Okay, I have been sitting on this one for a while now, but I just cannot get the taste of these out of my mind. I have mentioned before that I use my husbands crew as guinea pigs for some recipes, or if a special occasion arises I'll put together something special. These came about with the latter, a few of the guys were moving onto other jobs and as a going away gift, I made these. After inquiring, I was told that anything chocolate or peanut butter would be appreciated, so why not both?
Like I do for most recipes, I found a few potential candidates, and then combined them to form my own. I didn't hear any complaints from the crew, only my kids who were forced to look but not touch. I am apparently a horribly mean Mommy. A downside for this recipe is that it uses a LOT of dishes, and I hate washing dishes, but sometimes it is worth it.
½ cup butter, softened
1 ½ cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp soda
¼ tsp salt
½ cup buttermilk
½ cup coffee, room temperature mini peanut butter cups (don't forget to unwrap!)
12 additional mini peanut butter cups, each cut in half (for decoration on the top)
Preheat oven to 375°
Prepare 24 baking cups with paper or silicone liners.
Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy, add the eggs one at a time, beating after each one and ending with the vanilla.
In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients and whisk until combined. In a separate measuring cup, combine the buttermilk and coffee together.
Alternating between the dry ingredients and the milk/coffee mixture add both to the butter mix in your main bowl. Be sure to beat well after each turn so that everything incorporates well.
Place one spoonful of batter in each baking cup, top with a peanut butter cup, then fill with more batter. Each one should be about ¾ full. I realize that this is a tedious step, but the first time I made these I just put the cup in the bottom of the paper liner and they stuck.
Bake in your hot oven for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.
Frosting: (you could probably half this, but come on, you know you are going to eat some)
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups creamy peanut butter
6 Tbs milk, +/- as needed (it all depends on the weather outside, humidity and such, hence why its an improper number instead of ¼ cup plus 2 Tbs)
4 cups confectionary sugar, sifted
Beat the butter and peanut butter in a bowl with an electric mixer until well incorporated. Slowly mix in the sugar, it will appear dry. 1 tablespoon at a time, add the milk, mixing after each one. When it reaches frosting consistency, stop adding milk! Beat for 2-3 minutes until fluffy.
Either spread, or get fancy like me and toss it in a pastry bag and pipe it onto the cupcakes. I used a large star tip.