Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes

A few weeks ago, our office admin had her birthday, and I was feeling in the mood to bake! So, knowing she had a weakness for peanut butter cups I decided the best way to celebrate was to bring her a ginormous peanut butter cup in cupcake form! I adapted my chocolate cupcake recipe from Hershey’s and then dropped Reese’s peanut butter cups into them. I got the peanut putter recipe from something I came across on pinterest and when the two were married together, it was a harmonious celebration of deliciousness in my mouth! Also, I was shocked to find that the recipe for the cupcakes called for a cup of boiling hot water to be stirred into the batter right before pouring it out into the cups. I thought this was so weird, but it made the cupcakes light and airy, and fluffy! I have to admit I think thats the secret to perfect cupcakes so I will be trying it from now on! I guess it gives some extra moisture to evaporate out during the cooking process. which helps to keep the cupcakes from getting dry, crumbly, or dense. But, enough chatting, lets get to baking!


Chocolate Cupcakes 
2 cups Sugar
1 ¾ cups All Purpose Flour
¾ cup Cocoa Powder
1 ½ teaspoon Baking Powder
1 ½ teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Salt
2 Eggs
1 cup Milk
½ cup Olive Oil
2 teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract
1 cup Boiling Water

Peanut Butter Buttercream
2 cups (4 Sticks) Unsalted Butter, At Room Temperature
4 cups Confectioners Sugar
1 cup Creamy Peanut Butter
Pinch Salt
2 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
Start by preheating the oven the 350 degrees F.  Line 2 cupcake pans with baking liners.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, sift together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside.


In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the eggs, milk, olive oil, and vanilla.  With the mixer running on low, gradually add the dry ingredients until fully incorporated.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the boiling water; mix until the batter is smooth.  The batter is supposed to be thin. IMG_3287

Divide the batter between the prepared cupcake liners, once they are all poured, drop one Reese’s peanut butter cup into each cupcake.  Bake the cupcakes until a toothpick inserted into a couple cupcakes comes out clean, about 20-25 minutes.  Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan for a couple minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

While the cupcakes are cooling, make the buttercream.  Cream the butter in the bowl of stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the confectioners sugar and mix (gradually increasing in speed) until the sugar is fully incorporated, about 5 minutes.  You may need to stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl a couple times.Add the peanut butter, salt, and vanilla and whisk until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Once the buttercream is creamy and airy, it’s done.
To frost the cupcakes, place the buttercream in a piping bag fitted with a large, open-star tip.  Pipe in a circular motion, starting at end up and working up.  Top the cupcakes with chocolate shavings, if desired.IMG_3300

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Muffins

If you remember back a few months, I vowed to take my skills in the kitchen from making dinner and side dishes to testing out my skills at a homemade desserts and decided the best place to start was with cup cakes! I posted this list of recipes for cupcakes I wanted to try before the end of the year, and so far I have only ticked one off the list with these raspberry chocolate cup cakes I made back in June. But, for some reason my favorite flavor combo, peanut butter and chocolate, did not make the cupcake list. Alas, I could not let my tastebuds down and decided this would be my next venture, so I found a recipe a few weeks ago and decided to save it for a rainy day, or when the craving hit. This past Sunday, David and I had planned to have a lazy day, but I had a crazy sweet tooth and felt like baking, even better, my kitchen was stocked with everything I needed to make the cupcakes with the exception of  chocolate chips and whole milk (because I am a skim milk kind of girl, I know, I’m a freak!) I would also like to point out that last time my cupcakes were semi homemade, and these were made from scratch, and honestly, I could tell a huge difference, so I will definitely be laboring over my cupcakes from now on. No more box mixes for me! I have to admit, I can’t wait for David and I to register for wedding gifts so we can put a kitchen aid stand mixer or even a hand mixer on the list, because David was my sous chef for the afternoon and that meant he was my hand mixer, but in the end I think it made him appreciate the cupcakes much more! So, check out our hand mixed, made from scratch, delicious peanut butter chocolate chip cupcakes, you will definitely need to serve these with a HUGE glass of milk, they are quite dense!

To start you off here is your list of ingredients seperated out by cupcake and frosting, I also just split one bag of mini milk chocolate morsels for the batter, and used the rest to sprinkle on top to make them look more professional and awesome!

Cupcake Ingredients:
1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
6 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup smooth all natural peanut butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup whole milk
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Icing Ingredients:
     6 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup creamy peanut butter, natural (or if you want a smoother look, go not-natural)
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup whole milk

While you use your fancy hand mixer or kitchen aid stand mixer to mix everything make sure you remember to preheat your oven to 350 so once everything is all put together you can just pop them in the oven!

First you want to combine the milk and vanilla into a small bowl and mix together. 

In a separate bowl mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

Then, in a third bowl combine the butter and two kinds of sugar until they are well mixed, and the butter isn’t all clumpy.

Add the eggs to the butter and sugar mixer and blend until smooth.

Next, slowly mix in the peanut butter, once that is combined with the butter mixture, slowly begin to add in the dry ingredients

Once all the dry ingredients have been mixed together, add the milk and vanilla mixture

Then, you want to gently fold in the chocolate chips

Line your cupcake tin with whatever cupcake liners you like, then fill each cup 3/4 of the way with batter, I made 16 cupcakes, but I could have put a little more mix in some of  the pans to save from the second round of baking because they dont rise too much, but you know what they say… more is more!

Bake the cupcakes for about 20-22 minutes or until the pass the tooth pick test! Once the cupcakes have cooked make sure you let them cool for about an hour before you ice them, so let them sit for 30 minutes or so, then start mixing up that icing!

So, speaking of the icing, here are the instructions on that piece of the puzzle!

In one bowl, combine the milk and the vanilla

In a second bowl combine the sugar and salt

Then in a larger bowl you wan to combine the butter and peanut butter and mix well!

Alternately add sugar and milk and mix well until you get the right consistency  (not thick and tacky, but not so runny that its going to fall right off the side of your cupcakes!

Then I used a ziploc bag and an icing tip I had to ice the cupcakes… I have to say, this is a skill I need to work on, good thing I won’t be on cupcake wars any time soon!

Finally for a decorative touch, we decided to sprinkle some left over mini chocolate chips on top! So cute, and so delicious!

If you are looking to change it up, or would like a little less peanut butter, try a chocolate butter cream frosting on top to give it more of that sweet chocolaty taste instead of that rich rich peanut butter taste! Happy Baking!



Banana Bread

So I found this recipe on another blog, it is definitely not my own. But I have been DYING to find a good Banana bread recipe, because it is one of my favorite treats. I haven’t eaten mine yet because I am taking it to the mountains this weekend, but it smells delicious in the oven I will have to try so hard not to devour the whole loaf on the 4 hour drive up there, because I am sure it will have my entire care smelling utterly delicious! This recipe is great because you sub applesauce and honey for the sugar and oil so it adds some more moisture to it, etc, sounds great, hope it tastes even better.

So, my first problem with making banana bread is that I can NEVER figure out how long I am suppose to let the bananas ripen, or I just don’t plan ahead enough to have fully ripened bananas on hand OR most likely, someone ate them, because we do not leave food lying around our house long enough to turn brown and rotten looking. So, in order to avoid all of these unfortunate events I found this great tip on a super quick ripening trick from AmandAkJones, another blog. She shared her findings from the America’s Test kitchen cookbook, and this is what they said:

BEFORE peeling the bananas stick them on a baking pan and pop them in a pre-heated oven (350 because that is what you will cook the bread on) and bake them, skin and all for about 15 minutes, I flipped mine about half way through so that they would brown evenly. This expedites the ripening process and brings all the sugars and deliciousness into the bananas, and over ripened  bananas are what will give the bread all the flavor and moisture, and make it perfectly delicious! I did this with my bananas and was so surprised how it turned out, see!

So after you have the bananas ripened, you are ready to make the bread. You will need the following ingredients:

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar free applesauce
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3 mashed overripe bananas
  • 1 small bag of chopped walnuts (if desired)

In order to mix the bread you will need two bowls, one for dry ingredients and one for wet. Follow these instructions carefully, as I have learned baking is a delicate art, not to be altered unless done so with exact measurements.

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan.
  • In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt.
  • In a separate bowl, mix together applesauce and honey. Stir in eggs and mashed bananas until well blended.
  • Stir banana/wet ingredients mixture into flour mixture; stir just to moisten.
  • Mix in walnuts if desired
  • Pour batter into prepared loaf pan, and sprinkle walnuts on top
  • Bake in preheated oven for 60 to 65 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean.
  • Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.
It looks great and I can’t WAIT to taste it, I will be sure to let you all know how it turned out, especially if it is a hit! Enjoy!