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Snickers Cupcakes

Easily one of the best cupcake recipes I've come across, these chocolate cupcakes have middles that are filled with bits of snickers covered in homemade caramel sauce. What, did your teeth just tell you to stay away from these? You may want to make a dentist appointment after eating them, but they're amazing and will charm the pants off of your everyone at your party when you bring them out!

Chocolate Dump Cake

It may not have the prettiest title, but this chocolate cake is so easy that you'll actually volunteer to bring it to family functions. No kidding! With a shockingly low amount of ingredients, this chocolate cake spans seasons. Need a quick dessert for dinner? Dump cake. Need to bring a cake into work when you don't care enough to bake something for people you don't even like? Dump cake.

Red Velvet Cupcakes + Cream Cheese Icing

You only turn 26 once, and when you do you should celebrate with Red Velvet! These cupcakes come with a long line of recommendations and will not disappoint. Scouts honor.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Day 6: Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

I've been baking since 6:30. At least I think it was 6:30? I feel like I'm high from all of the cookie fumes, it could actually be midnight, who knows.

Wow. A picture of a picture. Classy.
One thing I do know is that it's National Cupcake Day! So let's celebrate by baking some chocolate peanut butter cup cookies! Today doesn't have to be all about cupcakes. You don't wear a diaper and shoot arrows at kids on Valentine's Day do you?

Don't answer that.
Anyway, today's recipe is another one for chocolate lovers. And peanut butter lovers! This cookie is literally the equivalent of peanut butter cups; chocolate on the outside, peanut butter goodness in the middle. Let me break it down for you.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
(WARNING: Dough Requires Refrigerate Time)

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter at room temp
1 large egg yolk
1 to 2 tablespoons cold milk or heavy cream as needed

1. Prepare the crust. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder, powdered sugar and salt together. Set aside like a talk show host.

2. With an electric mixer and a large bowl beat the butter on medium speed until light --about 2 minutes. Beat in the egg yolk. On a low speed, beat in the flour mixture until just mixed. Then beat in enough milk or cream to make a medium-stiff, fairly sticky dough.

3. Gather the dough into a ball, pat into a thick disk, and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm and easy enough to roll for 1-2 hours.

4. Lightly grease or spray mini muffin pan.

5. Place the dough disk on a floured pastry cloth or board (which is more realistic) and roll til 1/8 inch thick. Using a 2 1/2 inch round cookie cutter, cut out rounds. Gently ease each dough round into a prepared muffin cup, pressing against the bottom and sides to create an indentation. Refrigerate for 20-30 minutes.

6. Meanwhile, prepare the filling. In a food processor, combine the peanut butter, powdered sugar, vanilla and egg and process until a smooth, soft, sticky doughlike mixture forms. OR combine those ingredients in a medium bowl and beat with an electric mixer until the mixture forms. 

7. Gather the filling into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm enough to handle, 20-30 minutes. While the filling chills, preheat oven to 375.

8. Remove the dough cups from the fridge. Pinch off pieces of the filling and roll into balls a bit smaller than 1 inch. Place a ball in each dough cup, and flatten slightly with your fingers.

9. Bake in the center of the oven for 15 minutes. The filling should look puffy and when you insert a knife between a chocolate cup and the pan, the cup should loosen easily from the pan. Let cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes, then gently pry the chocolate cups out of the muffin pan with a bread knife. Let cool on wire racks.

Phew. Got all that? The recipe is pretty involved, I mean - it took me 18 minutes to write this blog post. 

If you know someone who loves peanut butter, and you want to do something nice for them for Christmas, I'd make them these. Just keep in mind that you'll never be able to top it. This sets the bar pretty high.

Until tomorrow friends. Back to the kitchen.

Source: Very Merry Cookie Party; How to Plan and Host a Christmas Cookie Exchange
By: Barbara Grunes and Virgina van Vynckt


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