Baking is very therapeutic for me. Those who hate to measure are (in my own theory) those who say they hate to bake. I don't mind measuring ingredients. The problem is, I have minimal self-control when it comes to not eating what I bake.
How Sweet It Is", I almost skipped reading about it. Peanut butter, you see, isn't my favorite ingredient. Sure, a PBJ sandwich sounds great with homemade jam. I do enjoy a Reese's Peanut Butter cup treat every so often. Otherwise, peanut butter isn't something that triggers a food lust within me. My husband loves peanut butter, and so I decided to bake this treat just for him. (Selfishly, my plan was that I'd be able to resist these.)
The recipe directions doesn't say to strain the sauce, but I did anyway.
15 minutes of time invested, start to finish, I have hot fudge sauce. Do I hear an amen? Angels singing? This stuff is pretty good, I must say! I poured it into a squeeze bottle and now, for the cupcake batter--
We need flour, dark coco powder, melted butter, an egg, sour cream, pure vanilla extract, brown sugar, baking soda and salt.
Preheat the oven to 350F. I used my stand mixer, but I think this can easily be done by hand-- with a whisk. Begin by mixing the brown sugar and egg, Add milk, cream, butter and vanilla, and mix until combined. Stir in sour cream. Sift dry ingredients together and then add to the wet mixture. Mix until batter is smooth, then swirl in fudge sauce.
Line a muffin tin (12 count) with liners and using a ¼ cup measure, add batter to each cup. (I use an ice cream scoop.)
Bake for 15-18 minutes.
I got 14 cupcakes, and I discovered that once the batter sits for 18 minutes (second batch), these puffed up even higher. Just a side note. Let cool before frosting.
Oh yeah, frosting!
Cream butter and peanut butter together in the bowl of an electric mixer. Add powdered sugar with mixer on low speed and gradually add milk and vanilla extract. Add a pinch of salt and mix until frosting is smooth. If too thick, add more milk; if too thin, add more sugar. This is your basic buttercream frosting. Me, the Anti-Peanut butter lover took a taste. Sweet, but not cloyingly sweet. The peanut butter flavor there, but it didn't go "Pow"! Hmmm...
For years, I frosted cupcakes with a small butter knife. I think that's a royal pain, if you ask me. I like to pipe my frosting with a pastry bag. I use a Wilton 1M Star tip with a disposable bag. It's much easier to fill a pastry bag when you place it into a tall glass, then fold the top of the bag over it, like a cuff. Fill the bag, squeeze the top and squeeze over a bowl to remove any excess air. There! Now here's something cool I learned from "How Sweet It Is"... and it's sweet!
Plunge the tip into the cupcake and squeeze, while lifting up...
There ya go! Frosting filled cupcakes. Easy!
Squeeze and swirl the frosting... there! Quick and easy...
A few jimmie sprinkles or some shaved chocolate would be pretty. But, we have that fudge sauce...
Well, look! I won't have to do that with this frosting technique I have frosting inside, and on top. Oh dear, my sweet tooth is throbbing and at full attention. I have to taste this...
VERDICT: Oh, help me, Rhonda! The cake is incredibly moist. It's baby soft, and tender, and the chocolate flavor is spot on. The frosting-- I'm toast. Really, this is not what I
This cupcake has altered my ho-hum attitude about peanut butter. Yes, I'd make this again...and again...but only for potlucks or bake sales. I can't have them in my kitchen, or I can't promise that I'd have any kind of self-control. You need these in your life. Even if just once...
Here's the printable recipe: