Peanut Buttercups with Peanut-Penuche Icing

April 15, 2012

Peanut butter penuche cupcakes

Here is my latest contribution to Project Pastry Queen. These cupcakes are a bit like a peanut butter cup, with the chocolate in the middle instead of on the outside. They have just the right combination of peanut butter accented with brown sugar, and a surprise of dark chocolate hiding in the middle and peanutty penuche icing (penuche is a brown sugar fudge-like candy).

Assemble your ingredients
peanut butter penuche cupcakes

The Wonder Cup is incredibly handy for measuring sticky or gooey foods like peanut butter, honey, tahini, etc. 
peanut butter cupcakes

Beat the batter until smooth and creamy. 
peanut butter cupcakes

Scoop the batter into prepared muffin tins, and put a piece of chocolate in the middle of each one. 
peanut butter cupcakes

As the batter rises, it surrounds the chocolate.
peanut butter cupcakes

Boil the icing, then let it cool before adding the powdered sugar. 

peanut butter cupcakes

Peanut Buttercups with Peanut-Penuche Icing
from The Pastry Queen, by Rebecca Rather
1 3/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter, softened
1 1/4 cups packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup peanut butter, any type
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 3.5-4 oz. bar dark chocolate, cut into 16 pieces, or 16 pieces dark chocolate such as Valrhona 55% baking coins

Peanut-Penuche Icing
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1/2 cup peanut butter, any type
1/2 cup milk
2 cups firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 12-cup muffins pan with cupcake papers (line 16 of the cups).
In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In a mixer fitted with the paddle blade, beat the butter until smooth. Add the sugar and mix well. Beat in peanut butter, milk, vanilla and eggs. Add flour mixture and mix to combine. Scrape sides of bowl well, then beat at medium-low speed for one minute. Increase speed to medium-high and beat for 1 1/2 minutes. Use a ¼ cup scoop to portion batter into prepared muffin cups. Press a piece of chocolate into the middle of each cupcake. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until tops are very lightly browned and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool on rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool on racks completely.

To make the icing: Combine butter, peanut butter, milk, sugar and salt in a 2-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. When butter is melted and mixture has come to a low boil, reduce heat to medium and cook for 2 minutes without stirring. Remove from heat and cool 20-30 minutes. Place in mixer bowl fitted with paddle, add powdered sugar and vanilla, and beat until icing is smooth and thick enough to spread. Ice the cupcakes immediately, as the icing can set up very quickly.

Makes 16 cupcakes.

Each cupcake contains a chocolate surprise in the middle. 
peanut butter cupcakes

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Emily @ She Makes and Bakes April 15, 2012 at 8:32 am

Yum! Your cupcakes look great. Love how you put the chocolate in vertically so it sticks out the top. I thought it was another successful PPQ recipe!


Missy April 16, 2012 at 6:39 pm

I took these to work today and there were some comments that the cake and icing were too similar, and perhaps a chocolate/peanut combo might be better. Peanut butter cupcakes with chocolate icing? Chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter penuche icing? Both ideas sound delicious to me.


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