My father, on the other hand, had a salty tooth. Potato chips were his idea of a treat. My mother loved sweets, too, but was on a perpetual diet, usually something nasty involving grapfruit and soft-boiled eggs. Urp. So it was pretty much in self-defense that I started baking. If no one was going to bring treats into the house, by gosh, I'd make them!
I loved making cakes because cakes involved frosting, a seperate and important food group. I still love cakes - for celebrations, a layer cake, for picnics a 9 x 13 pan cake, but for pure kid fun, nothing beats cupcakes.
My daughter needed a treat to take to her group of high school girls she leads so I had a great excuse to pull my 4 year old baking buddy into the kitchen. If you're a baking purist, this will make you ill, but he loves baking a boxed cake mix. We had fun with him breaking the eggs and helping hold the mixer. Then I wanted to dress up the cupcakes a little, turn up the fun meter a notch. I had some mini Reese's peanut butter cups sitting in a drawer, so together we unwrapped them and placed one in each cupcake. Actually, I placed and he submerged, but they all worked out the same. You bite into it and encounter a sunken Reese's in the middle. Then, to echo the Reese's theme I hid a layer of peanut butter under the chocolate frosting. Delicious!
If you are anti-boxed mix, certainly you can make this with your favorite chocolate cake recipe and it would be even better!
Buried Treasure Cupcakes
1 chocolate boxed cake mix
Creamy peanut butter
24 Reese's mini peanut butter cups
6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
3 Tbsp light corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tin with 24 cupcake papers. Make cake batter according to directions.
Fill each cupacake paper about halfway full, place a mini peanut butter cup on each cupcake. Then gently cover with the remaining batter. Place in the oven and bake 18 to 22 minutes. Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack to cool.
When the cupcakes are cool, place a thin coating of peanut butter on each cupcake, stopping short of the edges. Then frost generously with the chocolate frosting all the way to the edges.
To Make the Frosting:
Place the chocolate in a microwaveable dish. Heat on high power in 30 second bursts, stirring between intervals. Stop microwaving when chocolate looks glossy and begins to loose it's shape. Stir till smooth. Let cool slightly.
In a large bowl, using either a hand or stand mixer, beat together the butter and sugar till fluffy. Beat in the corn syrup, vanilla, and salt. Continue beating wile gradually adding the chocolate. Beat until smooth.
I let my chocolate cool a little too long and ended up with flecks of chocolate throughout the frosting. I like it that way, though. It's pretty and makes it more interesting.