Mini Peanut Butter Cupcakes

This recipe comes from the January/February 2010 edition of “The Food Network Magazine”.  It was part of an article titled “I Want Candy!” which had 6 cupcake recipes, all made to taste like a specific candy bar; this one tastes like Reeses Peanut Butter Cups (and yes, I do plan on making the rest of them!).  These are for my friend Reynolds who got sick at the end of the school year and so didn’t graduate but he recently finished all his work and graduated so his mom, Mary, is throwing him a party tonight to celebrate.  Congrats to Reynolds!  We’re all so proud of you!  🙂

cupcakes:

12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1/2 cup Dutch process cocoa powder (I just used my Hershey’s cocoa)

1 1/3 cups packed dark brown sugar

1 1/3 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup buttermilk

1 egg, room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla

topping:

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 (10 ounce) bag peanut butter chips

glaze:

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

6 ounces milk chocolate, finely chopped (I used milk chocolate chips)

1  Make the cupcakes:  Preheat oven to 350.  Line a 24 cup mini muffin pan with paper liners (I actually go 48 cupcakes with this recipe).  Combine butter, cocoa and 1/4 cup water in bowl, cover with plastic wrap and microwave until butter melts, about 2 minutes.  Whisk to combine then whisk in brown sugar.

2  Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl.  Whisk in warm cocoa mixture.  In another bowl, whisk buttermilk, egg and vanilla; stir into batter until just combined but don’t overmix.

3  Divide batter among prepared cups, filling each 3/4 of the way.  Bake until cupcakes spring back when touched, about 20 minutes.  Let cool in pan 5 minutes, then transfer to rack to cool completely.

4  Make topping:  Bring cream to simmer in small saucepan, then pour over peanut butter chips in bowl and let stand until chips melt, about 5 minutes.  Whisk until smooth.  Refrigerate until topping is set, about 10 minutes, then beat with mixer until fluffy.  Transfer to pastry bag with 1″ round tip and pipe peaks onto each cupcake.  (I didn’t have a 1″ round tip so just used the biggest I had.)  Place in freezer while you make glaze.

5  Make glaze:  Put butter, chocolate and 3 tablespoons hot water in small, deep microwave safe bowl, cover with plastic wrap and microwave on 50% power until chocolate melts, about 2 minutes.  Whisk until smooth.  Dip frozen peaks of each cupcake into glaze, letting excess drip off.  Refrigerate until set, about 5 minutes.

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