Death By Peanut Butter Chocolate Cupcakes

Death By Peanut Butter Chocolate CupcakesAttention peanut butter lovers.

Attention Reese’s lovers.

Attention cupcake lovers of the world.

Oh, and attention those who wish to die from stuffing their face with the most ridiculously peanut butter packed chocolate cupcake in the universe.

Notice I said the universe. Not just the world. That’s how badass these cupcakes are.

If you think about it, it’s really not a bad way to go, is it? Death by peanut butter chocolate food coma. I’m in. I mean, it could always be worse, like death by jelly filled donuts. Ick. Don’t get me started on that.

Or, death by chocolate covered raisin poison. Blech. Raisins on their own are the worst, but then to cover them in chocolate is just plain cruel. Why? Because certain people, I’m not going to mention names or anything, could mistake a heavily coated chocolate raisin for a delicious chocolate covered almond, and then, accidentally choke when they realize their mistake.

I now eat chocolate coated things with hesitation.

Oooh or, possibly even worse, death by frosting overdose. Yeah, so here’s the thing, I’m not entirely a fan of frosting. I eat it, mainly because there never seems to be a way to scoop it off without it getting awkward, but to be completely honest, I could live with out it. I really could.

Anyways, lets get back to happy things. Like these cupcakes.

Death By Peanut Butter Chocolate CupcakeThis week I wanted to make something that wasn’t so time consuming or detail oriented. I’ve spent the last two weeks making things like Seahawk Sugar Cookies—which required a ton of time and attention to detail—and Toasted Coconut XOXO Shortbread Cookies—which also took up some time because of the X’s and O’s. So, I decided easy, but equally tasty, was the name of the game this week.

One thing kept popping up in my mind. Box cake mix. I mean think about it. It’s super easy, relatively tasty, and I’m pretty sure at some point, we have all thrown a box cake mix together. We know box cake mix. We understand that by mixing four things together we can have quality cupcakes in less than 30 minutes. And, that’s a good thing. It’s a very good thing. But, I couldn’t just make a box cake mix and call it a day. That wasn’t going to cut it. Not for the blog. Not for me. And, certainly not for your sweet tooth.

What was a girl to do?

Enter peanut butter chocolate cupcakes that come from, drum roll please, a fancied up box mix. Gasp.

Death By Peanut Butter Chocolate CupcakeHow could I? But, really, how could I not? These cupcakes are for the days when you want a top-notch cupcake, but you don’t want to spend a ton of time making them. They are for the lazy days, the days that seem to go on forever, the days that you want something simple, and the days that you need a dessert induced food coma.

Let me tell you about these cupcakes.

These cupcakes require one bowl and you don’t even need a stand mixer—realistically, you could simply mix it with a spoon if you wanted to. I will warn you, however, that the batter gets really thick, so if you choose the spoon route, prepare to work those muscles. Also, if you aren’t weird about eating batter, please do yourself, and me, the favor of eating some. It tastes amazingggg. I dare you not to lick the bowl, spatula, and spoon clean. The baked cupcakes come out super moist, almost airy and fluffy, and have that Devil’s food cake taste with a subtly peanut butter undertone.

Feel free to eat the cupcakes without the ganache or topping if you don’t want to be in the kitchen anymore. I completely understand. But, if you are willing to wait a few more minutes for complete heaven, make the ganache, which tastes like melted peanut butter, and cut up the peanut butter chips, semi-sweet chocolate chips, and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Together, as a whole, the cupcake packs a mean peanut butter flavor that will knock your socks off. Seriously, sit down while you eat these bad boys. But, before you do, pour yourself a large glass of cold milk, grab a napkin, and take two cupcakes. Trust me, one will not be enough.

But, then again, when is one serving ever enough?

Death By Peanut Butter Chocolate Cupcakes
Yields: about 23 cupcakes

Peanut Butter Chocolate Cupcakes
1 (16.5 oz.) box Devil’s Food Cake (I used Duncan Hines)
1 (3.9 oz.) box chocolate instant pudding mix
4 eggs
1 cup milk
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter

Peanut Butter Ganache
1 cup peanut butter chips
3/4 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup peanut butter chips, roughly chopped
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, roughly chopped
1 (12 oz.) bag miniature Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, cut into cubes

Peanut Butter Chocolate Cupcakes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line cupcake tin with liners. Set aside.
Using a stand or hand held electric mixer beat together cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, milk, butter, and peanut butter until well combined (about 2-3 minutes).
Scoop batter into the cupcake liners, about 3 tablespoons for each cupcake.
Bake for 18-19 minutes or until a toothpick comes out mostly clean when inserted into the middle of the cupcake.
Let cupcakes cool completely on a cooling rack.

Peanut Butter Ganache
Once the cupcakes are cooled, begin making the ganache. In a small saucepan combine peanut butter chips and heavy cream over medium heat, stirring frequently until smooth. Once the mixture is smooth and of drizzling consistency, remove from heat and let it cool to room temperature (about 10 minutes).

Assembling Cupcakes
In a medium bowl mix together chopped peanut butter chips, chopped chocolate chips, and cubed Reese’s.
Grab a cupcake and dip the top into the peanut butter ganache–make sure to hold it upside down for a bit to allow extra ganache to drip off. Sprinkle the top of the cupcake with the Reese’s and chip mixture.
Repeat the above steps until all the cupcakes have ganache and topping.
Place in the fridge for 7-8 minutes or until ganache has firmed up. Drizzle each cupcake evenly with the left over peanut butter ganache. Place back in the fridge for 5 or so minutes until the drizzle firms up.


Death By Peanut Butter Chocolate Cupcake

Peanut Butter & Honey Graham Cracker Cookies

Peanut Butter & Honey Graham Cracker CookiesIt’s been a while since I ranted about peanut butter.

Remember those Peanut Butter M&M Cookies? The one’s that were so delicious, even my non-peanut-butter-loving brother ate? Yup, those one’s. Did you make them? If you didn’t, it’s okay, but you really should. They are totally worth it.

You know what else is worth it? These Peanut Butter & Honey Graham Cracker Cookies.

Did I ever tell you that I don’t like jelly? As in I don’t eat it. Ever. Unless someone holds a whisk to my head and says ‘eat it or I will never let you bake again’—don’t worry that hasn’t actually happened yet. I just don’t like it. The texture, the flavors [yes, I’ve tried plenty of them], and the mushy appearance…really everything about jelly is a huge turn off for my tastebuds. Are you wondering if my dislike for jelly extends to peanut butter & jelly sandwiches?

The answer is that, yes, it does. When other kids were pulling out peanut butter & jelly sandwiches from their paper bag lunches, I would happily be pulling out a plain peanut butter sandwich. Usually half a sandwich. With the crust cut off. It wasn’t until much later that someone told me about peanut butter & honey sandwiches. I was skeptical. Honey with my peanut butter? Could it taste good? Or, would it be just a less chunky version of jelly?

Needless to say, it is not like jelly. And even though I still prefer plain peanut butter sandwiches, occasionally I mix in some honey. Because, in actuality, it’s not half bad. It’s actually kind of delicious, which is why I had to make it into a cookie.

Say helllllo to the tasty Peanut Butter & Honey Graham Cracker Cookie.

Peanut Butter & Honey Graham Cracker Cookies

This cookie tastes just like a peanut butter & honey sandwich. And that is in no way an exaggeration. The Peanut Butter & Honey Graham Cracker Cookie itself is graham cracker based and picks up the lightly sweetened honey flavor of a regular graham cracker. This super soft, moist, and melt in your mouth cookie is then drizzled generously with both peanut butter and honey. The creamy peanut butter drizzle and the sweetened honey drizzle combine perfectly with the graham cracker cookie to give you one mouthwatering dessert.

Peanut Butter & Honey Graham Cracker Cookies
Yields: about 50 cookies

Graham Cracker Cookies
1 cup (two sticks) salted-butter, softened
¾ cup brown sugar
¾ cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 eggs
1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 cup (about 7 cracker sheets) honey graham crackers, crumbled into small chunks
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda

5 ½ tablespoons peanut butter, melted
5 ½ tablespoons honey

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray.
Cream together butter and both sugars, until light and creamy.
Add eggs and vanilla. Mix until well combined.
In a separate bowl, combine flour, salt, and baking soda.
Gradually add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients. Stir until combined.
Using a spatula, fold in the honey graham cracker chunks.
Drop a generous tablespoon of dough (per cookie) onto the greased cookie sheet.
Bake 6-7 minutes or until cookies have a light golden brown color.
Transfer cookies to a cooling rack and let them cool completely.

In a microwave safe bowl, melt peanut butter until it’s of drizzling consistency (I melted two tablespoons at a time and it took about 45 seconds).
Drizzle peanut butter using a fork or spoon over the cookies.
Once the peanut butter drizzle has set, then drizzle the cookies with honey.
Let cookies sit for about 8-10 minutes before eating.

Peanut Butter & Honey Graham Cracker Cookies

Peanut Butter M&M Cookies

Peanut Butter M&M CookiesPeanut Butter M&Ms are a staple in my house.

Not a day, or really ten minutes, goes by without a Peanut Butter M&M being consumed.

And that’s not even an exaggeration. In fact, I just ate one.

You see, in my living room, on the coffee table, there are two Mason jars always filled with goodies. The smaller of the two jars is never filled with the same candy; last month it was filled with baby gumballs and this month, it’s filled with dark chocolate covered acai berries (which, if you haven’t tried, you should, because they are amazing…actually, on second thought, they would probably be even better in a cookie…Dark Chocolate Covered Acai Berry Cookies, anyone? Stay tuned for that one). The other Mason jar, the medium sized one, is always filled with Peanut Butter M&Ms.

I don’t remember when that jar became the Peanut Butter M&M jar. My mom uses the Mason jars as decoration and the candies were simply supposed to add a touch of color to the room. Sure, guests that came over could enjoy a chocolately snack, but I don’t think she intended for my family to be doing the bulk of consumption. In our defense, my mom made it a little too easy for us to snack on them. The jar is positioned perfectly between both couches, so that a simple stretch of the arm can get you a handful of peanut butter chocolate heaven.

See, we can’t be blamed. You’d probably do the exact same thing.

Peanut Butter M&Ms seem to be everyone’s favorite candy, without people actually realizing that they like them. What I mean, is that people, like my brother, Matt, who don’t like peanut butter, will sit there and single-handedly devour the entire contents of the jar without even breaking a sweat. Anyone who sits in our living room for more than five minutes reaches for the Peanut Butter M&M jar and if, by chance, we are out of Peanut Butter M&Ms their faces show the disappointment. Clearly, Peanut Butter M&Ms are candy gold. And that’s why I had to put them in a cookie. And, let me just tell you, I’m happy that I did.

Peanut Butter M&M Cookies

I’ve never baked with M&Ms before. I figured why mess with something that tastes pretty darn good by itself. But, boy was I wrong. These cookies taste just like a handful of Peanut Butter M&Ms, so if you like those, you’ll love these cookies. The cookie itself is super moist and chewy, and the dough has a subtle creamy peanut butter taste that adds to the softness of the cookie. Each bite is filled with a slight crunch from both the instant oats and the M&Ms as well a hint of chocolate from the M&M coating and a smooth peanut butter taste from the inside of the M&M. If you’re thinking it’s too much peanut butter, don’t, because even Matt, the supposed non-peanut butter lover, likes these cookies. I suggest pouring yourself a tall glass of milk and grabbing a handful of these cookies.

Peanut Butter M&M Cookies
Recipe slightly adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction
Yields: 25 cookies

½ cup (1 stick) salted butter, at room temperature
¼ cup sugar
½ cup brown sugar
¾ cup creamy peanut butter
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ cup quick oats
¾ cup (1 medium sized bag) Peanut Butter M&Ms

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray.
Cream together butter and both sugars, until light and fluffy.
Add the peanut butter, egg, and vanilla. Mix until well combined.
In another bowl, combine the flour and baking soda.
Gradually add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients. Stir until combined.
Fold quick oats and M&Ms into mixture.
Drop a generous tablespoon of dough (per cookie) onto the greased cookie sheet.
Bake for 9-10 minutes.
Transfer cookies to a cooling rack and let them cool for about 10 minutes (if you can wait that long) before eating.

 Peanut Butter M&M Cookies