My Friday started out quite pleasantly. It was one of those mornings where I was in Super-Productive Mode, crossing things off my to-do list at a Usain Bolt-worthy level of speed. I was so darn efficient in fact, that attending an 11:30 a.m. yoga class (as opposed to my planned 3:30 p.m. class) was indeed do-able.
The class was GREAT......well, as great as a hot yoga class could possibly be. The teacher kept the room nice and hot, so I felt like I was really burning some calories, and I started to make notable progress on my Standing-Head-To-Knee pose. Yes, it was going to be a spectacular weekend, and I was going to get tons of things accomplished.
As I headed out to my car, pondering the various possibilities for lunch, my eyes fell upon the rear driver's side window of my car. Correction: The smashed rear driver's side window (and the large mass of scattered shards on the ground.) Apparently, my car alarm is not quite as efficient as I thought. Crowded parking lot. Car parked right up front. Broad daylight. Who woulda thunk?
It wasn't until I opened my door and searched for my well-hidden purse that it hit me. I'd been robbed. Purse. Wallet. License. House Key. Credit Cards. Phone. Very very favorite lip gloss. #&%^$@!!!! On the bright side, the criminals left my spark plugs, running shoes, and he/she/they/it was nice enough to break the opposite window from the one which I had JUST GOTTEN FIXED. What do you want to bet that the repair cost of the window will be the exact amount of my deductible? Ya think??
So I went back into the studio, still in shock, and the second that I started relaying my situation, my eyes started welling over with tears. Stop it, Julie! You're already a mess from class, and now you're a crying mess. But I couldn't. Maybe it was because I couldn't call anyone without my phone because I don't have anyone's number memorized. Maybe it was because I was envisioning the jerks having a field day with my Amex. Maybe it was because I realized that a trip to the DMV was inevitable. Whatever the reason, I wasn't happy.
It didn't help when both the male owner of the yoga studio and my husband's first question to me was "Why did you leave your purse in the car?" Not really the time for that question fellas.
So, after a weekend filled with police reports, lock changing, canceled cards, DMV camp-outs, and insurance estimates.......I needed some comfort food, the CHAMPION of comfort food to be exact. Whether you've lost your homework, skinned your knee, or been victimized by some low-life who will likely never be caught, nothing picks you up like a good ol' PB&J........except for maybe a cupcake. So what better way to raise my spirits than with a PB&J inspired cupcake? These cupcakes were really easy to put together. All of the ingredients were already in my kitchen, and they were finished and ready to enjoy in less than one hour (I could have made about 100 in the time it took me to get my new license.) I don't eat a lot of desserts, but I felt that I'd earned this one, and it did end the weekend on a positive note.
Oh, and there will be some upcoming good news to counteract all of that aforementioned bad news, some yin to the yang if you will. Stay tuned for my newest flavor of Julie Anne's Granola announcement. I've hinted at it already. What could it be?
- If you use a natural peanut butter in the cupcake recipe, be sure that it is one that you do not need to stir. My favorite brands include Jif Natural, Smuckers, Sunland, Trader Joe's, and Smart Balance. You can use a crunchy version for the batter, but don't use one for the buttercream if you are piping it on the cupcake. The small bits of nuts might clog the piping nozzle!
- I don't recommend using a low-fat peanut butter, as it will likely change the flavor profile and texture of the resulting cupcake and buttercream.
- Certainly feel free to replace the red raspberry jam with whatever flavor is your household favorite. You could also use fruit butters or even Nutella for an extra rich cupcake!
- If you don't have a piping bag or a squeeze bottle, try this method for filling the cupcakes: Using a paring knife, remove a cone-shaped portion from the top of the cupcake. Place about a tablespoon of jam in the hole and cut off enough of the cone shape so that the "lid" can be placed back on the cupcake without the jam oozing out.
Berry Yummy PB&J Cupcakes
Makes 12 Cupcakes
For the cupcakes
6 tablespoons butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter, preferably natural
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
For the buttercream
1 cup creamy peanut butter
10 tablespoons butter, softened
2 cups confectioner's sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4-6 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
1 cup red raspberry jam
Chopped peanuts (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350F degrees and line a 12-cup cupcake tin with paper liners. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Beat in the vanilla and the sour cream.
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing on low speed until combined.
Divide the batter among the prepared cupcake liners. Bake the cupcakes for 18-22 minutes, until they are puffed and golden, and a toothpick inserted into the center emerges clean. Allow the cupcakes to cool in the tins for 5 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
Prepare the buttercream: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the peanut butter and the butter until light and fluffy. Add the confectioner's sugar and the salt, and beat until well combined. Beat in the vanilla and enough of the whipping cream to achieve your desired piping consistency.
Place the jam in a piping bag fitted with a medium round tip, or place it in a squeeze bottle. Insert the tip/nose of the bottle into one of the cupcakes and gently squeeze about 1 tablespoon of jam into the center. Repeat with the remaining cupcakes.
Pipe or spread the buttercream on top of the cupcakes and place a small dollop of remaining jam onto the center. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts and serve!