A long time ago when both the husband and myself were children living thousands of miles apart we still had a couple things in common and one of them was watching Star Trek TNG. Both of us related strongly to Wesley Crusher the character played by Wil Wheaton. For several years I was aware that Wil Wheaton wrote a blog, but I was afraid it would turn out that the character and actor weren’t alike at all I would end up wishing I had never opened that door. Eventually I got over that and I wanted to kick myself for waiting so long so much of Wesley came through his writing. The husband also reads his blog and because of that we now homebrewing too. The first beer he choose to brew was a kit and since it would be ready around his birthday he choose a chocolate peanut butter porter because when it comes to the husband’s birthday only one thing need to be discussed: how will I incorporate chocolate and peanut butter this year? Because without fail something chocolate and peanut butter is the requested dessert of choice.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes
For the filling:
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
¾ cup creamy peanut butter
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ tsp. vanilla extract
For the cake:
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 cup sour cream
2 tbsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1½ cups sugar
2 large eggs
For the frosting:
8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
½ cup creamy peanut butter
3¼ cups confectioners’ sugar
1 cup frozen whipped topping, thawed
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line two cupcake pans with paper liners.
To make the filling, combine the confectioners’ sugar, peanut butter, butter and vanilla extract in a bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until well combined. Roll the mixture into 1-inch balls (at least 24) and set aside on a baking sheet.
To make the cake batter, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl; whisk together and set aside. In a liquid measuring cup, stir together the sour cream, milk and vanilla extract. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and sugar, and beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl as needed. With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the dry ingredients and the sour cream mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix just until incorporated.
Spoon a tablespoon or two of batter into the bottom of each cupcake liner. Place a ball of the peanut butter filling in each cupcake well and top with the remaining batter so that all the cups are filled. Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the frosting, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the cream cheese, butter and peanut butter until smooth. Slowly mix in the confectioners’ sugar, beating until smooth and well blended. Mix in the whipped topping until smooth and fluffy. Frost cooled cupcakes as desired.