My hubby and I have a friend, the Professor, who has been absolutely instrumental in developing this blog. As a fellow foodie, he reads several food blogs regularly and fantasizes about starting one himself one day. However, it is much easier to live vicariously through me and he has provided me with a ton of helpful tips. From food styling to post writing, he has been a wealth of useful information.
Now the professor loves peanut butter and jelly. He would have it 3 to 4 times a week as a boy. However, his wife becomes rather ill from anything peanut. Attempts were made to substitute almond butter but as you can imagine, it was not the same. Sigh. Consequently, he gave up and sadly pb&j is no longer a part of his life.
My theory is that our love of pb&j stems not just from the flavor. As a child, someone always made it for us. Eating it always feels like a gift, even if it is now a gift to ourselves. Plus it recalls a simpler time when our only worry was to be home in time for dinner. We never thought about what would we eat for dinner or who would cook it or worse, how to pay for it.
Since the professor’s birthday is approaching, I decided to make him peanut butter and jelly cupcakes. It is my gift for all his support, advice, and selfless cake tasting, which let’s face it, is a very taxing job.
Revised June 1, 2014
Yields 24 Cupcakes
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen’s Best Birthday Cake
3 cups flour mix D
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups sour cream
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
3 large eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup whole milk
10 ounces peanut butter chips
16 tablespoons (2 sticks) salted butter
5 to 6 cups confectioner's sugar
12 ounces grape jelly
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line 2 muffin tins with cupcake liners.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the first four ingredients and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and cream cheese at medium speed for two minutes. Add the sugar and continue to beat for five minutes. Scrape down the bowl.
- Add sour cream and beat for one minute. Scrape down the bowl.
- Add the vanilla and beat for one minute. Scrape down the bowl.
- At low speed, add the eggs 1 at a time, beating for one minute. and scraping down the bowl after each addition.
- Add the flour in three parts to the batter. Mix each addition for one minute. Scrape down the bowl after each addition.
- Once all the ingredients are combined, scrape down the bowl a final time. Then turn the mixer back up to medium speed for 30 seconds.
- Fill each liner 2/3 full. This will be about 1/4 cup of the batter.
- Place the pans on the center rack and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the tops spring back when you touch them or a toothpick comes out clean of batter. Tip: Be not sure not to “over” bake these cupcakes. Cupcakes continue to bake a bit when removed from the oven so as long as the cake springs back, it does not need to be hard.
- Remove the pans from the oven and place them on cooling racks. Cool the cupcakes in the pans for 5 minutes before removing them to cool completely. Tip: Do not leave the cupcakes in the pans for more than 5 minutes. They will continue to bake and become dry.
- In a saucepan over medium heat, heat the milk to a simmer. Add the peanut butter chips and stir occasionally until they melt. Tips: 1. Don’t worry if the mixture is not completely smooth. If you smell roasted nuts, it’s done. Remove from the heat and let cool. 2. Pouring the mixture into a new bowl will help it cool faster.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add the peanut butter mixture and beat until combined.
- Gradually add the confectioner's sugar (1/2 cup at a time) and beat until thick.
- Let the frosting sit 10 to 15 minutes before using.
- Cut a hole in the center of each cupcake. Save the cake you removed for step 3. For technique, view: How to Fill a Cupcake .
- Fill each cupcake 3/4 full with grape jelly.
- From each chunk of cake you removed, slice off the top and use it to cover the jelly.
- Frost with Peanut Butter Frosting.
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