As I continue to bake my way through Dorie’s cookbook, I’m also making some headway on my Cupcakes book by Elinor Klivans. I love making cupcakes because they’re a lot less work than some other treats and they make great snacks for Shane to bring to work during the week. When I first bought this book and flipped through, these peanut butter cupcakes caught my eye. I’ve never had peanut butter cupcakes before, but you really can’t go wrong with the combination of chocolate and peanut butter!

As I baked last night, it was all I could do not to eat each and every one of these cupcakes when they came out of the oven. The smell of the batter and of the finished cupcakes was intoxicating and truly difficult to resist. I did manage to overcome temptation luckily. Shane, however, had 2 of these cupcakes today and declared them his favorite cupcakes ever! He said they had wonderful peanut butter flavor and were very dense but still moist. Between his review and their scent, I will likely be trying one of these tomorrow night!

Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Milk Chocolate Glaze
from Cupcakes by Elinor Klivans

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter, at room temperature
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk (any fat content)

For the Glaze:
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 cup (about 5 3/4 ounces) chopped milk chocolate or milk chocolate chips
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line 12 muffin tin cups with paper cupcake liners.

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a medium bowl and set aside.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter, peanut butter, and brown sugar until smoothly blended and lightened in color, about 1 minute. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed during mixing. Mix in the egg. Add the vanilla and beat for 1 minute, or until the batter is smooth. On low speed, add the flour mixture in 3 additions and the milk in 2 additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture and mixing just until the flour is incorporated and the batter looks smooth.

Fill each paper liner with a generous 1/4 cup of batter, to about 1/3 inch below the top of the liner. Bake just until the tops feel firm and are lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 22 minutes. There will be a few small cracks on the top. Cool the cupcakes for 10 minutes in the pan on a wire rack before turning the cupcakes themselves onto the rack to cool completely.

To Make the Glaze

In a medium saucepan, heat the cream and butter over low heat until the cream is hot and the butter has melted. The mixture should form tiny bubbles and measure about 175 F on a thermometer; do not let it boil. Remove the pan from the heat, add the milk chocolate, and let it sit in the hot cream for about 30 seconds to soften. Add the vanilla and whisk the glaze until it is smooth and all of the chocolate has melted. (Return the glaze to low heat if necessary to melt the chocolate completely, whisking constantly.) The glaze should be thick enough to hold its shape when spread over the cupcakes. If it is too liquid to spread, let sit at room temperature for 5 to 15 minutes, depending on the temperature of your kitchen.

Using a small spatula, spread 1 tablespoon of the glaze over the top of each cupcake.

Makes 12 cupcakes.