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Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Reese's Pieces® Cupcakes

Over the weekend, Josh and I went to the movies to see "Horton Hears a Who" (fyi, cute movie). While we were there he helped me rekindle my love for Reese's Pieces buy spending a zillion dollars for a bag of them! It takes me forever to eat candy, so I still had half the bag yesterday morning. I decided to use them in these chocolate peanut butter cupcakes. I don't use cake mix very often, but I had some just sitting in the cabinet getting dusty. I spruced up the yellow cake mix with some peanut butter. I frosted them with chocolate buttercream (to which I added a bit of peanut butter). I'm not typically a "frosting lover." I usually scrape most of it off (except SMBC of course!). However, I was literally eating this chocolate PB buttercream by the spoonful out of the bowl. It's so creamy and good!! These cupcakes are extreeemely delicious. I couldn't eat them quietly... if you know what I'm saying. And the Reese's Pieces on top are a perfect crunchy surprise.
23 ready to be baked!
While the cupcakes were baking, I was reading the
ingredient label on the cake mix and noticed this startling fact...
I wonder what constitutes "excessive consumption."
cooling and smelling fabulous!
topped with Reese's Pieces
The final yummy product!
Who else is fed up with April showers making daylight too dull to get a good picture? I mean seriously, it has rained every single day since April 1. And my herb garden is dying because my seedlings need sunshine! :(

Recipe adapted from Cupcakes from the Cake Mix Doctor by Anne Byrn.

Peanut Butter Surprises
Makes 22-24 cupcakes

24 Hershey's Kisses (I omitted these)
1 package (18.25 ounces) plain yellow cake mix
1 1/3 cups water
1/3 cup smooth peanut butter
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
8 Reese's Peanut Butter Cups (.75 ounce each) (I omitted these)
Chocolate Buttercream (I changed this to Chocolate Peanut Butter Buttercream)

1. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 24 cupcake cups with paper liners. Set the pans aside. Unwrap 24 Hershey's Kisses and set them aside.
2. Place the cake mix, water, peanut but­ter, oil, eggs, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until blended, 30 seconds. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes longer, scraping down the sides again if necessary. The batter should be well blended. Spoon or scoop 1/4 cup batter into each lined cupcake cup, filling it two-thirds of the way full. (You will get between 22 and 24 cupcakes; remove the empty liners, if any.) Gently place 1 Kiss on top of each cupcake. Do not press the Kiss into the batter. Place the pans in the oven. Meanwhile, place the Peanut Butter Cups in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.
3. Bake the cupcakes until they are golden and spring back when lightly pressed with your finger, 18 to 20 min­utes. Remove the pans from the oven and place them on wire racks to cool for 5 minutes. Run a dinner knife around the edges of the cupcake liners, lift the cup­cakes up from the bottoms of the cups using the end of the knife, and pick them out of the cups carefully with your finger­tips. Place them on a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes before frosting.
4. Meanwhile, prepare the Chocolate Buttercream. Remove the Peanut Butter Cups from the freezer and coarsely chop them.
5. Place a heaping tablespoon of frosting on each cupcake and swirl to spread it out with a short metal spatula or metal spoon, taking care to cover the tops. Garnish with chopped Peanut Butter Cups. The cupcakes are ready to serve.

Store these cupcakes in a cake saver or under a glass dome at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Or freeze them wrapped in aluminum foil or in a cake saver for up to 6 months. Thaw the cupcakes overnight in the refrigerator before serving.

Chocolate Buttercream (My changes in orange make Chocolate PB Buttercream)

8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter; at room temperature

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3 cups confectioners' sugar; sifted
3 to 5 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Place the butter, peanut butter, and cocoa powder in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed until the mixture is soft and well combined, 30 seconds. Stop the machine and add the confectioners sugar (I just guestimated while adding sugar. It was probably more like 2 cups), 3 tablespoons of the milk, and the vanilla. Blend with the mixer on low speed until the sugar is incorporated, 1 minute. Increase the speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy, 1 minute more. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons more milk if the frost­ing is too stiff.

Overall rating on a scale of 1-5
Moistness: 5
Tenderness: 4
Frosting: 5


Cakespy said...

Not only adorable, but featuring my favorite candies!? Yes please!

Sweet Sins said...

I love Reese's Pieces... They are my FAV!!! This is great I am going to have to try these at some point!!

Sweet Sins said...

No problem dude! You can never get too much exposure... Plus your pics are cuter then mine!! haha

Diana Evans said...

oh yumm...this combination is my favorite...

dlb said...

these look tasty! the frosting sounds sooo good...

CupcakeLady said...

I love the chocolate peanut butter icing. That sounds yummy!!! I live in VA, too, and yes, it has rained every single day...well, except for today! Happy bakings!

Amy said...

Two of my favorite things--peanut butter and chocolate! My son and I are gonna have to try these!

Carla said...

HAHAHAHAHAAHAHA I can't believe they put that on the label!! What brand is it?

Cupcakes look yummy, as usual :)

kristina said...

The reeses look adorable on the top. It's too bad they overcharge at the theatre but at least it provided some peanut buttery inspiration for you!

Jen said...

Just came across your site today and love it! I have the same cupcake cookbook. It rocks!

Carla said...

I just realized you had the title of the box in your first picture. Oops lol Another reason to use real sugar.

shannie cakes said...

april showers??? i just moved to oregon, it rains every day... always. and forever. beyond that, i thought it was supossed to be spring, but it was SNOWING the other day. this florida girl is soooo confused!

(cute cupcakes by the way)

Mimi said...

I love reese's pieces! These cupcakes look great, and soo mouth-watering. I just came across your blog the other day and I LOVE it. :)

Mara said...

these sound so yummy. btw the laxative effect is because they are using sucralose in the mix. portion control haha.

i made peanut butter SMBC the other night for vanilla buttermilk cupcakes and it was a huge hit. thanks to you for the inspiration on mixing things into SMBC.

Gigi said...

You can't go wrong with chocolate and peanut butter. Yummy!

P.S. love the new header!

shannie cakes said...

florida to oregon. over 3,000 miles far. nine days in a kia far. with three adults, a cat, a dog, and all our worldly possessions... far. the problem is my husband is some sort of like... scientific genius or something (which trust me i wasn't expecting considering his obsession with the simpsons and his checkered past of flunking his first year of college and all the pot smoking he did in high school...). anyway, he's getting his PHd at OSU (which is actually closer then the University of Melbourne in Australia or the University of Stolkhom in Sweden which were his original choices). so yup i live in this TINY little town in Oregon, quite the change from Orlando, Fl where I spent my first 23 years. But Oregon is beautiful so...

shannie cakes said...

for all my tattoos and liberal politics... i'm surprisingly old fashioned. i lived with my parents my final year of college (when i met ian) and he still lived with his parents so ian basically moved in to my parents house-- he was over 5(ish) nights a week for 6 months... my parents started buying him special groceries! it was cute.

at the same time my sister had just bought her first house with her boyfriend who she had been with for 2 years. about 6 months after she bought the house he decided to move to LA and wanted her to go with him. unfortunately she OWNED A HOUSE and was in contract with her job for 2 years. i refused to let that happen to me. if you're living together, i think all decisions should be made together and i made that clear to ian.

ian went away for 6 months at an internship out of town and i moved in with a friend of mine. before ian left i made it clear that i planned on going with him when he went to grad school, but i would have my own place because i wasn't about to be left high and dry and LIVING with someone. i also mentioned that if we were engaged i wouldn't mind co-habitation. so we had definitely talked about getting married (truthfully i sort of down played my intentions that we should get married 'cuz we had only been together for a little over 6 months)... so three months into his internship he came home to visit me and get burritos at moes. he was acting like a freak (to say the least) and we were fighting a bit so when he mentioned moving in when he was done with his internship i sort of went off like "you know how i feel about that don't pressure me to do something i'm not comfortable with blah blah blah" and he's like "uhm... open the glove box and tell me what you think".

and boom. we lived happily ever after. nah we were engaged for a year and three months and truthfully knowing we were both in it for the long haul saved our relationship when i was 3,000 miles from home and homesick.

but yeah i always wanted to move away but never would have had the guts to do it by myself or on my own terms. i'm a really co-dependent person and i don't think there is anything wrong with that.

college isn't for everyone. i have my degree and i don't use it in my chosen field but i'm glad i got it because i just love reading and thats what i got to do for four years. my friend sounds a lot like your boyfriend and just started his undergrad in philosophy this year and he loves it... it just took him some time to decide what he wanted to do (be a professor)!

so there's my novel (:
if you ever want more insight into smart boys you can hit me up on instant messenger: ShannieSaysYo

Claire said...

Yum...I love Reeses pieces. They are the best! I bet this is wonderful.

Janna said...

I think peanut butter and chocolate can never go wrong. So these look yum to me!

Mimi said...

I made the bananas cupcakes this weekend, chck em out! :)

Marq said...

....you can NEVER go wrong when combining peanut butter and chocolate. I'm still lmao @ the "excessive comsumption" warning!

Sam said...

Thanks for the comment and inspiration :-) You've created another lover of SMBC (and these Reese's Pieces cupcakes sound awesome too)!

kimberly said...

I just stumbled across your site, and absolutely love it. Great recipes and great pictures! I definitely want to try these PB and chocolate cupcakes. Yummy...

steph- whisk/spoon said...

yum! ET would love these, unless of course they gave him diarrhea (kidding!)!

Anonymous said...

I just made Amy's vanilla cupcakes tonight and used this chocolate peanut butter frosting. I have to say it was probably the BEST cupcake I have ever had! The frosting makes it!

Nakki said...

Did anyone else's frosting come out kind of lumpy? I'm thinking its my peanut butter...its creamy, but does have some small nuts (used 'Laura Scudder's Old Fashioned Peanut Butter'). I ended up using 3 C. of Powdered Sugar (you could still slightly taste the cocoa), and hence 5 Tbls. But it does taste yummy despite the lumpy, harsh?ness! Oh, and it looks fine.