Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

Have you ever had such a close friend that their family sort of became your family too?  Well I have at least two friends like that, and today, these cupcakes celebrate the birthday of my basically-sister, Claire- the real sister of my BFF, Shannon.

Claire is 22 today!  I asked her if she was excited, and she said no not really, because 22 isn’t that exciting of a birthday.  (I disagree, all birthdays are exciting in my world).  Obviously, I had to bake her something really yummy to be excited about!

These are another Pintrest find.  I expected the cupcakes to be light and fluffy, but I was soooo wrong about that.  I forgot that peanut butter makes everything heavy and dense, so in reality these turned out to have a texture more like that of a chocolate chip cookie.  But still… they are delish! I made them dairy free by replacing  the butter and milk with soy milk and Earth balance, and I used my favorite vegan peanut butter buttercream recipe instead of the one that the recipe listed (it’s the best frosting I’ve ever had, period).

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cupcakes
Makes 15-18 cupcakes

1 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 smooth natural peanut butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup whole milk
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/4 cup margarine, softened
2 tablespoons non-hydrogenated shortening
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter (don’t use natural for the frosting, it will make the frosting a weird texture)
1 tablespoon barley malt syrup or molasses (optional, but barley malt syrup makes this frosting perfect)
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups confectioners sugar
1-2 tablespoons non-dairy milk

For Cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine milk and vanilla in small bowl. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in bowl. Beat Butter and sugars in mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs and blend until smooth. Slowly mix in peanut butter. Add half the flour mixture and blend slowly. When fully incorporated, add milk mixture. Continue to blend slowly. Add remaining flour mixture and mis on low speed just until incorporated. Add chocolate chips and fold in by hand. Scoop into 12 lined baking cups and bake for about 22 minutes, or until tops spring back when lightly touched and the edges are golden brown.

For the Frosting: Cream margarine and shortening in a large bowl. Add peanut butter, barley malt syrup and vanilla, and beat until very smooth or for about 2-3 minutes. Beat in sugar; mixture will be very stiff at this point. Dribble in milk a little at a time, beating until frosting is a pale tan color and very fluffy. Frost cooled cupcakes.

Cupcake recipe from Recipe Snobs
Frosting recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World by Isa Chandra Moskowitz

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