Chocolate and coffee and Reese’s…oh, my! Sounds amazing, doesn’t it? If you think the title is awesome, you should taste the cupcakes! No fooling, these are the best cupcakes I’ve ever eat warm out of the oven…while the peanut butter cup was still gooey. And they’re fabulous when they’re cooled and frosted with dark chocolate ganache, too. That’s dark chocolate ganache with the extra peanut butter cups melted in. You heard me. Wipe the drool off your chin, and I’ll tell you how I made them. It all starts with a cake mix, so it’s easier than you think.
Dark Chocolate Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup-Cakes:
• One Betty Crocker Triple Chocolate Fudge cake mix
• One cup of your leftover morning coffee (room temp)
• 1/3 cup Hershey’s Dark Chocolate Syrup
• 1/2 cup vegetable oil
• 3 jumbo (or extra-large) eggs
• One 12-oz. package of miniature Reese’s Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
Preheat your oven to 350F. In a large bowl, beat everything but the peanut butter cups together with a mixer for 2-3 minutes, until everything is combined and fluffy. Place 24 cupcake liners into muffin pans. I like to use an ice cream scoop to make sure each cupcake is the same size. Once filled, unwrap the miniature peanut butter cups and press one into the top of each cupcake, just until level with the top of the cupcake batter. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Remember, the peanut butter cup will be in the center, so you may want to test the cupcake closer to the edge. Once done, remove them from the oven and allow them to cool for 10-15 minutes in the pans. Remove from the muffin pans and place them onto baking racks to cool completely.
Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Ganache:
• One 11.5-oz. bag of Guittard Extra Dark Chocolate Chips (63% cacao)
• One cup of heavy whipping cream, just brought to a gentle boil
• The leftover peanut butter cups (I had 10 leftover from above)
• 1/2 to 1 cup of powdered sugar, as needed (read instructions below)
In a large mixing bowl, combine the chocolate chips and leftover peanut butter cups (unwrapped, of course). Pour the hot whipping cream over the chocolate and allow to sit and soften for 3-4 minutes. Using a mixer, slowly beat the chocolate and cream until mostly combined, then turn the power up to high and beat until smooth. Turn the mixer speed back down to low and slowly add powdered sugar just until the ganache starts to thicken. Remember, ganache thickens some on its own, so you don’t need to mix too much sugar in. I say mix it up, let it sit for 30-45 minutes, then decided if you want it thicker or not. If you’d rather dip the tops of your cupcakes into the ganache, you can omit the powdered sugar all together. The ganache without the powdered sugar will give you a glossy chocolate glaze. The ganache with the powdered sugar will give you a thicker, spreadable frosting that will not be glossy. It’s really just a matter of personal preference. I used the powdered sugar and made mine thick so I could really pile it on. Either way, make sure your cupcakes are completely cooled before frosting. There’s only one last thing you’ll need for these: a really big glass of cold milk. I’d share, but these are going to Austin this weekend for my daughter’s birthday. Maybe next time.
Note: Special thanks to my cupcake muse, Jennifer at Jane Deere Blog. She made something similar for her son’s birthday last week, which inspired me to create my own version for my daughter. Thanks, Jennifer! You can see her little masterpieces at: http://janedeereblog.blogspot.com/2011/01/peanut-butter-cup-cupcakes.html