Okay so it’s the day before Thanksgiving. Right now, you’re probably out frantically purchasing stuffing, cranberry jelly and other holiday favorites for your prickly in-laws because the last thing you need this Turkey Day is a bunch of listless hungry relatives sharing inappropriate personal stories at the dinner table… again. That’s totally cool with us, we’ve all been there before. So instead of burdening you with yet another Thanksgiving-related post, we thought we’d take this moment to celebrate November’s other national food-based holiday.
You’ve probably never heard of it before – which is funny, because this one’s a month long.
That’s right kids. November is National Peanut Butter Lovers Month. Yes, peanut butter, as in that stuff you love pairing with chocolate.
The holiday was created by the Southern Peanut Growers lobby in 1990 as a daylong celebration of the first patent for peanut butter, which was applied for by Dr. John Harvey Kellogg on November 4th, 1895. However, America’s love of peanut butter was so strong that it couldn’t be contained to just one day, and in 1995 – the 100th birthday of peanut butter – the nutty holiday was officially expanded by the SPG to encompass the entire month of November.
As connoisseurs of peanut butter ourselves, we thought we’d end the month by celebrating America’s favorite legume-based byproduct by baking up a batch of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes. These soft and chocolaty cupcakes are packed with a sweet peanut butter filling and feature a peanut butter-cream frosting and Reese’s miniature cup topper. So if you’re in the mood for a post-turkey pie alternative or just a well-deserved seasonal treat, get ready to start baking – because it’s a celebration.
What You’ll Need
We’ve made cupcakes from scratch before on this blog, but this time we wanted the sugar headed toward our waistlines to follow the path of least resistance so we indulged and bought a box Reese’s cupcake mix. We modified the recipe to suit our taste and the cupcakes ended up turning out great. Maybe that’s because it’s hard to ruin chocolate batter, but we’re not the ones to ask questions.
Our homemade icing was inspired by the stuff Jana from Or So She Says made for her Reese’s Cupcakes last month. It is phenomenal and we recommend adding it to your recipe books immediately. With that said, here’s what you’ll need for everything.
For the Cupcakes
1 Box Reese’s Cupcake Mix by Betty Crocker
2/3 Cup Water
1/3 Cup Vegetable Oil
2 Tbsp. Unsalted Butter
For the Frosting
2 Sticks Unsalted Butter, Warm
3 Cups Confectioner’s Sugar
1 Cup JIF Natural Peanut Butter
1 Bag Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (Miniatures or Minis)
1 tsp. Vanilla
Pinch of Salt
Preheat your oven to 350° F. Place nine cupcake wrappers in a nine or 12-cup cupcake pan. Set aside. Remove butter from refrigerator, allowing it to warm to room temperature.
Pour your cupcake mix in a large bowl. Add water, eggs and oil and mix with a spoon or with an electric mixer on Medium for two minutes or until the mixture is smooth and fully combined.
Pour the cupcake batter into the baking cups and place in the oven. Let them bake for 21 minutes or until you can insert and remove a toothpick cleanly from the cupcake center.
While the cupcakes bake, prepare the filling by combining 2 Tbsp. of butter with the included filling mix packet. Mix for 2 minutes with an electric mixer on Medium and then spoon into the included pastry bag.
Let the cupcakes cool for 30 minutes before filling and frosting. When filling the cupcakes, we recommend attaching a narrow decorating tip to the pastry bag to help you bore and inject the filling. If you don’t have a decorating tip, then drill a pilot hole in each cupcake with a straw to make filling them easier.
To make the frosting, blend peanut butter and unsalted butter together in a large bowl. Gradually pour in confectioner’s sugar while mixing on low. When you have a smooth and stable icing, add vanilla and salt and mix again on medium. Continue to add confectioner’s sugar to taste. If your icing gets too thick, then add a dab of milk to soften it up.
Decorating the Cupcakes
Once the cupcakes are cooled and filled, it’s time to proceed to frosting and decorating. Start by grabbing a spare pastry bag. If you don’t have a spare pastry bag, then cut a corner off a Zip-Loc bag or something similar. It’s not perfect, but it works in a pinch.
Now, grab a large-bore Closed Star Decorating Tip. Attach that to your bag. Fill your bag with frosting. Ice the cupcakes by using a slow, spiraling motion to create a ridged icing cloud. Cover that cloud with gold rain droplet sprinkles. Place a “sun” of a Reese’s cup atop the icing cloud. Rejoice in your ability to use the weather as a metaphor for dessert.
With everything decorated, you must now bring the cupcakes with you to a party or gathering among friends. Show off your new Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes. Impress people with how pretty they are and how irresistible that icing looks. Tell everyone the story of National Peanut Butter Lovers Month. Then devour those chocolaty peanut buttery cupcakes viciously and without remorse. You animal.
How Did You Celebrate National Peanut Butter Lovers Month?
Now that November is in its last savory throes, we want to know how you celebrated National Peanut Butter Lovers Month. Did you come up with some cool recipes? Did you throw a party? Or did you just binge on peanut butter cups all month long? Let us know in the comments below and we might share your post on our social networks!
Until Next Time,
The ACS Team