Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

TGIF! It's been a long week for me and I'm so ready for the weekend! The only proper way to kick it off is to indulge in something sweet. From the Cupcakes and Cocktails party I hosted a few weeks ago with girlfriends, these lovely Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting made a delicious appearance. My friend Charity made these sinful cupcakes and they were so, so good. Rich chocolate cake is enhanced with a touch of coffee and topped with a luscious peanut butter frosting that puts it over the top. Any chocolate and peanut butter fan would go nuts over these...

When my friend Charity told me she would be making these cupcakes, I was thrilled! I love the chocolate and peanut butter combination but sadly, I don't make many desserts using these ingredients. My husband isn't a peanut butter fan (I know, it's sad!) so I tend to shy away from recipes using peanut butter. Lord knows I can't have peanut butter treats at home because I'd be the only one to eat them (which is not a good thing!) But I digress. There was no doubt in my mind these cupcakes would be amazing. The recipe comes from Ina Garten, who has yet to have a recipe that fails me. True to Ina fashion, these were incredible. The cake was moist with a tender crumb and Ina's tip of including coffee with chocolate really does enhance the flavor. The peanut butter frosting is pretty straightforward and amazing. Please, whatever you do, go out and get Dutch cocoa powder for this recipe and don't sub it with plain old cocoa powder - it will make a world of difference!

Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting
recipe from Ina Garten

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk, shaken, at room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature
2 tablespoons brewed coffee
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup dutch cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Kathleen's Peanut Butter Frosting, recipe follows
Chopped salted peanuts, to decorate, optional

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line cupcake pans with paper liners.

In the bowl of an stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and 2 sugars on high speed until light and fluffy, approximately 5 minutes. Lower the speed to medium, add the eggs 1 at a time,
then add the vanilla and mix well. In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, sour cream, and coffee.

In another bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. On low speed, add the buttermilk mixture and the flour mixture alternately in thirds to the mixer bowl, beginning with the buttermilk mixture and ending with the flour mixture. Mix only until blended. Fold the batter with a rubber spatula to be sure it's completely blended.

Divide the batter among the cupcake pans (1 rounded standard ice cream scoop per cup is the right amount). Bake in the middle of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes, remove from the pans, and allow to cool completely before frosting.

Frost each cupcake with Peanut Butter Icing and sprinkle with chopped peanuts, if desired.

Kathleen's Peanut Butter Frosting

1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup heavy cream

Place the confectioners' sugar, peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium-low speed until creamy, scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula as you work. Add the cream and beat on high speed until the mixture is light and smooth.

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