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Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch Cupcakes

When you were little, did your mom ever hide coins in your birthday cake? Mine didn’t, but my friend Lesley’s...

Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch Cupcakes

When you were little, did your mom ever hide coins in your birthday cake? Mine didn’t, but my friend Lesley’s mom did, and I loved it. I am not sure if this was an early indication of my love of baked goods, or cash! I like to think it was the thrill of finding an unexpected surprise. With that in mind, I decided to stash a little peanut butter in the centers of these cupcakes. I find it goes down a little easier than a dime. — Rosie Daykin, Butter Baked Goods.

Notes

If you prefer crunchy peanut butter, feel free to use it for the peanut butter center — but be sure to use smooth for the cupcake batter.

YOU WILL NEED: 2 muffin pans lined with paper liners, large ice cream scoop, 2 14-inch piping bags, one fitted with a large round tip, one fitted with a large star tip.

Ingredients

For the cupcakes:

  • 2 ½ Cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ¼ Cup dark cocoa
  • 1 ½ Teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ Teaspoon salt
  • 1 Cup smooth peanut butter
  • ½ Cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 Cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Cup dark brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 ½ Cup whole milk
  • 1 Cup sour cream
  • 2 Teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ½ Cup dark chocolate chips
  • ½ Cup Rice Krispies

For the peanut butter butter cream:

  • 1 ½ Cup smooth peanut butter
  • ½ Cup butter, room temperature
  • 4 Cups confectioners sugar, sifted
  • 1 Cup heavy cream

For the deep dark chocolate butter cream:

  • 1 Cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 Cup dark chocolate chips
  • 3 Cups confectioners sugar
  • ¾ Cup dark cocoa
  • ½ whole milk

Directions

For the cupcakes:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Onto a large piece of parchment paper, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream ½ cup of the peanut butter with the butter and both sugars on medium to high speed until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Add the eggs one at a time and beat well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl several times.

In a liquid measuring cup, whisk together the milk, sour cream, and vanilla to combine.

Turn the mixer to low and add the dry ingredients in three parts, alternating with the liquid ingredients in two parts (begin and end with the dry). Scrape down the sides of the bowl several times to make sure everything is fully combined.

Use the ice cream scoop to fill each paper liner about three-quarters full with batter. Use two small teaspoons to push 1 teaspoon of peanut butter into the center of the batter and make sure it is fully covered by batter.

Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted into the side comes out clean.

Meanwhile, prepare the peanut butter butter cream and deep dark chocolate butter cream.

Remove the cupcakes from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Fill the piping bag fitted with the large round tip with peanut butter butter cream and pipe one layer of icing on top of each cupcake.

Fill the second piping bag with deep dark chocolate butter cream and pipe a second layer of icing on top of the first, then sprinkle each cupcake with Rice Krispies.

In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the chocolate chips until smooth and shiny (or melt in the microwave on high for about 30 seconds). Use the back of a teaspoon to drizzle the chocolate on top of each cupcake.

For the peanut butter butter cream:

In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the peanut butter and butter on high speed until very pale in color. Scrape down the sides of the bowl at least twice while beating the butter.

Turn the mixer to low and slowly add the sugar. Mix until well-combined, then slowly add the cream. Scrape down the sides of the bowl again.

Turn the mixer to high and let it run for at least 10 to 12 minutes, until the butter cream is light and fluffy.

For the deep dark chocolate butter cream:

In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed until very pale in color. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl at least twice while beating the butter.

In a double broiler, or in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, melt the chocolate chips until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.

Onto a large piece of parchment paper, sift together the sugar and cocoa.

Turn the mixer to low and slowly add the dry ingredients to the creamed butter. Mix until well-combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Slowly add the melted chocolate. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Slowly add the milk. Scrape down the sides of the bowl again.

Turn the mixer to high and let it run for at least 10 to 12 minutes, until the butter cream is light and fluffy.