Salted Caramel Peanut Butter Cupcakes

By two totally objective measures, autumn has arrived.  The first is that the neighbourhood school is now back in session.  I was definitely a bit sad to have our peace and quiet from the local school ended after the break, but it feels like those dreamy, loose unplanned summer days are ending.  Which is sad, but also exciting to welcome the crisp structure of windy autumn days.

The second is the return of pumpkin spice lattes.  While I’m not a coffee drinker (I’m a hot chocolate fan myself), the scent drifting out of Starbucks signals the beginning of pumpkin season – not only in Starbucks, but also on my favourite blogs.  Pumpkin is back with a vengeance!

I want to stay in denial for another couple weeks before beginning my autumn and Halloween orientated recipes, but I thought I’d start easing myself into fall.  And I thought this combination of peanut butter (a back to school classic) and salted caramel (delicious any time of year, but I’ve always thought very autumn oriented.)  Anyone who doesn’t think this is a good combination has never tried these babies.

And according to my peanut butter loving friend, Niall, the results weren’t half bad!

Salted Caramel Peanut Butter Cupcakes

Cupcake ingredients (adapted from Food Network):

55g unsalted butter

125g creamy peanut butter

100g light brown sugar

1 large egg

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

160ml milk

155g plain flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 bag Chips Ahoy Chocolate Cookie with Reeses Peanut Butter Cups

Salted caramel sauce (this is to taste – can be homemade or bought)

IngredientsCream together brown sugar with unsalted butter and peanut butter.

Cream together brown sugar with unsalted butter and peanut butterMix in egg, vanilla and milk.

Mix in egg, vanilla and milkSift in dry ingredients.

Sift in dry ingredientsPull out a cupcake tin and cupcake liners.  At the bottom of each cupcake liner, put in a cookie (as a kind of built-in crust).  Pour in 2 tablespoons of batter on top of the cookie.

Pour in 2 tablespoons of batter on top of the cookieBake at 170C for about 20 minutes (you want the centre to come out clean.)

Bake at 170C for about 20 minutesCore the cupcake and fill it with salted caramel sauce.

Core the cupcake and fill it with salted caramel sauceFrosting ingredients (adapted from Peanut Butter Comfort)

85g unsalted butter

85g creamy peanut butter

1 tablespoon milk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

375g icing sugar

Salted caramel sauce

Unwrapped Reeses Cups miniatures

Sea salt

Frosting ingredientsCombine butter, peanut butter, milk and vanilla.  Sift in icing sugar.  If it needs to be a bit less stiff, add more milk.  To make it a bit thicker, add icing sugar.

Sift in icing sugarPipe the frosting onto cupcakes.

Pipe the frosting onto cupcakesDrizzles the caramel sauce and  Sprinkle some sea salt.

Sprinkle some sea salt

Place a mini Reeses right in the centre of the cupcake top for the finishing touch.

Salted Caramel Peanut Butter Cupcakes

And take a bite to appreciate autumn beginning!

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