Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting

I've been so busy lately, and it's just normal stuff.  Cooking, laundry, children, etc.  I stare longingly at my blog, but I just haven't had time to finish anything for it.

But, I have been creating new cupcake recipes this week.  My husband and his colleagues at work have been in love with my cupcakes for years.  In fact, he usually comes home with many people telling him I should sell my cupcakes because they are so good.  Well....I'm gonna do it this weekend.

We live in a tiny town - as in so tiny, we have no traffic lights.  The main road has one 4-way stop and that's pretty much it.  The city is trying to raise money to build a park right by our neighborhood.  They've instituted "fourth trade days" where the park is actually going to be built.  It's a flea market, farmer's market, craft fair, etc. kinda thing.  In fact, they even convo'd me on Etsy awhile ago to have a booth.  Since, it's only $10 to have a booth, we are going to try an experiment and sell my cupcakes - this weekend!

I'm not gonna lie.  I'm terrified, but I have my trusty husband to  be my wonderful salesman.  He is the one person who can talk me into believing I can do anything.

My plan of action is to make a few dozen cupcakes of 2-3 different flavors.  My first choice is my world famous pumpkin cream cheese cupcake.  I wasn't sure what other flavors.  I recently tried a Cherry Limeade -- not my fave, but my husband LOVED it.  I think that will be #2.  I'll share that one in a day or so on the blog.  But, #3 came out so wonderful, I had to share it asap.

(Here on out, I'm tired of writing "my husband," and he will now forever be known as Nate.)

It's a chocolate cupcake with a peanut butter cream cheese baked in the middle of it, then it's topped off with a Salted Caramel Cream Cheese frosting.  Nate really liked it -- and he REALLY REALLY REALLY liked the frosting.  I haven't figured out a short name for this one quite yet.  I wavered with adding a bit of coffee to make it more of a mocha flavor, but in the end, I didn't.  However, when you bite into this cupcake and get the frosting/cupcake taste explosion in your mouth -- I swear it takes like mocha.  I felt like I was eating a Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate with a little bit of peanut butter thrown in.  So so good!

Now I love to make everything from scratch, but I was not in the mood to make caramel from scratch.  I made my frosting using Hershey's caramel syrup.  Maybe someday if I become a cupcake truck lady, I'll definitely be making it from scratch, but for now....meh.

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting

Peanut Butter Filling
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
4 oz room temperature cream cheese
3 tbs sugar
1 1/2 tbs milk

Add all ingredients to bowl. Then, heat for 10-15 seconds in microwave. Mix until well blended and set aside.

**I found the PB mixture was just dry and sticky enough that I could roll it into semi formed balls and put in the center.  This might be easier than spooning it because it's sticky.

Chocolate Cupcakes
2 eggs
1/2 cup oil
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 cup milk
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 cups flour
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 350. Mix first 6 ingredients. Combine last 5 ingredients, then slowly add while mixing to wet ingredients. (Be prepared for it to seem to runny, it's fine and will come out deliciously moist.)

1. Full cupcake liners 1/3 full with chocolate batter.
2. Add a small spoonful of peanut butter filling to center of each.
3. Add more chocolate batter until liners are 2/3 full.

Bake for 15 minutes. Allow to cool. Then frost.

Easy Salted Caramel Frosting
2 sticks room temperature butter
8 oz room temperature cream cheese
1/2 cup caramel sauce
1 tsp sea salt
3-4 cups powdered sugar

Beat butter and cream cheese. Add caramel sauce and sea salt. Mix well. Then add sugar a cup at a time until it makes peaks. Then whip the frosting until its light an airy (about 2-3 minutes).

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