Cupcake Lovin’

Last night, as a “thank you” to my fiance’s office, I made some very fancy cupcakes.Here’s a shot he took with his camera phone:

Clockwise from upper left: Boston Creme Cupcakes via Sandra Lee*, weird, but tasty Bird Nest Cupcakes via Martha Stewart, Peanut Butter Cupcakes via Moi, and Double Chocolate New World Stages Cupcakes.

All of the cupcakes were make with boxed cake mixes and canned frosting, the one exception being those peanut butter ones which I have to pat myself on the back for. All day long I had been watching little videos of people making cupcakes, trying to decide what to make for the lovelies at NWS, and I figured I would just do boxed cake with fun decorations. I found a package of peanut butter cups at the store, and a lightbulb went off. Candy in my cupcake? Yes please…

Colleen’s Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes
You will need:
For Cupcakes:
Peanut butter cups, 1 per cupcake
Dark chocolate cake mix plus ingredients for making the cake

For Frosting (from allrecipes.com)
1 stick softened unsalted butter
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter (I used Peanut Butter & Co) at room temperature
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
Milk as needed at room temperature.

Prepare cake batter as instructed on the box. Put about a tablespoon of batter into lined cupcake pan cups. Put a peanut butter cup on top of the batter. Put more batter on top of the peanut butter cup, about 1 1/2-2 tablespoons, or until the tin is filled about 3/4 full. Bake according to instructions.

While they are baking, make the frosting. Place the butter and peanut butter into a medium bowl, and beat with an electric mixer. Gradually mix in the sugar, and when it starts to get thick, incorporate milk one tablespoon at a time until all of the sugar is mixed in and the frosting is thick and spreadable. Beat for at least 3 minutes for it to get good and fluffy. (Note: I did not have an electric mixer, and did this by hand. It was just fine, if not a little tiresome…)

Make sure that the cupcakes are cooled before removing from the pan…that candy gets very hot! Put room temperature frosting in a plastic sandwich bag, snip the tip of one of the bottom corners, and pipe onto cooled cupcake. Eat and get fat in the best way.

*Sandra Lee is my favorite boozie McGee…I have been a fan forever. If you have not seen her show yet on the Food Network, you better go watch it yesterday. She always coordinates her entire kitchen with whatever she is cooking, there is always a cocktail at the end, because how else could we make it through our lives, and she always makes a hideous tablescape for the grand finale. Tablescapes aside, she shows lots of good cooking shortcuts, and some gross ones occasionally. Both are worth watching.

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