I’m going to be brutally honest with you today (not like I ever really sugar coat anything around here – oh, except for desserts). I am having a pretty shitty week. Things could definitely be worse, and I’m not looking for that, but this week is pretty darn shitty.
So, it’s a week of comfort foods. Monday, I rolled out the avocado fries (comfort upon comfort) and today I’ve got a dessert that will blow your mind! Three words: chocolate peanut butter. If there’s a better comfort food out there (in the dessert category) I don’t know what it is.
When my mood is crap calories don’t exist, sugar is one of the four major food groups (along with fat, chocolate and peanut butter), and I want to curl up on my couch with my favorite blanket wrapped around me and dig into something sweet and decadent. Hallelujah my oven was still working when I whipped up these chocolate peanut butter cupcakes.
Consider yourself warned. You can’t eat just one, the calorie content of these things is off the charts and if anyone else is around…you’ll probably have to share. Unless you’ve learned how to growl like a hungry bear and are able to instill bone chilling fear even in the heart of the biggest linebacker in the NFL.
P.S. I make no apologies for the increased size of your ass or thighs after eating these. No, you can take that up with your happy taste buds and belly.
A big part of my craptacular week has been the unexpected loss of a close friend. This woman is the sole reason that Craig and I ever met. She was young, a mother of 2 young girls and one of the sweetest people I have ever met.
Please do me a favor today….hug those people in your lives that you love, and tell them so. If you have those that aren’t physically close enough for you to hug, call them and tell them how much they mean to you.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes
Makes 18 cupcakes
- 1 3/4 Cups All-Purpose Flour
- 1/3 Cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
- 1 3/4 Teaspoons Baking Powder
- 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
- Slightly Rounded 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
- 7 Ounces of Chocolate (minimum 60 % cacao), Finely Chopped
- 1 Stick Unsalted Butter
- 3 Large Eggs, Lightly Beaten
- 1 Cup Buttermilk
- 1 1/2 Cups Sugar
Peanut Butter Cheesecake Filling
- 8 Ounces Cream Cheese, Softened and Cut Into Chunks
- 1/2 Cup Creamy Peanut Butter
- 1/2 Cup Sugar
- 1 Large Egg
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla
Peanut Butter Ganache
- 6 Ounces White Chocolate
- 2 Tablespoons Creamy Peanut Butter
- 1 Tablespoon Unsalted Butter
- 1/4 Cup Half and Half
Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
(adapted from Southern Living)
- 8 Ounce Package Cream Cheese
- 1/4 Cup Unsalted Butter
- 2 Cups Powdered Sugar
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla
- 1 Cup Dark Chocolate Chips-60% cocoa (melted)
Combine in a food processor, or use a hand mixer, until well blended: the peanut butter cheesecake filling ingredients. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees Farenheit, with rack in the middle of oven. Line cupcake pan with liners.
Whisk flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.
Melt chocolate, with butter, in a 2.5 – 3 quart heavy bottomed saucepan over low heat, stirring as it melts. (Be patient, this will take a few minutes. Do not turn up the heat to make it go faster.) Remove from heat and whisk in eggs and buttermilk until smooth. Whisk chocolate mixture into the flour mixture, then add sugar and whisk until mixture is smooth. Pour into cupcake liners and lightly bang on the counter to eliminate air bubbles.
Bake for 15 minutes. Using a spoon to break through the thin crust forming on top, scoop out some of the batter and put it into a cup. Then spoon some of the peanut butter cheesecake batter into the hole you just created. Cover the peanut butter with some of the scooped out chocolate batter. Put cupcakes back into the oven and continue baking for an additional 15 minutes and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. (There will be a good amount of peanut butter cheesecake filling left over.)
Remove from oven and let cool.
While cupcakes are cooling, make the peanut butter ganache.
Add all ganache ingredients to the top of a double boiler. (If you don’t have a double boiler, fill a small saucepan with an inch of water. Place a metal or glass bowl on top of the saucepan – make sure that the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl.) Over medium heat, melt the contents of the double boiler. Continue to whisk until everything is melted and smooth.
Dip the tops of the cupcakes into the ganache. For extra decadence, let the ganache cool a bit and dip them a second time.
To make the frosting…in the bowl of a stand mixer (or large bowl and hand mixer) fit with a paddle attachment, beat the first four ingredients until creamy and virtually no lumps remain. Scrape down the bowl. Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave using 30 second bursts. Thoroughly stir the chocolate between each microwave session. Add the melted chocolate to mixing bowl and mix until thoroughly combined.
Pipe (or spread) frosting over the tops of the cupcakes – the more frosting, the better.
*Don’t use all natural peanut butter in this recipe. The separated natural oils can sometimes cause problems with the recipe.