peanut Butter Buttercream

In your stand mixer bowl using the paddle attachment, mix thoroughly the softened butter and peanut butter on low to medium speed. Turn off your mixer and in two batches, add the powdered sugar and mixing until well blended. Be careful, the powered sugar can go everywhere!

Add vanilla and 3 to 4 tablespoons of milk a little bit at a time while blending on low speed. Blend until well combined. You'll start to see the icing pull from the sides of the bowl. Add a little bit more milk to get to the right thinness (to your preference). Keep blending, higher the speed, until nice and fluffy, about 5 to 7 minutes.

Using a big round tip (I used a star tip) and decorator bag, pipe icing onto cooled cupcakes and top with a mini on each cupcake.

Don't they look scrumptious?  I have to warn you, they are soooo rich, even a chocolate/peanut butter veteran like me could only eat one per sitting....and that's saying something!

This recipe is definitely a keeper...mix up a batch and enjoy!!