Friday, October 24, 2014

Trick-or-Treat Peanut Butter Cupcakes

I blame Reese's Cups for associating Halloween with peanut butter, probably because that was always the Halloween candy of choice for me. Like clockwork, I begin craving peanut butter every year around this time, though to be honest, I'd very rarely turn it down, especially when it's paired with chocolate and sugar. Yum!

These aren't just any peanut butter cupcakes… They have a surprise inside and I bet you can guess what it is. They don't have to be for Halloween… I'd pretty much eat these anytime if they were handy, but I think a sweet in the middle makes them a Spooktacular Halloween treat!

4 tablespoons butter, softened
1 cup packed soft brown sugar
1 cup smooth peanut butter
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup plain or all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
100ml milk
16 unwrapped miniature Reese's Cups

7oz full-fat soft cream cheese
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 cup icing sugar or confectioner's sugar
6 tablespoons smooth peanut butter

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C or 350°F.
  2. Line a muffin pan with 16 paper or foil cases.
  3. Add the flour and baking powder to a small bowl and stir to combine. Set aside.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, add the butter, peanut butter and sugar and beat together until well-mixed with a hand mixer or stand mixer for about 2 minutes.
  5. Gradually add the eggs, beating well between each addition.
  6. Add the vanilla extract and beat until combined and then switch off the mixer.
  7. Alternate sifting in the flour and baking powder and fold them into the mixture with either a rubber spatula or a metal spoon.
  8. When fully combined, spoon about 1/2 the batter into the paper cases. Don't fill them up completely - just enough to cover the bottom of the cupcake cases will do.
  9. Plop a miniature Reese's Cup into the batter in every cup and spoon the rest of the batter over each to cover and fill in the cupcakes completely.
  10. Bake for about 25 minutes in a pre-heated oven or until risen and golden brown.
  11. Remove the cupcakes from the muffin pan to cool on a plate or wire rack.
  12. While the cupcakes are cooling, start on the icing by putting the cream cheese, peanut butter and butter into a large bowl and beating them to gather with a hand mixer. 
  13. Sift the icing sugar into the mixture and beat together with the cream cheese mixture until fully combined.
  14. When the cupcakes are completely cooled, cover the tops of each with icing using a butter knife.
  15. Decorate the cupcakes with sprinkles or Reese's Cups on top and keep chilled in the refrigerator until time to serve. If you're lucky enough to have leftovers, be sure to store them in the fridge as well.

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