Chocolate & Peanut Butter Cupcakes (makes 20-24 cupcakes)
for the cupcakes:
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1-1/3 cups and 1 tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup and 2 tablespoons white sugar
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350F. Line 2 muffin pans with baking papers.
In small bowl, pour boiling water over cocoa and whisk until smooth. Set mixture aside to cool until no longer steaming. In a separate small bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time and then mix in vanilla. Add flour mixture alternately with the cocoa mixture until just combined. Fill muffin wells 2/3 full with batter and bake for 15-20 minutes, until a toothpick comes out with a soft, moist crumb. Let cupcakes cool completely before filling and frosting.
for ganache filling:
4 oz semi sweet chocolate
1/2 cup peanut butter
2/3 of heavy cream
2 Tbs butter, softened
Place chocolate and peanut butter in a heat proof bowl. Heat heavy cream in a saucepan until just bubbling. Pour heavy cream over chocolate and peanut butter and let sit for 20 seconds. Stir mixture until smooth. Let set until it’s a thick enough to pipe. You can speed this up by putting it in the fridge or freezer, but you need to watch it carefully and stir it often.
Place ganache into a piping bag fit with any medium sized tip. You can either cone out a small amount of cake from each cupcake or you can just place the tip directly into the cupcake and fill until the cupcake swells. Either way works!
for the frosting:
8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
4 Tbs unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup Cool Whip, thawed
In a large bowl, cream together cream cheese, butter and peanut butter with an electric mixer until combined and whipped. Slowly add powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, until thick and creamy. Using a spatula, mix in Cool Whip until fully combined and fluffy.
Place frosting into a large piping bag fit with a large, round tip. Frost as desired. Garnish with chopped Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.