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Apricot Filled Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Jalapeno Apricot Buttercream...


Once again, I used the kitchen as my creative outlet....

This summer, I tasted a spicy jam that amazed my palate enough to inspire my creativity with this cupcake. The jam was sweet, fruity and spicy, but the actual flavor of the jalapeno in the jam is what sold me on the whole concept of this interesting combination.

Peanut butter cake with apricot preserves topped with jalapeno apricot buttercream...


The cake is very dense and almost muffin-like, but the addition of marshmallows gives it an unexpected sweet side. I've added an apricot preserve filling to the peanut butter cake to give it a bit more flavor since peanut butter can very quickly become overwhelming.

The jalapeno apricot buttercream frosting ties the entire cupcake together. It's not outrageously sweet like many buttercreams are, allowing the apricot flavor to really stand out on it's own. By adding the jalapenos, it gives the frosting more of a spicy relish taste than sweet buttercream, which works really well with the peanut butter cake, since peanut butter is a very mild flavor as is.






After pre-heating the oven, mix the butter, brown sugar and peanut butter together in a large mixing bowl. Slowly mix in the eggs and milk until the batter is smooth.


Once you're batter is smooth {and it will be thick}, gently fold in your marshmallows and then spoon into the muffin tins. Fill the tins about 2/3 full because the batter will not rise a significant amount.


For the frosting, combine butter, powdered sugar and apricot preserves in a large mixing bowl and mix on high until smooth. 

On a cutting board, cut four or five slices from a small jalapeno. Make sure to remove the seeds from the slices before finely chopping the slices of jalapeno. If the seeds get into the minced peppers, they will give the frosting too much spice and it will alter the entire taste of the cupcake. Be sure to wash your hands before tasting the frosting {if you're like me and use your finger as a spoon to taste test!} as the oils from the peppers on your fingers will be the only thing you taste without the help of hand soap...

After you've minced your jalapenos, measure out a tablespoon and add to your buttercream mixture. Mix the minced peppers into the frosting on high for a few minutes. You want to make sure that the peppers are evenly distributed throughout the mix in order to add a consistent flavor and spice to the frosting. After you've finished adding all your ingredients to the buttercream, let it sit in a cool area for about 15 minutes {about the time it will take for the cupcakes to cool fresh out of the oven}.



{Ignore my less than fabulous cupcake liners...}

Once your cupcakes have cooled, use an apple corer to remove the center of each cake. Using a baster, inject each cupcake with apricot preserves. Then frost your cupcakes, and enjoy!


 


Apricot Filled Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Jalapeno Apricot Buttercream...
Yields around 24 cupcakes

  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, at room temp
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 1/2 cup small marshmallows
  • 1 1/3 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3/4 cup milk
  • sugar-free Apricot preserves {I used smucker's}

Jalapeno Apricot Buttercream Frosting

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature 
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar-free Apricot preserves
  • 1 tsp unseeded, finely chopped jalapenos
Preparation

  • Preheat the oven to 350 F. Insert 24 liners into a medium cupcake pan.
  • In a large bowl mix together butter, peanut butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed for about five minutes. Add the eggs one at a time and beat well. 
  • Once the mixture is smooth, mix in the vanilla.
  • In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt.
  • Add the mixture of dry ingredients to the batter, slowly adding the milk. Once all your ingredients have been thoroughly mixed, gently fold in the marshmallows making sure that they are evenly distributed throughout the batter. The mixture will be very thick so make sure you have a big enough bowl to accommodate!
  • Fill your muffin tins 1/2 - 2/3 full. Bake for about 25 minutes or until batter passes the toothpick test.
  • Cool your cupcakes on a wire rack until they're ready to be removed from the pans.
  • Once your cupcakes have cooled, use an apple corer to remove a small portion of cake from the middle of the cupcake. 
  • Fill a small baster with your apricot preserves and inject into the centers of each cupcake.

For the frosting

  • In a large bowl, mix together butter, powdered sugar and apricot preserves. Mix until creamy.
  • Take a small jalapeno and cut off about four slices. Remove the seeds from each slice before mincing the jalapenos. Make sure no seeds get into the minced portion.
  • Measure a tbsp of finely chopped jalapenos and mix into the frosting. Mix on high to make sure the jalapeno pieces get evenly distributed throughout the mixture.
  • Once you've mixed all the ingredients, let the frosting sit for about ten minutes {the longer the jalapenos sit, the more flavor they'll give the frosting}.
  • Place frosting in a piping bag and frost!

enjoy...

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