Chocolate Peanut Butter Bat Cupcakes
Halloween is almost here and what better way to celebrate than with some cute little bat cupcakes? Chocolate cupcakes are swirled with both peanut butter and peanut butter chips for a moist cake base topped with rich chocolate ganache and decorated with halved peanut butter cups dipped in extra chocolate.
I absolutely love Halloween so I enjoy making themed cupcakes for the kids in my building (on top of handing out candy of course – and I make sure that they are “parent sanctioned”!).
For the peanut butter cupcakes:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2/3 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
1 cup whole milk
1½ cups peanut butter chips
For the chocolate frosting:
10 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
½ cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
½ teaspoon black gel food coloring
8 ounces dark chocolate
¼ cup vegetable oil
½ teaspoon black gel food coloring, plus additional for eyes
24 peanut butter cups, unwrapped and halved
½ cup cream cheese frosting
For the peanut butter cupcakes:
Heat the oven to 350ºF. Line 2 (12 cup) cupcake tin with cupcake liners and set aside.
In a large bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa powder and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment cream the butter and the sugar until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla and peanut butter and continue to beat to combine.
On the lowest speed alternate adding the dry ingredients and the milk, beating until the ingredients are just combined. Use a wooden spoon to stir in the peanut butter chips.
Scoop the batter into the prepared cups, filling until 2/3 full. Bake until the tops are puffed and cooked completely through, about 25 minutes. Let cool for about 5 minutes then remove the cupcakes to a wire cooling rack until completely cooled.
For the chocolate ganache:
In a medium saucepot over medium-low heat, stir together the chocolate chips, cream, butter and sugar. Cook, whisking occasionally, until the mixture is smooth and the chocolate has melted, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the food coloring until completely combined. Remove from heat and let cool. Once cool use a spoon to spread the ganache on the cupcakes.
Using the double boiler method to heat chocolate, bring a medium saucepot of water to a boil then place a medium heatproof mixing bowl over the top. Add the chocolate and canola oil stirring until the chocolate is smooth and completely melted. Add the food coloring, stirring to combine.
Add the halved peanut butter cups to a wire rack placed over a baking sheet. Spoon the chocolate over the top of the peanut butter cups so they are entirely covered on all sides. Refrigerate until the chocolate is hardened, about 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Attach the chocolate covered peanut butter cups to the cupcakes using toothpicks. Add the cream cheese frosting to a piping bag fitted with a small round tip. Squeeze the bag and use a knifeto cut ¼” pieces of the frosting to make eyes. Dip a toothpick in the food coloring to make the blacks of the eyes. Repeat with all the cupcakes.
Makes 24 cupcakes.