Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Peanut Butter Birthday Overload

Birthdays always require dessert.

Sometimes it's a colorful dessert.

Sometimes it's a simple dessert.

But sometimes... sometimes it requires a Peanut Butter Overload.

These cakes might sound really complicated but they really aren't. I made two batches (without doubling the recipe), filled and frosted them in about 4 hours. I ended up with almost 5 dozen cupcakes. But don't worry, you will want extra of these beauties. 

I admit I'm not always a "from scratch" baker. These cakes start with a doctored up cake mix. I decided to go this route because I'm still hunting for the PERFECT chocolate cake recipe. I needed these cakes to be moist and hold up for a day or two before delivering them.

Peanut Butter Chip Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Truffle Filling and Peanut Butter Buttercream

Part I: Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Truffle Filling
adapted from Crazy for Crust

1 cup creamy peanut butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon milk

Mix everything together until smooth and dough-like. Roll teaspoon size balls between your palms. Place on a cookie sheet and chill in refrigerator until needed in Part II.

Yield approx 5 dozen teaspoon sized balls

Part II: Peanut Butter Chip Chocolate Cupcakes
unknown origins, used by many

1 package Devil's Food cake mix (with or without pudding in the mix)
1 package instant chocolate pudding
1 cup sour cream
1 cup vegetable oil
4 large eggs
1/2 cup warm water
1 cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips
3/4 cup peanut butter chips

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line muffin pans with paper liners.
1. In bowl, combine cake mix and pudding mix. 
2. In separate bowl, combine remaining ingredients (minus chips). Whisk until smooth and no longer separated (3).
3. Add to dry ingredients and combine until just mixed, about 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium and stir for an additional 2 minutes.
4. Scrape bowl sides and stir in chocolate chips and peanut butter chips.
5. Using a disher (#16 or #20)for even cupcakes, scoop into prepared pans. In the center of each cupcake, place one truffle (from Part I). Push into cupcake until at least 3/4 covered in batter. Drop pan on counter to settle the truffle and help remove any large air bubbles.
6. Bake on middle rack for 15-18 minutes. Check with a toothpick being careful not to insert into the truffle.
7. Allow to cool for 2 minutes in pan before inverting and allowing to cool on wire racks.
yield approx 18-20 cupcakes based on size of disher used.

Part III: Peanut Butter Buttercream
adapted from My Baking Addiction

3 sticks (1.5 cups) butter, room temp
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 pounds powdered sugar, sifted
6-8 tablespoons heavy cream

1. In bowl of stand mixer, combine butter and peanut butter on medium speed until pale and creamy (2).
2. Add entire amount of sugar. Mix on low (it will create a dust cloud if you go too fast) until combined (3).
3. Add vanilla and 4 tablespoons cream. Turn speed to medium and mix for 1 minute. 
4. Add more cream, tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency. 
5. Beat on high for 4 minutes. Put in a piping bag fitted with a large star tip (Ateco 808).
6. Pipe a generous swirl of frosting on each cake. If using sprinkles, make sure to put them on quickly as this frosting does crust.

This little baby cake is really a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Miniature topped with a swirl of Peanut Butter Buttercream. I <3 edible toppers.

Happy Baking!


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