Peanut Butter Madness Cupcakes

That has to be about the only way you could describe this cupcake. As usual a group of us were talking about cupcake flavors in the locker room at the gym and peanut butter and chocolate was the overwhelming favorite. With a little help from Trader Joe’s, this masterpiece was created. I must say, this bad boy is a party pleaser; people were talking about this cupcake for weeks.

I used Barefoot Contessa’s peanut butter icing to top it because well, there is no other like it; it’s simply the best peanut butter frosting ever. I did use a doctored up cake mix (yes I know but let me explain) because it holds up very well and makes tall consistent cakes. This cupcake is less about the cake and a lot more about the extras. The bottom is a Nutterbutter crust then a hidden gem (large peanut butter cup) inside, topped with a mound of peanut butter icing and sprinkles with mini peanut butter cups. I drizzled a few with melted semi sweet chocolate but really didn’t end up liking how they looked. I prefer the cleaner look of just the mini cups.

Yield: 24 cupcakes

For the Nutterbutter crust:
1½ cups Nutterbutter crumbs
¼ cup sugar
5 1/3 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

Blitz the cookies with the sugar in a cuisenart, add in melted butter. Add a tablespoon to the bottom of each cupcake cup, press down with the bottom of a glass. I found pressing down then rolling the glass around a bit works well

For the cupcakes: (adapted from: Hello Cupcake)
I box chocolate cake mix (preferably one without the pudding in the mix)
Amount of oil it calls for on the box
1 cup o f buttermilk
4 eggs

24 mini peanut butter cups (goes inside after being baked)
(Box of trader Joes mini peanut butter cups or use reeces and just cut them up (for the topping)

Add all the cake ingredients to the bowl of your stand mixer with paddle attachment mix on low for a minute. Once combined turn mixed up to medium and beat for 2 minutes. It should be fluffy, fill cupcake holders 2/3-3/4 full. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until the centers spring back when touched.
For the frosting: (Adapted from Barefoot Contessa)
I doubled this.

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
Add 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 needed. Add the cream and beat on high speed until the mixture is light and smooth. You can either pipe it on or spread, it works well for both. Or just eat it out of the bowl. 
Cupcake Assembly:
Preheat your over, make the cookie crust, and press bout a tablespoon into each cupcake liner. Mix your cake and fill cupcake liners ¾ full with batter. Place in over, check them at about 18 minutes. Pull out cupcakes when you push on the middle and it springs back. Let them cool a while in the pan, then transfer to a cooling rack. Once they have completely cooled, cut out a cone shaped hole in the top, you will have to trim the cone part for they won’t fit back on without. Place one large peanut butter cup (if you are not getting Trader Joe’s peanut butter cups, the Reeces minis will work fine) then put the trimmed tops back on. Make your frosting and top the cupcakes however you would like. Garnish with mini (trader Joe’s) peanut butter cups. If using reeces, just cut them up. If you want…drizzle some melted semi sweet chocolate over the top.

With the chocolate drizzle.
You can see the hidden suprise, and why you must trim the cone to put it back on.

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