Baking with B: Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcakes

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My childhood home was within walking distance of my elementary school and because my parents ran their own business they were often around during the day and I was lucky enough to go home during the lunch hour and decompress before heading back to class for the afternoon. This lasted all the way through high school, so I consider myself pretty lucky to skipped the ritual of navigating the cafeteria and its famously terrible food throughout most of my grade school career.

Seeing all the kids going back to school made me a little nostalgic for ye olden days, so I decided to make these cupcakes reminiscent of everyone’s favorite childhood sandwich. (I realize this assertion dates me but give me a break here- when I was younger we had zero peanut butter allergies in our school and these would have totally been allowed.)

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcakes (makes 18)

Cupcakes
1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
6 oz. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/3 c. sugar
2/3 c. smooth peanut butter
3 large eggs
1/2 c. sour cream
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
strawberry jam, for topping

Frosting (makes about 3 c.)

6 oz. cream cheese
1/3 c. icing sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. smooth peanut butter
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 c. whipping cream

Preheat oven to 350F. Cream together butter and sugar in medium-sized bowl. Add peanut butter, eggs, sour cream, and vanilla (in that order, thank you very much) and mix well. In a separate bowl, sift together dry ingredients. Mix in with wet ingredients gradually until well-combined.

Grease muffin pan or line with liners and use a spoon or an ice cream scoop to fill each cup 3/4 full. Bake for 20 minutes or until tops spring back to the touch. Place on a rack on cool completely before icing.

B’s Tip: You can make the frosting ahead of time as it keeps for up to 2 days in the fridge. Just bring it to room temperature and mix until smooth to get it all spreadable again.

To make the frosting, cream icing sugar and cream cheese together in a medium-sized bowl. Add salt, and mix in gradually the peanut butter, then the vanilla. Whisk cream in a separate bowl until soft peaks form, then fold into peanut butter mixture. Frost cupcakes and decorate each with a dollop of jam in center. Decorated cupcakes will last in the fridge, covered, for up to 2 days.

B’s Tip: If you’re using a jam with a lot of whole berries in it, make sure to macerate any larger chunks of fruit before decorating. Trust me, it makes the whole dolloping experience way easier.

 

These cupcakes are surprisingly moist and cake-y and probably are just as great for you as the sandwiches were. So why not call a spade, a spade, and eat your PB and J in cupcake format? The consensus is that strawberry jelly is the way to go, but my personal favorite is raspberry. What’s your jam? (See what I did there?)

KBwB-BFlower-50Baking with B appears every other Monday on the Keeping Busy with B Blog. Find out why I like baking so much here. For more of my baking, click here. And for even more recipe inspiration, check out my Pinterest full of food eye candy that will have you licking your computer. Promise.

Baking with B: 7 Days of Christmas Cookies: Jam Slices

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My mom used to make these pretty little cookies all the time when I was little, but I don’t ever remember appreciating them as much as I do now. They look really fancy, but they’re much easier to make than you think. Include these cookies on your Christmas platter and you are guaranteed to please even the biggest sweet tooth in the crowd. I should know, because these are my dad’s favourites.

Jam Slices (makes approximately 36 cookies)

1 c. butter, softened
2/3 c. sugar
2 eggs
2 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
3-4 tbsp any red jam

Glaze:

3/4 c. icing sugar

1 1/2 tbsp water

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time. In a separate bowl, combine flour and baking powder together and add to wet ingredients, mixing well.

Preheat the oven to 400F. Divide dough into four pieces. Roll each section of dough into four logs that are abut 16 inches in length (almost the whole length of the cookie sheet, with ample room on either side). Using two fingers, make an indentation down the middle of each log so it almost looks like a moat. Fill each “moat” with your jam. Bake on the center oven rack for about 15 minutes.

While they’re baking, mix together the glaze, adding a little bit of water at a time so the icing sugar becomes runny, but not clear. Remove jam logs from oven. Leave the pan to let them cool down a bit, then drizzle the glaze over each log while still warm. Slice diagonally to make cookies that are approximately 3/4 wide (measuring a little over half of the span of your finger).

B’s Tip: Make sure you use a good quality jam for this recipe as the thicker the jam is, the better it will turn out. You may want to mash jam with a fork beforehand to ensure there are no giant pieces of fruit around to interfere with the aesthetic of the cookie.

Strawberry or raspberry jam works best with this recipe, but you may want to experiment with different flavors (apricot is one of my favorites.) Make sure you slice cookies when they are still warm to avoid them breaking. Store separately from other harder cookies to make sure the moist jam doesn’t interfere with the texture.

I love having one or two (or four!) of these cookies with a strong cup of coffee for a mid-morning break. I may just go have one right now!

Happy baking!

B

KBwB-Flower-50

I’m counting down Christmas by sharing some of my favourite holiday cookie recipes with you! I’ll be posting a different Christmas cookie recipe every day for the next seven days so you can follow along in my family’s baking tradition, and have more cookies to add to your Christmas baking arsenal! For more inspiration, you can check out more of my baking here. For even more recipe inspiration check out my Pinterest full of food eye candy that will have you licking your computer. Promise.