A Southern Grace: speaking of nostalgia

October 18, 2013

speaking of nostalgia


I rarely eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches anymore, but when I do, I most definitely feel like a kid again.

It's never quite the same, though, because I haven't purchased good ol' Iron Kids bread since...well, ever. The bread I eat now is a lot sturdier and has a little more going on, and while I'm still a loyal Jif® fan, my jelly choices have changed too. Regular grape and strawberry still taste good to me, but I also appreciate more complex and less common flavors like wine or pepper jelly or jam made from chokecherries or peaches.

I feel like these cupcakes deliver the same familiar and comforting taste that comes from a childhood PB&J sandwich. That hint of strawberry jelly in the frosting really comes through, but the predominant flavor is definitely peanut butter. My favorite part of the entire situation might just be the roasted peanuts contained within the cupcakes--that crunch is a nice surprise, and it's reminiscent of the crunchy peanut butter I began to prefer to the smooth stuff as I got older. The mousse in the center is just a special bonus, creamy and delightful.

Some say that one can live off of PB&J sandwiches, and I think I'll start the same rumor concerning these cupcakes.

Kid Again Cupcakes
Makes 18
Peanut butter cupcakes:
  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 6 ounces butter, softened
  • 1-1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup salted roasted peanuts
Peanut butter mousse:
  • 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, tightly packed
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup chilled heavy whipping cream, divided
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Strawberry buttercream:
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup strawberry jam
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners.
To make the cupcakes, first whisk dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside. In another large bowl, cream the butter and sugar with a mixer until light and fluffy. Add the peanut butter. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Mix in the sour cream and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients to the mixture and beat, being sure to scrape the sides of the bowl. Divide the batter among the muffin cups, filling each 2/3 full.
Bake the cupcakes until testers inserted into centers come out clean, about 20 minutes. Let cool in tins on wire racks.
To prepare the mousse, using an electric mixer, beat peanut butter, brown sugar, and coarse salt in medium bowl to blend. With mixer running, gradually beat in 1/4 cup cream. Add another 1/4 cup cream and beat just to blend. Beat remaining 1/2 cup cream, sugar, and vanilla in another medium bowl until peaks form; fold into peanut butter mixture in 3 additions. Chill until ready to use.
To make the frosting, with an electric mixer, beat butter on medium-high speed until pale and creamy, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to medium. Add the powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down sides of bowl as needed; after every two additions, raise speed to high and beat 10 seconds to aerate frosting, then return to medium-high. Add vanilla and jam, and beat until frosting is smooth.
To assemble, carve a cone-shaped piece out of the center of each cupcake and fill with the mousse. Fill a pastry bag with the frosting and apply as desired.


Rosa's Yummy Yums said...




Alicia Foodycat said...

Can I just have a bowl of the mousse, with maybe some chocolate bark to scoop it up with?

Blond Duck said...

I can just see putting jam in the middle...oh yum!

Gloria Baker said...

beautiful! beautiful! I want make these Grace:)

Lisa-Marie said...

Grace, sometimes I am convinced we are two halves of a food loving whole. Because I WANT TO EAT EVERYTHING YOU POST.

Particularly stuff with peanuts. YUM.

Barbara said...

There are times I still have a pb&j...not often, but I do love that sandwich. My dad often made pb and honey sandwiches to take fishing...the honey seeped into the bread and oh my, that was a good sandwich. You brought back memories today, Grace.
I think adding peanuts to the batter is a brilliant idea!

Joanne said...

I have peanut butter and jelly for breakfast every day! But on a whole grain english muffin and with natural peanut butter. :P I know I'd devour these cupcakes. In no time.

Rosita Vargas said...

Una verdadera delicia muy bellos bellos y bellos que ganas de probar,abrazos.

CQUEK said...


I Wilkerson said...

I tend to have my peanut butter separately from my jam--go figure! But I'm sure these would be my kids idea of paradise!

Pendar Bintang said...

It looks really nice, I was just thinking wanna have them this morning for breakfast but got the picture here.
I am (again) so hungry :D

Blond Duck said...

I saw you were featured in Taste of Home- congrats!

Pam said...

I have a sudden craving for a pb&j sandwich or one of these beauties! They look and sound amazing.

Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic said...

I still love PB&J (or sometimes, AB&J) and also try different jam combinations. This cupcake is extra appealing to me, espcially with the mousse inside!

Marjie said...

I've made peanut butter cupcakes, but never with the mousse inside. It's a great addition!

Katerina said...

I have a couple of sweets that remind me of my childhood and it's not that they are super tasty or fancy, it's that they are loaded with memories! Beautiful cupcakes Grace!

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

I feel comforted just reading about it.

Nutmeg Nanny said...

Oh goodness, I could eat an entire batch of these :) they look incredible!!

CQUEK said...

yes please save some for me