Thursday, January 13, 2011

Chocolate and Peanut Butter....ASSEMBLE!

I have said it before, and I will say it again:  there is no better combination than chocolate and peanut butter.  I think it is safe to say that I would eat just about anything that involves this combination (no, that wasn't an invitation to see what I'll eat, so don't ask).  I recently found this recipe on a blog and have been dying to try it, but I haven't just because I knew exactly how rich these bad boys must be.  I was right.  
Needless to say, I found a reason to make them when recently one of my coworkers found out the gender of her baby (a baby boy....congrats!), and I thought these cupcakes were perfect with which to celebrate.  I give to you....Chocolate and Peanut Butter Cupcakes, or as I like to call them, Heaven.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup hot water
1 Tbsp White Vinegar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
1 - 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup Natural Creamy Peanut Butter
1/3 cup White Sugar
1/3 cup Confectioner's Sugar
3/4 cup Chocolate and Peanut butter chips, divided

First, start off by preheating your oven to 350 degrees.  Take a muffin tin, line them with muffin liners, and set it aside.  In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, brown sugar, baking soda and salt.  Add oil, water, vinegar and vanilla to the dry mixture, stirring it just until smooth.  After that, take your chocolate and peanut butter chips, and stir them into the batter.

Next, in another large bowl, beat together the egg, cream cheese, peanut butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed (I did this for about 2 minutes).  Add in the confectioner's sugar next and beat this until creamy.
Now comes the fun part:  spoon 1 level tablespoon of chocolate batter into the bottom of each cup.  Next, take the peanut butter mixture and evenly spread 1 level tablespoon on top of that.  To top it off, take another tablespoon of the chocolate batter and fill it up to the top.  With the remaining chocolate and peanut butter chips, sprinkle over the tops of each of the cupcakes. 

You will want to bake the cupcakes about 25 to 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean (Do not over bake!  You want the cupcake to still be soft and squishy-ish or else they will become dry and harder than rocks).  Let the cupcakes cool in pan for about 15 minutes.  Lastly, remove the cupcakes from the pan to cool on a wire rack for another 15 minutes.  These can be served warm or cool, but seriously....the warm ones were so good (you will just need a glass of milk).

I think the best part about this cupcake is the inside: it quite literally is a simple peanut butter cheese cake, so it gives it a delicious, smooth taste to it while complimenting the entire dense cupcake.  No matter what you do, these cupcakes really do look like something you would see in a professional bakery, even though it doesn't take that long to whip up. there a better combination out there?  I really think not.

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