I want to thank all of you who participated in my recent CSN giveaway! (They have some fabulous stuff, don’t they?) And the winner is…
Ok, so I have a little confession to make. Remember back, before the chill of autumn’s crisp coolness took hold and required a warm blanket, a crackling fire, or a bowl of warm soup to cozy up with in the evening. Go back even longer than that, before the warmth of summer drove us to take refuge in cool breezes, swimming pools, and tall glasses of iced tea. Yes, I’m talking about last spring. That’s when I made these glorious cupcakes. I had every intention of sharing them with you sooner but somehow they got pushed to the wayside. And it’s a shame because they in fact deserve the limelight.
These cupcakes are based on the classically delicious combination of peanut butter and jelly, but have a bit of a dressed-up, elegant look (it’s the jelly drizzle…a splash of red always feels so glam ;) ). I made a peanut butter cake (which I based on my recipe for Classic Yellow Cake), basic buttercream, and a jelly drizzle. And let’s just say that I know I won’t be able to wait until next spring to make them again. Peanut Butter & Jelly Cupcakes
(Yield: About 20 cupcakes)
1 1/2 c sugar
1/2 c canola oil
2 large eggs
1 c low-fat or fat-free milk
1 c smooth peanut butter
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 c all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick salted butter
1/4 c no-trans fat vegetable shortening
1 lb (16 oz) powdered sugar
1 TB pure almond extract (or pure vanilla extract, if you prefer)
4 TB milk (more or less to reach your desired consistency)
1/2 c red raspberries (frozen is fine)
1/2 c water
2 TB honey (more or less depending on your preferences and how sweet your berries are)
2 tsp cornstarch mixed with 1 TB cold water
Muffin tray and paper liners
For the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350F and line a muffin tray with paper liners. In a large bowl, beat together the sugar, oil, and eggs until they’re light, glossy, and pale yellow (about 2 minutes). Beat in the peanut butter and then the milk and vanilla. Beat in the flour, baking powder, and salt until just combined. Fill the muffin tray and bake for about 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few crumbs. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
For the buttercream: Cream together the butter, shortening, and almond extract. Alternate beating in the powdered sugar and milk, adding 1 TB of milk at a time until it reaches the right consistency.
For the jelly drizzle: In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the berries, water, and honey and simmer for about 5 minutes. Strain the berry mixture through a fine mesh sieve; return the liquid to the saucepan over low heat (discard the pulp). Whisk in the cornstarch slurry and heat (stirring constantly) until thickened.
Frost the cupcakes with the buttercream and decorate the tops with a drizzle of jelly.