I'm on a cupcake tear, looking for ways to use up the rest of that wonderful chocolate sour cream frosting I just made.
What goes better than peanut butter and chocolate? I found a recipe on allrecipes.com and lowered the fat and sugar content somewhat, subbed whole wheat pastry flour for the all-purpose and added some coffee and cinnamon flavors. OMG are these good! They're very light, almost delicate, but they're also very moist and flavorful. Flavorings are absolutely perfect. The coffee and cinnamon are very subdued, but somehow they enhance the peanut butter flavor. You must try these, especially with the great sour cream chocolate frosting. I topped half of them with miniature Reese cups, cut in half horizontally and left the other half plain. These are 1 dozen cupcakes made in heaven. If I make them again, I'll add 1/4 cup more peanut butter because I think they'll be even better. One thing more: you can certainly use regular homogenized peanut butter with sugar added, instead of the natural which I used. It will be much easier to mix the batter using the homogenized. When you use the natural, it's heavier and doesn't mix as easily. This means you must spend some time scraping the bottom to be sure you have incorporated the peanut butter into the batter. If you opt to use the homogenized, sugar-added peanut butter, you might want to reduce the sugar by a few tablespoons, because they are sweet enough without extra sugar. Unless, of course, you are a sugarholic.
3/4 cup milk (I used fat-free H&H)
1 tsp. instant coffee granules (I used decaf)
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 cup brown sugar (I used 3/4 c. brown sugar + 1 tsp. Stevia)
1 Tbsp. Smart Balance buttery spread, softened
generous 1/2 cup natural peanut butter, room temp (I used Smucker's natural creamy)
(Note: I would use 3/4 cup peanut butter for an even stronger peanut butter flavor.)
1 large egg
1-1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour (or half whole wheat flour, half all-purpose flour)
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Big pinch of sea salt
1/2 cup applesauce (I used no-sugar added applesauce)
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 12-cup cupcake pan with paper liners. Pour milk into a measuring cup. Add coffee granules and vanilla and stir well; set aside.
In bowl of a stand mixer, using medium speed, beat together first 3 ingredients until light and fluffy. (If you are using natural peanut butter, it will not get light and fluffy.) Add egg and continue beating till well incorporated, scraping bottom and sides as necessary.
In a small bowl, combine flour, soda, cream of tartar, cinnamon and salt, mixing well. Add the dry mix to the peanut butter mix alternately with the milk mix. Be sure to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl often to incorporate all of the peanut butter into the batter.
Divide batter evenly into the 12 cups, using about 1/4 cup batter for each. Bake for 15-20 minutes (mine took 18 minutes), until a wooden pick inserted near center returns with just a few crumbs. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely before frosting with your favorite frosting.