That was a mouthful.
When I was daydreaming up my ultimate birthday treat for today, a few ideas came to mind. Lots of delicious combinations, but there is no better combination than peanut butter and chocolate. It’s just plain smart.
I actually have a really slight allergy to peanuts. Nothing life threatening, and it would probably take quite a bit of peanuts to have any reaction, like hives or an upset stomach. So, for years I have had to shy away from delicious things like Reese’s peanut butter cups. I switched to Almond Butter, even making my own at home. But, I thought for ONE day a year I can indulge in my most favourite combination of flavours. It is, after all, my birthday.
At first I thought a Reese’s baked in the cupcake, with some frosting. But then I went a step further, Peanut Butter Swiss Meringue Frosting. Maybe topped with another Reese’s cup.
And then, I went another step. Dark Chocolate Dipped Hi-Hat cupcakes. Like a double decker Reese’s, PB&Chocolate on the bottom, PB&Chocolate on the top. With a chocolate cupcake sandwiched between.
These are heaven. They are actually ridiculous. A half cupcake will do ya. Definitely good for sharing. Definitely good for birthdays.
Adam and I went to Wal-Mart Sunday to get supplies. I have never bought so much sugar, ever. The cart was ridiculously full of chocolate and all things peanut butter. This is a once a year occasion. My cart has never been so un-healthy! Thankfully I balanced my half cupcake yesterday, taste-testing, with a green smoothie for breakfast today.
These would not last long in the house. And there is only two of us. So I sent some with Adam to work, and dropped some off at the neighbours. As well, as share some later with family =)
You could say these are the king of cupcakes, topped with a Reese’s cup crown.
Those were good.
But then I thought, it could use some more chocolate.
I dropped some off at my Mom’s as well, and she said she microwaved it for three seconds, and it was out of this world good. She said luckily there was only one, otherwise she would have eaten them all.
You will need:
– 1 bar Dark Chocolate OR 1/2 cup Dark Chocolate Chips
– 24 of your favourite dark chocolate cupcakes/devil’s food cake – This is my go to recipe here
– 24 Reese’s peanut butter cups
Place cupcake liners in muffin tin, and place a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup in the bottom. Top with batter, bake according to recipe, I baked mine for about 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Cool completely.
Peanut Butter Swiss Meringue Buttercream
While Cupcakes are cooling, make the frosting.
5 large egg whites
1 cup sugar
2 1/2 sticks butter, softened, cut into cubes
1/2 cup peanut butter, smooth – not natural.
In a metal mixing bowl, preferably from your stand mixer, place over a pot of simmering water, not boiling. Add sugar and egg whites. Be sure there is no yolk or oil in the egg whites, they will not whip properly otherwise.
Whisk constantly, until thermometer reads between 140-160 degrees F. If you do not have a thermometer, heat until sugar is completely dissolved and the egg whites are hot. This takes about 7-10 minutes.
Transfer metal bowl back to stand mixer, with whisk attachment and whip until the egg whites are thick and glossy and cool. The bowl itself should be cool to the touch, again this takes about 7-10 minutes on high.
Once the glossy thick texture is achieved, switch to a paddle attachment, and on medium add the slightly softened cubes of butter, one at a time, until fully incorporated.
The texture will begin to change, to a heavier, silky texture. It may look curdled, but continue to mix and it will become smooth once again.
At this point, add in the peanut butter and continue to beat until fully incorporated.
Transfer to a piping bag.
Once cupcakes are cool, using a large open tip, pipe Peanut Butter Swiss Meringue Buttercream onto cupcakes. You want a swirled look. Think – Dairy Queen Ice Cream cone.
You can also top with another Reese’s, or, dip in chocolate to achieve a hi-hat cupcake. I highly recommend this.
After piping frosting, place cupcakes in freezer/fridge to chill for a few moments.
In microwave, in 1 minutes intervals at 50% power, melt chocolate in microwave safe bowl. Make sure the bowl is deep enough so the cupcake will fully become enrobed in chocolate. Heat until completely melted, stir with a spoon to break down smaller chunks.
Take one chilled cupcake at a time, and dip into melted chocolate. Allow excess to drip off, and place upright once again in fridge/freezer to set.
Repeat with the rest of the cupcakes.
These can be kept in the fridge, and can be eaten chilled, or place on counter for 10-15 minutes prior to eating.
I recommend eating them slightly chilled, the baked reese’s in the bottom becomes a delicious chocolate/peanut butter disk, and the chocolate coating on the icing is great to bite into! It’s also easier to cut them in half – so you get even distribution.
These will last about 2-3 days in the fridge.