Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Peanut Butter Jaming.

I love peanut butter. I can't get enough of it. That moment in the morning when you spread it onto hot toast and wait a few seconds for it to melt into the bread and get all soggy before you launch in. Just add some thick jam and I'm yours for life. Now the only thing I may, may love more would have to be cupcakes. I don't know what it is. But I trawl books and cooking sites for pictures of tiny, colorful buttons of happiness for hours. It induces the sort of spasms of emotion that verge on an diabetic attack. And I'm always looking for ways to push the usual cupcake boundaries and introduce new flavors, so it's probably no surprise that I've been quietly thinking about P&J cupcakes for some time.
There is only one problem.
I have a secret.
I HATE peanut butter in sweets. Please don't tell anyone. I just cannot stand the saltiness of peanut butter cookies, Hershey's peanut butter cups, even peanut butter ice cream always leaves me feeling pretty sketch.
But the temptation to combine my two great loves finally overwhelmed me, so here is my solution.
Now I do warn you I tend to cook by sight and taste more than from a recipe so these numbers are more an estimate than a guide, so don't feel too constrained by them.

3/4 C. Plain flour
1/2 tsp. Baking powder
1/4 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp. Baking soda
75g. Butter
1/2 C. Peanut butter (I used crunchy everyone has a preference)
1 Egg
1/4 C Milk
1/2 tsp Vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 180
2. Sift all dry ingredients in a large bowl
3. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy
4. Slowly add lightly beaten egg, vanilla and milk to butter and sugar mix
5. Beat in dry ingredients slowly
6. Spoon into muffin tins and bake for 20 min, checking after 15

Add more of less milk depending on how your consistency is looking. And remember to monitor cooking time because it will change depending on how dense you choose to make your batter.


Now this bit can be a bit messy, but it's what makes them really amazing.
When your cupcakes are cool, pop about 1/2 Cup of good quality jam into the microwave for about 20 seconds or until runny. Pour into an icing bag, and very gently insert the nozle into the center of your cake. Squeez and fill until the cake is almost ready to explode. Now some may actually explode a little bit, I personally think this is the best case senario, because the muffin case will keep it more or less together.

Finally combine a few tsp of softened peanut butter, icing sugar and hot water to make your icing. Again the exact mesurements really depend on you tastes and prefered consistancy. Then just ice and top with a cherry!

They're not the prettiest cupcakes in the world, but they're pretty intense, which if you're like me is the only way you like your baked goods!

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