I really didn’t know what to title this one. I considered just giving these cupcakes a name, like Billy, but then I thought they’d be hard to find. These are more than chocolate cupcakes, these are filled with home made caramel, topped with peanut butter buttercream, dipped in chocolate and then drizzled with more caramel. These cupcakes are unfuckwithable. And, if you’re a regular reader, you’ll note that the buttercream and caramel were left over from some other baking I did this week end. I wanted to use them up, and make something sweet for my husband’s return from his four-day skate trip. (Although leaving me alone with our maniac 1 year old for four days, he really should be making me sweet stuff.)

For the cupcakes you will need:

  • 1 & 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder, sifted
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Then you:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line a cupcake pan with paper liners. Mix together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt in a small bowl. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, oil, egg and vanilla until smooth. Alternately whisk in flour mixture and buttermilk until smooth. Stir in chocolate chips. Scoop batter into pan and bake 22-27 minutes until tops of cupcakes spring back when lightly touched. Cool in pans for 10 minutes, then remove and cool completely on wire rack.

For the home made caramel sauce I filled these with and topped the chocolate shell with you will need:

  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 Tbs unsalted butter
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Then you:

  1. In a heavy saucepan, combine all ingredients. Heat over medium-high heat, stirring, for 2 minutes or until sugar is dissolved and butter is melted.
  2. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring often, for 10-15 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat and pour into a bowl to cool.
  3. Stir cooled caramel well and spread or spoon over cupcakes. The caramel will thicken as it cools.

To fill the cupcakes, you can try using a pastry bag with a plain tip if your sauce is thick enough. If it’s runny, just cut a cone out of the top of your cupcake and fill the well with caramel. You’re covering it with buttercream and chocolate anyway.

For the peanut butter buttercream you will need:

* 2 cups confectioner’s sugar
* 1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
* pinch salt
* 1/2 creamy peanut butter
* 2 Tbs milk

Then you:

Beat together sugar, butter and salt until creamy. Add peanut butter, beating well. Add milk and beat until smooth and creamy.
*I added about 1 Tbs. shortening to mine to I could pipe it onto some cupcakes without it turning to mush.

Refrigerate the frosted cupcakes until the buttercream is firm and cold enough to stand up to dipping.

For the chocolate shell you will need:

  • 2 cups chopped (about 12 ounces) semisweet chocolate
  • 3 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil

Then you:

  1. Combine chocolate and oil in a medium heat-proof bowl set over a medium saucepan of barely simmering water; stir until melted and smooth. Transfer to a small bowl, and let cool about 15 minutes.
  2. Holding each cupcake by its bottom, dip cupcake in the chocolate to coat frosting, allowing excess to drip off. Transfer to a baking sheet fitted with a wire rack. Spoon more coating around edge of cupcake and any exposed frosting; none of the frosting should show. Let cupcakes stand at room temperature 15 minutes.
  3. Carefully remove paper liners from cupcakes, and discard. Place cupcakes on a serving platter, and refrigerate for 30 minutes to let coating set. Cover, and refrigerate for 2 hours more.

Drizzle more caramel over the top before serving, if desired. Me? I gave one to a one-year-old. He ate some and smashed the rest into his diaper.

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