When Annie posted these a couple of weeks ago, I immediately put them at the top of my “to-do” list. At first glance, I thought I wouldn’t really be into them. Never been much of a cookie gal. But, when I realized that the “cookie” on top was in fact frosting? Like I said, right to the top of my list!
Rich and chocolatey, these cupcakes really pack a punch. Moist chocolate cake, enrobed with a bittersweet chocolate ganache. And, the pièce de résistance – the cookie frosting. Which, was just right. Not overwhelmingly sweet. Annie had mentioned she thought they were reminiscent of a buckeye, and I totally concur. We loved them! A new favorite to add to the books.
Peanut Butter Cookie Cupcakes
For the cupcakes:
1½ cups hot brewed coffee
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
1½ tsp. baking soda
¾ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
12 tbsp. (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1½ cup packed brown sugar
¾ cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
For the ganache:
6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
½ cup heavy cream
For the peanut butter cookie frosting:
9 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1½ cups creamy peanut butter
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with paper liners. In a bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together the hot brewed coffee and cocoa powder until dissolved. Set aside. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugars. Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Blend in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl as needed. Blend in the vanilla.
With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients in three additions alternating with the coffee-cocoa mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix each addition just until incorporated, being careful not to overmix. Divide the batter between the prepared liners, filling each about two-thirds of the way full. Bake about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pans briefly, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
When the cupcakes are cool, make the ganache by placing the chopped chocolate in a small bowl. Bring the cream to a simmer, pour over the chocolate, and let stand about 2 minutes. Whisk together until a smooth ganache forms. If needed, let cool briefly at room temperature to thicken slightly before using.
To make the peanut butter cookie frosting, combine the peanut butter and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on medium-high for 1 minute. Turn off the mixer, add in the confectioners’ sugar and mix on low speed until fully incorporated. Increase the speed to medium and mix until smooth, about 2 minutes. Scoop about 1 tablespoon of the peanut butter mixture and use clean, dry hands to form it into a patty. Use the tines of a fork to make the classic crisscross pattern on top of the “cookie”. Repeat with the remaining peanut butter mixture.
Use an offset spatula to spread a layer of ganache over the top of each cupcake. Place a peanut butter “cookie” on top of each cupcake.