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.
The blog world is a wonderful incredible thing. It brings hundreds of thousands of people together from all over the world. Different backgrounds, religions, views, nationalities, and stories. As my mom would say there are people from “all walks of life” surrounding us. Everyone has a story to tell.
I started this blog in the fall of 2008. After some time of looking online at many other blogging baking and cooking websites I decided I wanted a piece of the internet real estate. At the time I was obsessed with the Shopaholic book series, and thus Bakeaholic was born.
I had been interested in baking and cooking from a young age. My mom and dad would let me help in the kitchen, and I’m pretty sure I was putting roasts in the oven when I was 14 years old, so dinner could be ready by the time my full-time working parents were home and we could all enjoy dinner together.
That was one thing my dad insisted on. Every night we ate dinner as a family. Sometimes dad would cook, he was Italian and an amazing cook (having worked in and owned restaurants in the past), and sometimes mom would cook (with dad watching over her shoulder to make sure she was ‘doing it right’ haha) You could say he was a perfectionist when it came to food, much like myself. Most nights my mom would be home after my dad, so he would be the one in the kitchen. It was always a joke that my brother, two years older than I, would be served first. This goes back to an Italian tradition where the boy is the ‘king of the family.’ I guess since he was the first grandson born on that side of the family, and a boy, he was treated like a little prince, and my Nonna made sure of it haha. Even if I were sitting at the table first, his plate would be put at his spot, and then mine. It was a running joke for us. How I miss family dinners.
I can remember every smell of the dishes he would make, pastas (an Italian staple, often 3 times a week), homemade french fries, Pork chops in mushroom soup, french toast, steak with crab and shrimp. Don’t forget the bearnaise sauce. Then there were the nights my mom would work late, maybe once a week. We had the same meals almost every time. A mini pizza with a big salad, a large salad with Tuna fish, or grilled cheese and tomato soup. And a fruit salad for dessert. I knew if mom was working a late shift, we were sure to have one of those meals.
My dad would always make enough dinner to “feed an army” as my mom put it. It’s true, we could have invited another family over at a moments notice and still have leftovers for the next day. And we often did. My dad was ‘giving to a fault,’ again, as my mom says. He would give up anything and everything for anyone if they were in need. He loved his family first and foremost, and held his friends dear. He would always want to host a dinner, BBQ or family function. He was the anchor to our family. I wish he were here to see my blog, to read it and see how far I’ve come from making cookies. He always wanted ‘something sweet,’ and he would ask my mom to pick up a treat at the store while getting groceries.
This past week another blogger, Jennifer Perillo, lost her husband to a sudden heart attack. Just like my father (pictured above). Like us, in an instant he was gone, without being able to say goodbye. It was my sixteenth birthday when he passed away seven years ago, at the age of just 45. Unfortunately I know what she and her daughters must be going through. I would never wish that feeling upon anyone, it is a heartbreaking and horrible experience. On her blog this week, she posted a recipe for Creamy Peanut Butter Pie. She urged the bloggers out there to make it in memory of her husband, his favourite, and share it with those you love. Because we never know what tomorrow will bring.
I thought this was a perfect oppourtunity to make these cupcakes. I had been wanting to make peanut butter cupcakes for a while, and tomorrow we are attending a family reunion (on my mother’s side) with over 70 family members attending. Some we have not seen in many years. I am very much looking forward to re-connecting with everyone, and remembering onceagain how important family is to all of us.
I hope everyone has a great weekend, and hopefully you are able to share it with those you love. Maybe over a slice of pie, or a cupcake. I think my dad would have definitely like these cupcakes.
Creamy Peanut Butter ‘pie’ Cupcakes
Devil’s Food Cupcakes
Recipe from Martha Stewarts CUPCAKES
- 3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
- 3/4 cup hot water
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt
- 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter
- 2 1/4 cups sugar
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup sour cream, room temperature
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together cocoa and hot water until smooth. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
- Melt butter with sugar in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring to combine. Remove from heat, and pour into a mixing bowl. With an electric mixer on medium-low speed, beat until mixture is cooled, 4 to 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add vanilla, then cocoa mixture, and beat until combined. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in two batches, alternating with the sour cream, and beating until just combined after each.
- Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-
quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool 15 minutes; turn out cupcakes onto racks and let cool completely. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.
Creamy Peanut Butter Frosting
- 1 cup butter, slightly softened
- 3-4 cups icing sugar (more/less depending on consistency)
- 1 cup natural creamy peanut butter
- 1 tbs. pure vanilla
- splash of milk (I used almond milk due to allergy, can use soy, rice, coconut etc.)
- In stand mixer, using paddle attachment, cream buter until light and fluffy. Add Vanilla and mix once more.
- Add peanut butter, and mix again until combined.
- Add Icing sugar one cup at a time, alternating with a splash of milk until desired consistency reached. You want it stiff, but still creamy and soft so you can run a knife through it.
- Continue mixing until you have a frosting consistency.
- You can pipe it with an icing bag onto the cupcakes, or use the back of a spoon or a knife/spatula to frost cupcakes.
Everyone said the frosting was absolutely delicious! It is so creamy, fluffy and light~
Optional: Pour 1/2 cup of chocolate cookie crumbs into a bowl, and dip tops of cupcakes into it for a ‘pie’ like taste.
Update: The Food Network has compiled a list of Bloggers around the world taking part in this event ‘A Pie For Mikey.’ I am happy to be included on the list.’
Also seen on Better Recipes, and Tastespotting has also dedicated the front page to pies.
These. are. delicious. Even saying it is an understatement. I picked up Alicia Silverstone’s book The Kind Diet last weekend. It’s a great read, with lots of tips and info about trying to go vegan, or simply adding a few vegan items to your diet. It also includes recipes as well. I also got Heidi Swanson, of 101 cookbooks, latest book Supernatural Everyday and it’s also so good! I wanted to try and make everything, every picture looks so delicious.
These are vegan, if made with proper butter, and are a way healthier version of the yummy, but bad for you, Reese’s PB cups. I am a total peanut butter freak. Definitely have it every morning on my oatmeal, so naturally these were delicious.
I would only change a few things about them, for one, I might not even use butter at all, or scale it way back with only a tbs or so, instead of 1/2 cup! And, she says to pour the chocolate on top of the peanut butter right away and then chill, but I found that my peanut butter was too warm and runny, and the chocolate sank to the middle. Hence the inside out PB cups. But, of course they are still so so so good!!
My changes for next time: Less butter, and I would refrigerate the peanut butter layer for a bit before I added the chocolate to appear more like a reese’s peanut butter cup. I also used natural smooth PB and not the crunchy, so maybe that made a difference? Either way, it tastes de-licious!!
Definitely make these for a sweet treat this weekend!!
Recipe slightly adapted from: The Kind Diet
Servings: Makes 12
- 1/2 cup Earth Balance butter substitute (I would probably use a Tablespoon next time.. )
- 3/4 cup crunchy peanut butter (preferably unsweetened and unsalted) (I used natural, unsweetened, unsalted and smooth)
- 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs or 10 graham cracker squares
- 1/4 cup maple sugar or other granulated sweetener ( probably don’t even need added sugar either, their pretty sweet with the chocolate )
- 1 cup grain-sweetened, nondairy chocolate or carob chips ( I used organic carob )
- 1/4 cup soy or rice or nut milk ( I only had regular skim milk )
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans or almonds or peanuts
Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners. Set aside.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the peanut butter, graham cracker crumbs, and maple sugar and mix well. Remove the mixture from the heat. Evenly divide the mixture, approximately 2 Tbsp. per cup, among the muffin cups.
*I would refrigerate them at this point, and add the chocolate layer afterward*
Combine the chocolate and milk in another pan. Stir over medium heat until the chocolate has melted. Spoon the chocolate evenly over the peanut butter mixture. Top with chopped nuts.
Place in the refrigerator to set for at least 2 hours before serving.
Seriously. So. Good.