Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Peanut Butter Cup...Cupcakes

Y'all. These were so delicious. I have to share.

They were inspired by a recipe I pinned from an awesome feature on Babble, "15 Dessert Recipes in a Jar" (serious yumminess.) I really wanted to do a dessert in a jar, so I picked several of these for Luke to choose from for his birthday dinner. It was no contest: Peanut Butter filled, chocolate covered cupcakes? Sold. Here's the original recipe:

 However... After my Nutella banana bread disappointment, I was nervous. These were for company, and I didn't want an untested cake recipe. Also...the recipe makes 12, and I needed 15.

So... I went with a tried and true, family favorite recipe for Chocolate Bundt cake as the base (thinking this would also increase the amount, since the Bundt cake is bigger than a normal cake).

Then I used the concept of the cake in a jar, and the peanut butter/powdered sugar mixture for the filling, and the chocolate topping from the recipe above. And I got magic.

Here's the recipe I used:

1 Chocolate cake mix (I used Ducan Hines Devil's Food)
1 package instant chocolate pudding
4 eggs
1/2 c oil
1/2c water
8 oz sour cream
1 tsp vanilla

For the peanut butter filling:
1c peanut butter
1 1/2c powdered sugar

8-10oz dark chocolate (you need 1/2 oz for each jar)

Preheat oven to 350.

Mix together cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, oil, and water. Fold in sour cream & vanilla.

In a separate bowl, blend peanut butter & powdered sugar. (I had to add some extra peanut butter - I added by the tablespoon until it wasn't crumbly, and I could roll it into balls.) Form into balls - as many as you need for the number of jars you're making (I'd recommend 12.)

 Spray your mason jars. Put 1/4c of cake batter in each jar. Then push a peanut butter ball into each jar. Cover with batter - because I was stretching my batter, I used my 1/8c measure, and I had to really scrape to get all of the balls covered. I think I'd like these even better if they were in 12 jars and the jars were a little more full.

Bake @ 350 for 25 minutes and then check, and continue to bake for 5 minute increments until the tops spring back when you touch them. I ended up baking mine for 35 minutes. I found that it was easiest to bake them on a baking sheet, so it was easier to take them in and out of the oven.

Once they are done, remove from oven. Place 1/2 oz dark chocolate on top of each cake. I used this:

If you're OCD like me, and you bought chocolate that has a seal or imprint, put that face down. Otherwise you'll obsess that it's not disappearing as the chocolate melts.

The original recipe says to place the chocolate on and then seal with the lid and ring (holding the jars with a towel, because they'll be hot). I don't know why you have to seal the jars, but it is fun to hear them pop and seal.

As the chocolate melts, swirl the jars around (using a towel again) so that the entire top of the cake is covered. I had to kind of shake and jiggle, but the chocolate did eventually melt and cover the entire top of most of the cakes.

You can store these in your fridge for up to a week. I made them the day before. Then stuck a candle in for our birthday boy and dug in!

I am in love with this dessert. The creamy peanut butter filling in the dense, moist chocolate cake, with that hard layer of dark chocolate on top? Delicious. If you don't like really rich, chocolatey desserts, then this is not the dessert for you. As an added bonus: Mason Jars. Love.

** I checked my pudding box, and it doesn't say anything about wheat or gluten. Assuming that's gluten free, using a gluten free cake mix as the base makes this recipe golden for my GF friends.