living the sweet life

Peanut Butter Chocolate Cupcakes

I apologize for the radio silence last week, especially since I spent so much time in the kitchen before leaving to make sure that the blog could be updated while I was away. What I didn’t realize was how difficult coming home would be. Not just in terms of jet lag, though it being 3pm in LA and 12am in Sweden took some time to get used to. Not just because I didn’t have the energy or desire to bake in 100 degree heat. But because I was in a mental slump.

Leaving Sweden was hard. I know everyone says it’s difficult to return to real life post vacation, but going to Sweden isn’t sitting on a beach not working for a week. It’s real life for me. I know when I’m there I’m not working and don’t have bills to pay, so maybe it’s not 100% real life, but it’s home. I have my mom’s whole family and friends there that I’ve known for a long time. So coming back to California was rough. It didn’t help that I was coming from 50 degree weather in Stockholm to 100 degree weather in LA. That just added on extra misery.

But, Sweden was incredible. SO happy I got to spend so much time with family and friends and now that I’m adjusted back to the time difference and reestablished in LA, I’m feeling better. I’ll try and do a write up of things I did in Sweden for a special post, though I didn’t really eat out.

Let’s talk about these cupcakes. They were the first thing I made in the kitchen post-vacation and turning on my oven in the insane 100 degree heat was crazy, but my friend Lindsey loves peanut butter and chocolate anything and I just knew I had to make these. The chocolate cupcake base is delicious, which I have Sally’s Baking Addiction to thank for. And the frosting? So much peanut butter. You get the PB flavor first followed by the sweetness. It’s not an overly sweet frosting but because of the richness, a little bit goes a long way.

If you have any chocolate peanut butter lovers in your life, I guarantee they’ll love these.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Cupcakes

makes 12 cupcakes

For the Cupcakes:
1/2 cup unsalted butter
2 oz semi-sweet chocolate
1/2 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk

For the Frosting:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 tablespoons heavy cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tin with liners and set aside.

In a microwave safe bowl, melt butter and chocolate together. Microwave 30 seconds at a time, stirring after each time. Stir until butter and chocolate are smooth and combined, and set aside.

Whisk together cocoa powder, flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a medium sized mixing bowl. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, whisk eggs, sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Pour in the melted butter/chocolate mixture and whisk until smooth. Stir in half the flour mixture followed by half the buttermilk. Repeat. Stir together until everything is just combined.

Evenly divide the batter between the 12 cupcake liners – roughly 1/4 cup each. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely.

While cupcakes cool, prepare frosting. In a large mixing bowl, beat together butter and peanut butter until smooth and creamy. Add in powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time and mix until well combined. Add in vanilla and mix. Add in heavy cream 1 tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is reached. Frost cupcakes however you like.

[source: cupcake recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction; frosting adapted from How Sweet It Is]

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