15 May 2011

peanut butter ball cupcakes


Ever since I saw this recipe, I've been hooked on the idea of PEANUT BUTTER BALL cupcakes. (You can call them "peanut butter truffles" if you want to sound more fancy.) My family's been making these homemade candies since I was a little kid, but the thought had never crossed my mind to stick them in a cupcake!

Once again, I cheated and used cake mix. But after all, the filling was the focus, and the frosting was my forte. And as a girl obsessed with choices, of course I couldn't decide if these cupcakes would taste better with chocolate icing or peanut butter icing. ....so I made both!

I have to say, this peanut butter frosting is the lightest, fluffiest frosting I have ever created. The chocolate one was a little denser, but adding a secret ingredient finally made it almost as fluffy as its counterpart. They were kind of difficult to decorate with because of this fluff factor, but oh well.

Be warned:  if you're making two icings like excessive little me, you might want to halve the recipes, because I had a lot of frosting left over. What did I do with the leftover peanut butter icing?

Made homemade Nutter Butters of course!

An ever-so-simple peanut butter cookie recipe follows if you want to do the same! (I learned it in Home Ec in 7th grade and it has always stuck with me.)

Still trying to figure out what to do with all my leftover chocolate icing. Today we melted some down, added cinnamon and poured it over waffles with strawberries. ...but there's still a whole tub left in the fridge.

Suggestions welcome.

Peanut Butter Ball Cupcakes

(Makes 24.)

For the peanut butter balls:  (recipe adapted from here.)
1 cup creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
10 oz. chocolate almond bark or chocolate chips

Combine softened butter, peanut butter, salt and vanilla extract until smooth. Stir in the powdered sugar until reaches a dough-like consistency (add more sugar if needed). Form into 3/4 inch balls, and place on a cookie sheet. Freeze for one hour or until firm. Carefully melt bark or chocolate. Dip each ball in the chocolate, then place on a foil or wax paper lined cookie sheet. Freeze for another hour or until ready to use for cupcakes.

For the cupcakes:
(I used chocolate cake mix and they came out super-moist. But the post I was originally inspired by at JavaCupcake includes a cupcake recipe if you're making from scratch. OR, use Gimme Some Oven's cake mix adaptation, which has also always yielded me amazingly moist fluffy cupcakes when I use it! (But don't add the chile powder or cayenne pepper in this case.))

Preheat the oven according to desired recipe. Line pans with cupcake liners. Place one frozen peanut butter ball inside each cup, before topping off with batter until the cups are 2/3 full. Bake cupcakes according to directions, but WATCH CAREFULLY. (A few of mine burned on the very bottom where the truffle touched the pan.)

For fluffy peanut butter frosting:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1.5 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups powdered sugar
Dash salt
2 tablespoons cream

Beat the butter, peanut butter, and cream cheese until smooth. Add vanilla extract and mix again. Gradually blend in the powdered sugar, salt and cream. Add more sugar if needed to reach the desired fluffy consistency.

For fluffy chocolate frosting:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 oz. cream cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup cream
3 cups powdered sugar

Beat the butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add vanilla extract and mix again. Gradually blend in the powdered sugar, cocoa powder and cream. Add more sugar if needed to reach the desired fluffy consistency.

Easy Peanut Butter Cookies

(Makes about 30 cookies, or 15 cookie sandwiches.)

1 cup peanut butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix ingredients. Roll dough into 1 inch balls; roll balls in granulated sugar before placing 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Using a fork, lightly press a criss-cross pattern atop each dough ball. Bake cookies for about 9 minutes or until the cookie edges are just beginning to brown (cookies will firm up upon cooling).


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