I made these cupcakes weeks ago, but then I got all tangled up and crazy about muffins and I forgot about them. And they really don't deserve to be forgotten.
They remind me of carrot cake. Except that they're made with peanut butter. And no carrots at all. Maybe it was just the frosting that reminded me of carrot cake. Maybe carrot cake is way freaking off and you should just forget I ever made the comparison. Thank you.
I very much enjoyed these cupcakes. And I very much enjoyed the frosting. I wanted to use it to frost more than just cupcakes. I'm a tad obsessed, in case you couldn't tell. But is there anything better than cream cheese frosting? I think not. Well, maybe homemade whipped cream.
So, make these cupcakes and forget I ever decided to write this at nearly ten o'clock at night after having been up since five a.m. My "box of chocolates" schedule has started. And it makes me want to cry a little. No, a lot.
Now, I have to go to bed. I have a hot, messy date with 5 a.m. again tomorrow morning, but first? I'm going to have a bowl of fat-free chocolate ice cream and watch a Top Model rerun. And I don't care what you think. (Yes, I do.)
Oh, and whatever you do, do NOT over-bake these cupcakes! I mean, you don't want to over-bake anything, but... you know. And, by "you know" I mean I have absolutely no idea how to finish that sentence.
I think, after eighteen million muffin tries, I'm finally learning how to take things out of the oven when they're done. (Where this fear of under-baking came from, I'm not sure. But, sadly, this means I usually cook everything to brick-like consistency. Brick-like cupcakes? Not so good.)
Frosted Peanut Butter Cupcakes
4 tablespoons butter, softened
1 1/8 cups light brown sugar
1/3 cup crunchy peanut butter
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup milk
1 cup cream cheese
2 tablespoons butter, softened
2 cups confectioners' sugar
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.
Put the butter, sugar, and peanut butter in a bowl and beat together for 1-2 minutes, or until well mixed. Gradually add the eggs, beating well after each addition, then add the vanilla. Sift in the flour and baking powder and then, using a metal spoon, fold them into the mixture, alternating with the milk. Spoon the batter into the paper liners.
Bake the cupcakes in the preheated oven for 25 minutes, or until well risen and golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool.
To make the frosting, put the cream cheese and butter in a large bowl and using an electric hand whisk, beat together until smooth. Sift the confectioners' sugar into the mixture, then beat together until well mixed.
When the cupcakes are cold, spread the frosting on top of each cupcake, swirling it with a round-bladed knife. Store the cupcakes in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
(You can go here for a printer-friendly version of the recipe.)