Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

I must apologize for only a few posts the last two weeks. I've been cooking up a storm and recording recipes but getting them into a post is a whole other story. I'm off to BlogHer '09 today—headed to the airport in 30 minutes actually, but wanted to leave you all with a tempting treat sure to get you into the kitchen no matter how hot or humid it gets this weekend. I tweeted about it a month or so ago and if you've subscribed to my newsletter, then you already have it.

I'll be tweeting from Chicago and back here next week with that recipe for peach pie. Have a great weekend folks.


Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

makes 24

I'm always thinking of ways to combine chocolate and peanut butter. It's one of my husband's favorite flavor combinations, and well you know what they say about the way to a man's heart, right? In fact, this recipe will strike a note with any Reese's lover. Topped with an addictively light and creamy frosting, they're quite irresistible.

2 1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
4 ounces chocolate chips, melted & cooled
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter

4 ounce cream cheese, softened
4 Tablespoons butter, softened
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar, sifted

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease two 12-cup muffin tins, or line with papers; set aside. Whisk flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt together in a medium bowl; set aside. Mix buttermilk and vanilla extract together in a small bowl; set aside.

2. Cream butter and sugar in a separate bowl. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Pour in melted chocolate and beat until mixed well, about 30 seconds. Sprinkle one third of flour mixture over batter and mix until incorporated. Pour in one third of milk mixture and beat to combine. Continue this process, alternating between dry and liquid ingredients until both are mixed into batter.

3. Fill lined or coated muffin tins 2/3 of the way with batter. Spoon about 1/2 teaspoon of peanut butter on top of batter. Use tip of a butter knife to push into center or use a spoon to cover peanut butter with the batter. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until tops spring back when touched (note: the normal toothpick test for doneness won't work due to the filling). Remove from oven and let cool completely.

4. Meanwhile prepare the frosting. Beat cream cheese, butter and peanut butter until creamy and well mixed, about 3 minutes. Add confectioner's sugar and beat until frosting is light and fluffy, about 2 more minutes. Wait until cupcakes are completely cooled to frost.

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