Monday, April 16, 2012

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Cupcakes

There's a rule in my house. No snack foods. No sweets. No chips, cake, chocolate. Nothing.

Obviously, this rule gets broken a lot, otherwise I'd have a really sad family (aka husband).

Honestly, I try to keep Doritoes and Cheetos out of my shopping cart because I know that my willpower at 10pm isn't that strong. At that time of night I'm always on the lookout for something to munch on, and I'd much rather go for the puffy cheesy Cheetos than the carrots sticks with hummus. I also prefer to make my own cookies, although I'll admit I got the Birthday Cake Oreos a few days ago because, well, they're "limited edition" and I didn't want to miss out!

However, as much as I love to bake, I certainly don't make cupcakes very often. They're more of a special occasion kind of thing. I think it's because a mix makes about 24 of them, and with only 5 people in the family and my children only eating the frosting off the top....well, I'd end up eating most of them. My friend was celebrating her birthday, and I'd been dreaming up a peanut butter chocolate cupcake that I was so excited to make for her. And even though our plans fell through, I made them anyway.


Best cupcake I ever made! I'm a huge peanut butter and chocolate fan. Reese's peanut butter cups and I are best friends. But these cupcakes rock the house. Or the party.

You start with Carissa's doctored-up chocolate cupcake mix. You end with Celeste's chocolate buttercream frosting. In the middle, you add my delicious creamy peanut butter mix. The end result? Like Reese's peanut butter cups married a cupcake and had babies.

After making the cupcake batter and the peanut butter filling, you fill the cupcake liners about 1/4 full with the chocolate batter, then add a layer of peanut butter filling. If you dip your fingers in a little bit of water, you can maneuver the peanut butter filling around to cover the chocolate bottom. Finally, top the peanut butter with another layer of cupcake batter. Your liners should be about 3/4 full.

Pipe some chocolate frosting on top of the cooled cupcake and sprinkle with chopped peanuts.

Check that out. Beautiful middle. In fact, I would have been more generous with my peanut butter but my kids fell in love with the filling and kept sneaking bites. I need to hire new sous chefs! :)

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Cupcakes
by Girls in Aprons

1 box chocolate cake mix
4 eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1 cup sour cream
1 small box instant chocolate pudding
Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Filling:
4 oz (1/2 brick) cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
Mix all ingredients for cupcakes together for 30 seconds on low, or until slightly combined. Increase speed to medium for 2 minutes, or until thick and completely combined.
Cream all the ingredients for peanut butter filling on medium speed until well blended.
Line muffin pans with cupcake liners (the cuter the better!). Fill each liner up 1/4 with cupcake batter, about 2 Tbsp batter. Top the cupcake batter with the peanut butter filling. With a small bowl of water, get your fingers wet and gently press the filling down to spread around the cupcake liner. Add another 2 Tbsp or so with cupcake batter. You should have three layers in each liner - cupcake batter, peanut butter filling, and cupcake batter. Your cupcake liners should be about 3/4 full.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
Chocolate Frosting
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening (I used Crisco butter-flavor)
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I like Hershey's Special Dark cocoa powder if I can find it)
4 cups powdered sugar (about 1 pound)
4 T milk
1 tsp vanilla

Start by creaming your butter and shortening together. Cream it to death. Add the powdered sugar a cup at a time (or you will have a huge white mess in your kitchen). Add cocoa a little at a time, scraping the edges often. Add milk and vanilla and mix until creamy. Using a piping bag fitted with a large tip (or a gallon-size Ziploc with a corner cut off), add your frosting to the bag and pipe onto your cupcake. Finish with a sprinkling of chopped peanuts.

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