Peanut Butter and Chocolate Hi-Hats

Peanut Butter Cupcakes

1 3/4 c (248g) all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
12 Tbsp (177 g) butter, room temp
1 1/3 c (264 g) sugar
2/3 c (156 ml) creamy peanut butter
3 eggs, room temp
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 c (118 ml) sour cream
1/4 c (59 ml) buttermilk (or use regular milk and pour about 1/2 tsp vinegar into the measuring cup before you measure you milk)

Preheat the oven to 350F and line 2 muffin tins with 22 liners. Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of your mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the peanut butter and mix to combine, scraping down the edge of the bowl. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well to incorporate each and scarping the sides before each addition. Add the vanilla and sour cream and beat until well-combined.

Scrape the sides of the bowl and add half the dry ingredients. Mix on low speed until just incorporated. Add the buttermilk and mix until combined, then add the second half of the dry ingredients and mix just until the batter is homogenous.

Divide the batter between the 22 cupcake liners and bake 18-20 minutes or until the top springs back when light pressed. Cool on racks in pans for 3 minutes, then remove cakes from pans and allow to cool completely before frosting.

Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream

5 egg whites
1 1/4 c (250 g) sugar
1 1/2 c (340 g) butter, room temp and cut into cubes
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 c chopped chocolate or chocolate chips, melted and cooled

In the base of a double boiler, bring water to a simmer. In the top bowl (or just a bowl to place over a pan of simmering water) combine the egg whites and sugar and whisk constantly until the mixture is hot to the touch (160F on a candy thermometer if you want to be completely accurate), about five minutes depending on the original temperature of the eggs. When the mixture has warmed sufficiently, pour it into the bowl of your stand mixer and whip on high speed until the bottom of the bowl is room temperature, ten to fifteen minutes. When the bowl is no longer warm, turn the mixer to medium-low and begin adding the butter piece by piece. Let each chunk incorporate completely before adding the next and don't rush the process!

After all of the butter has been added, add the vanilla and melted, cooled chocolate and turn the speed back to high. Whip for about 3 minutes or until the buttercream comes together.

Chocolate Dip
Don't make this until you're ready to dip (see assembly instructions below)!

2 c (12 oz/340g) chopped chocolate or chocolate chips
3 Tbsp peanut oil

Combine the chocolate and peanut oil in a microwave safe dish and microwave for 30 seconds. Mix to redistribute, then microwave for 30 more seconds. Mix again and microwave for 20 minute bursts, stirring and checking until the chocolate is smooth.

Assembly

Peanut Butter Cupcakes
Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Chocolate Dip
Peanuts

Frost cooled cupcakes with buttercream. Place on a baking sheet and refrigerate or freeze until the frosting is cold and firm to the touch. When the cupcakes are ready, prepare the chocolate dip. Transfer to a deep container. Dip each cupcake and hold upside down over the dip for about five seconds to let excess drip away. Place back on baking sheet and top with a peanut. Once all of the cupcakes have been coated, store in the fridge to set. Serve at room temperature.
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