Monday, August 29, 2011

Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes

Brownie cupcake with peanut butter cup inside and PB frosting

This month was my daughter's 7th birthday. When I asked her what kind of cake she wanted, she said, "Uhhhhhhh... CUPcakes, Mom!" I was prepared to make something pink and sparkly, but she shut that idea down in a hurry. She wanted these rich, chocolatey, peanutty morsels of goodness. The kid has good taste! This is no regular cake. It's chewy brownie with a peanut butter cup baked right inside it, topped with a fluffy peanut butter frosting. The very best thing about these cupcakes is the teeny little cupcake on top - a Reeses mini with a dollop of frosting looks exactly like a cupcake. Tastes like a bite of heaven, too.

You need a lot of peanut butter cups for this. I bought a bag of the miniature snack size cups (like you get in Halloween candy), a bag of minis, and a couple of regular sized ones to make crumbs with. It sounds like a lot of candy, but really, can you have too many peanut butter cups in your house? I think not.

Here's how you do it.

The Cake:

1 box brownie mix with directions for cake style brownies
whatever the directions on the box call for to prepare them
24 small peanut butter cups

Prepare the brownie batter according to the directions on the package. Fill cups 2/3 full. Get out the candy and unwrap those sweet babies. Do not enlist the help of your children for this step unless you bought two bags. Gently press a peanut butter cup into each cup-o-batter and bake. It took about 25 minutes to bake my brownie cupcakes. There will be a small indent where the candy is when you take them out, but don't worry... it's just more room for frosting. Cool completely.

The Frosting:

1 sticks softened butter
1 C peanut butter
3 - 4 C powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Whip the butter. Add the peanut butter and whip some more. Add the vanilla, then start slowly adding powdered sugar. 3 cups will give you a fluffier frosting, 4 cups a thicker one. We went fluffy. If you need to thin it, add a little milk as you go.

The Decorating:
If you are piping the frosting, start by squeezing a dollop into the indent made by the candy in the cake, then pipe it on as you normally would. Line up a bunch of mini peanut butter cups and pipe a tiny dollop of frosting on top. If you want the candy crumb look, chop the regular sized candy cups into pieces.

Take this advice: Freeze the candy you want to chop before you try it or you will end up with a sticky blob of candy.

Sprinkle some candy on if you like, then press a teeny cupcake on top. Voila! Make sure you have a full gallon of milk when you make these, because you're going to want a glass. I will be making these again. And again. And again. You will too. :)

Nom nom nom

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