Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

November is National Peanut Butter Lovers Month!!  Yippee.  Mr. Happy Plate is most definitely classified as a Peanut Butter Lover.  He is always asking me to make desserts with peanut butter in them... even if the dessert doesn't necessarily go with peanut butter.  He. Does. Not. Care.  MORE peanut butter!

So, to celebrate Peanut Butter Lovers month, and to make my husband happy, I made chocolate cupcakes yesterday with peanut butter frosting (on top of the other 6 dishes I was making in preparation for Thanksgiving).  They tasted great, and he took 12 of them to work today to share with co-workers.  He better come home with an empty cupcake tin, as we are leaving today for NY, and I cannot ride 8 hours in a car with delicious chocolate peanut butter cupcakes!  Enough said.


12 tablespoons unsalted butter,
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 1/3 cups packed dark brown sugar
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup buttermilk
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup heavy cream
1 10-ounce bag peanut butter chips
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Line a 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake liners.
Combine the butter, cocoa powder and 1/4 cup water in a microwave-safe bowl, and microwave until the butter melts, about 2 minutes. Whisk to combine, then whisk in the brown sugar.
Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Whisk in the warm cocoa mixture. In another bowl, whisk the buttermilk, egg and vanilla; stir into the batter until just combined but don't overmix.

Divide the batter among the prepared cups, filling each three-quarters of the way. Bake until the cupcakes spring back when touched, about 18 minutes. Let cool in the pan 5 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Make the topping: Microwave the cream in a microwave-safe bowl for about 1-2 minutes, then add the peanut butter chips and let stand until the chips melt, about 5 minutes. Whisk until smooth. Refrigerate until the topping is set, about 10 minutes, then beat with a mixer until fluffy. Transfer to a pastry bag and pipe peaks onto each cupcake.

Sprinkle with more cocoa powder and chocolate sprinkles if desired.