Peanut butter-filled chocolate cupcakes

I know we're all enjoying color right now and craving fresh berries and fruit.  That's true for me as well but that said, chocolate and peanut butter are always in season. They are staples that get me through the year, no matter the weather.
I was browsing through my copy of Martha Stewart's Cupcakes the other day.  How often do you look over your collection of cookbooks?  Sometimes I'll take a look at some of mine and it's amazing by how many good-looking recipes are in there - recipes I'll likely never get to because there's just so much out there and so little time!

Well...when I was looking through the cupcake book, I spotted a recipe for peanut butter-filled chocolate cupcakes and I wondered how I'd missed it and hadn't tagged it in some way.  It's a very easy stir-together kind of recipe and I had everything on hand so I made half batch for no reason other than to celebrate the combination of chocolate and peanut butter.
You don't need frosting for these cupcakes.  There's a good tablespoon of peanut butter filling in the center, with a brownie-like cake surrounding it.  Layering the brownie-cake batter with the peanut butter filling and giving the batter a little swirl on top makes the marble pattern that lets everyone know what to expect when they take a bite.

I really like eating these cupcakes warm so I pop them in the microwave for 10-12 seconds before eating.  That way, the filling is warm and there's just a greater intensity of flavor.  
I'm glad I revisited one of my cookbooks and it resulted in these little treats.  The classic flavor works for me and I'd almost make them just for the aroma-therapy alone.  The smell of melted chocolate and peanut butter in the air is a heady thing.


These cupcakes are really easy to make.  Both the chocolate cupcake batter and the peanut butter filling are done by a simple hand-mixing process.  The chocolate cake portion is very much like brownie batter.  The peanut butter filling is mainly a simple stirring together of creamy peanut butter, confectioners' sugar and butter. 
These two bowls made the kitchen smell very good!
Once your batter and filling are done, assemble the cupcakes by first putting down about 2 tablespoons of the chocolate batter.  Then, add a tablespoon of the peanut butter filling on top.
Cover that with another tablespoon of chocolate batter (or basically, evenly distribute the remaining batter).  Finally, you should have enough peanut butter filling to add another teaspoon of it on top of each cupcake.  Take a toothpick and give the top a swirl.
They bake at 325 for about 35-40 minutes.  Keep an eye on them because you want them to set but for a cake tester to come out with a bit of moist crumbs attached to it.
Let the cupcakes cool completely in the muffin tin, on a cooling rack, before removing. The peanut butter portion of the tops are rather soft when they come out of the oven so it would be messy trying to remove them right away.  Once cooled, the cupcakes will be easy to remove and are actually quite hearty.
One of these will definitely satisfy that chocolate-peanut butter craving!


Recipe:

Peanut Butter-Filled Chocolate Cupcakes
From Martha Stewart's Cupcakes

- For 12 cupcakes - 

For chocolate batter:
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder (optional)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

For peanut butter filling:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Line a standard muffin tin with paper liners.  

Prepare peanut butter filling: Place melted butter in a medium bowl and sift confectioners' sugar on top.  Add peanut butter, salt, and vanilla, and stir together until smooth.  Set nearby.

Make chocolate batter: Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl.  Place butter, chocolates, and espresso powder (if using) into a heatproof bowl set over a pan of just simmering water.  Stir until melted.  Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.  

Whisk sugar into the cooled chocolate mixture.  Add eggs and whisk until smooth. Stir in vanilla.  Add flour and stir until well incorporated.

Spoon 2 tablespoons of chocolate batter into each lined muffin cup, followed by 1 tablespoon peanut butter filling.  Repeat with another tablespoon of batter and top with 1 teaspoon of filling.  Use a toothpick or wooden skewer to swirl the top of each cupcake.

Bake, rotating tin halfway through, until cake tester inserted into the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs, about 35-40 minutes.  Transfer tin to a wire rack to cool completely before removing cupcakes.  Cupcakes can be stored up to 3 days at room temperature in an airtight container.  I like to microwave the cupcakes for about 10 seconds or so to warm them up before eating.



40 comments:

  1. Is there any better combination than peanut butter and chocolate? These cupcakes look heavenly, Monica.

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    1. It's definitely up there! I never had that combo as a kid and boy, have I been making up for lost time.

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  2. These cupcakes are so cute and look delicious! Peanut butter and chocolate makes everything better :) I love the pretty marbled swirling!

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    1. It is very hearty and satisfying, as you know, Kelly. Enjoy the week!

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  3. Oh Monica ... you and I could get really fat together! I love these and can't imagine how fantastic these are. I adore peanut butter and chocolate, anytime, anywhere. I am printing and can't wait to make these for the next office event. Perfection! You must have a couple of really happy boys in your house. Have a lovely week!!

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    1. HA! You made me laugh so hard, Tricia! Love it...and you are so right!! : ) Why can't we eat everything and be our ideal weight for all time, no matter what?! Anyway...you know I make small batches for the very reason.
      If you make these one day, keep an eye on them and pull them out while there are still moist crumbs. I totally enjoyed them warmed up...it's moister and the flavor is more intense.

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  4. Oh yes, chocolate and PB are year round staples for me too! I love that this has a peanut butter filling, and that the batter is hand-mixed.

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    1. My cabinet is never ever without several jars of PB...and nutella...and chocolate is everywhere! : )

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  5. Peanut butter and chocolate is my weakness! I love that these don't even need frosting. Yummy!

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    1. I vaguely dreamed about a pb-chocolate ganache frosting but boy, these boys are hearty and you really don't need frosting. That said, what's 'need' got to do with it, right! ; )

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  6. Oh goodness me! I can never ever turn down peanut butter and chocolate and with that filling??? I also really love that there isn't any frosting (and that swirl!).

    I have a few cookbooks that I make meals from often but I have so many others that I never get to! Not because they don't look awesome - too many recipes, too little time!

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    1. It's a meal onto itself with that filling, Ashley! And you are so right - too little time!! I guess we should be happy there's so much deliciousness out there. : )

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  7. Hehe yes PB and chocolate are definitely always in season in our household!! :D I haven't looked through my cookbooks in ages!

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    1. I think I avoid looking at those cookbooks because I can't "take" any more ideas sometimes! : )

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  8. So true Monica! I survive on chocolate too during the colder months. I have a jar of peanut butter lying in my cupboard since weeks. Cannot think of a better way of using it now..My boys will go crazy for them!

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    1. Chocolate for always! : ) No doubt about that...

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  9. Now I'm going to have to flip through Martha Stewart's cupcakes today also!! I wonder what other gems are in there. And yes, I agree that it's always the right time to celebrate chocolate and peanut butter!

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    1. I think I could eat the rest of my life off the recipe collection from Everyday Food magazine booklets that I have...but that wouldn't be fun. ; )

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  10. Monica, these are some amazing looking cupcakes. There are few things I like other than peanut butter and chocolate, so I'm afraid if I made these, I wouldn't be able to share! They look delicious, and love the centers!

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    1. Is it the chocolate that makes everything better, or the peanut butter. : ) It is a classic and good reason!

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  11. You are so right, chocolate never goes out of season, and I have that cupcake cookbook, I need to give it a fresh look, these are amazing!

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    1. Thanks, Sue. I always lean on Martha for inspiration. : ) And chocolate...well, I don't need a reason to eat it. I'm totally hooked!

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  12. Wonderfully done! They look so amazing. Great recipe, thanks for sharing.

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  13. These look wonderful Monica! Brilliant with the swirl effect. Yes, I can spend ages browsing through my recipe looks. So many fabulous recipes and inspiration. Too bad there aren't more hours in the day!

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    1. I managed to follow the instructions, that's all. Thanks, Jo. There really just isn't enough time or stomach capacity...unless you truly don't mind expanding your capacity! ; )

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  14. Chocolate and peanut butter are always in season -- you got that right! ;) Oooh the inside looks so delicious, and I like the sound of brownie-like cake. Seems like Martha Stewart has some killer cupcakes out there (:

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    1. Martha is the queen bee in my book! : ) These are definitely satisfying and for chocolate-PB lovers. The chocolate part really mixes up just like brownies and is similar. Hope all is well, Monica! Enjoy the rest of the week.

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  15. My god, your cupcakes are really pretty. Peanut butter and chocolate is truly amazing and you can’t go wrong with them. I bet they are really delicious! :)

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    1. Thank you, Maggie. One of these is definitely satisfying! : )

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  16. Oh my goodness those look tempting. I do not think I could have those in my house or I might inhale the whole batch. I love chocolate and peanut together, a little weakness of mine! Wishing you a super week Monica!

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    1. It is a 'weakness' for so many of us! : )

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  17. I love peanut butter and anything that has peanut butter as an ingredient. These cupcakes look like they're to die for!

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    1. I'm with you. I get my peanut butter fix by slathering it on my english muffins but sometimes I just crave it with chocolate.

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  18. Oh boy do these look amazing...and I know Nate would LOVE them. He's been begging me to bake something for him now that I have my free time back (sort of!), and I think this is the recipe!!!

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    1. Amy, I'm so glad you actually might have a little more time to cook/bake. I couldn't have imagined it when my guy was so little. I was really not functional at all...it's a blur! : ) These cupcakes are a great simple stir and bake project - not too involved and kind of relaxing to do, for everyone including new moms like you. Have a wonderful Mother's Day!

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  19. These cupcakes looks SO GOOD! I think we can all forget the spring colors. Who can say no to the sweet and salty peanut butter center? It is a really great idea to heat the cake in the microwave before eating. Warm and gooey!

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    1. I'll take colors to look at in terms of flowers and stick with mocha shades for my dessert. :) I'm glad you are in the warm and gooey camp like I am with so many desserts!

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  20. Monica, those are some amazing cupcakes. That's a match made in heaven goodness. Unfortunately, I don't browse through books a lot, I wish I would more. You definitely inspired me to make these for the weekend. You make some of the most yummy sweet treats. I still can't get my mind of your almond french toast. xx

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    1. You don't need cookbooks to know what to do in the kitchen, that's why, Asha! More power to you. Have a great Mother's Day weekend!

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