procrastinating: making my valentine.
prep time: 20 minutes
cook time: ~20 minutes
decorating time: ~30 minutes
cleanup time: 10 minutes
time spent procrastibaking: about 90 minutes
salutations, procrastibakers. i spent the better part of yesterday crafting a totally unique and special valentine for my sweetie. it’s actually a lot harder than it sounds because i had scripted out everything i wanted to write, and then, naturally, it got wiped from my computer. so i’m working on valentine 2.0, and while i think it’ll end up better than the original, the first edition took me several days to compose to perfection, and i’m just getting cracking on this version. yeesh!
without giving too much away, because he’s a supporter of the procrastibake movement and reads this blog (thanks, luke! <3), i may or may not have purchased over 600 stickers, various pink construction papers, and enough tape to make a prom dress. i’m trying not to make this kindergarten-esque, so i thought maybe i should bake before i break out the glitter glue.
pb&j is one of those quintessential treats that we all know and love. plus, i’m in the mood for one, but i’m out of bread, so why not fashion some representative cupcakes to take the place of the sandwich?
peanutbuttery goodness blends with sweet jelly to make a perfectly delightful afternoon snack. if i had children, i would send them to school with one of these in their lunchbox. well, maybe that’s not responsible parenting– but i can sure give my boyfriend one when he gets home, if only to soften the blow when he gets my “special” valentine next week. 🙂 let’s go!
ingredients & tools.
- large mixing bowl & spoon
- small mixing bowl
- two saucepans
- cupcake tin
- 6 tablespoons butter (3/4 of a stick), softened
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (if you want to go half and half with some whole wheat flour, go for it– i just don’t have any in the kitchen at the moment)
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- a pinch of salt
- 3/4 cup milk (i’m using coconut milk, cause that’s what we have in the fridge)
- 1 cup white sugar
- 3 large egg whites
- 1/2 cup peanut butter (room temperature)
- 1/4 cup jelly
to make frosting:
- heaping spoonful peanut butter
- heaping spoonful jelly
- 2 ziplock bags
- 1 1/2 sticks softened butter
- 3 cups confectioner’s sugar
- 3 tablespoons milk
step one. preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
in a saucepan, melt a stick of butter on low heat-- try not to let it boil or brown.
add the two cups of sugar to the butter and stir until the mixture is consistent. transfer the mixture from the saucepan to a mixing bowl.
this is where your 1/4 measuring cup will come in really handy. alternate between adding flour and milk to the batter, stirring between each round, and finishing on flour. i did 1/2 a cup of flour to start, and alternated quarter cups of milk and flour, to make it end evenly. this is really important, because otherwise the flour will clump, and these are dense cupcakes so you don't want that.
in your small mixing bowl, whip together the three egg whites until they become frothy. if you have a handheld mixer, this would be a good time to use it-- otherwise, prepare to work those biceps.
in the saucepan where we melted the butter and sugar, plop that 1/2 cup of peanut butter, and melt over a low heat. it won't take long; don't overheat or let the peanut butter burn! this melty peanut butter sauce, incidentally, would be amazing on ice cream... just throwin it out there.
pour that melted peanut butter into the cupcake batter, and stir until it's blended (or you can leave it swirly, if you like).
pour the frothy egg whites into the batter, and stir until just blended (don't go too crazy, you want to try and keep the bubbles!).
pour the batter into your cupcake tin, and top each cupcake with a dab of jelly. using a knife (or a toothpick, whatever) swirl the jelly in the cupcake. i find that this will give the cupcake more of an all-over pb&j flavor, instead of a concentrated jelly center. put these in the oven for about 20 minutes-- like i said, they're dense, so they don't really rise... but the edges will get golden brown.
while your cupcakes are in the oven, now's a good time to make a simple buttercream frosting. add the stick and a half of butter and 3 cups of confectioner's sugar to a mixing bowl, and blend together. it'll be a thick consistency, almost like a dough. then add the 3 tablespoons of milk and stir; the consistency should change to frosting. toss this in the fridge and allow it to cool and set.
you're going to be so excited to frost these, but wait until they're completely cooled (and i mean COMPLETELY, put them in the fridge if you can't control yourself (like me)) because the buttercream will melt and drip all over the place, and that's not pretty.
put a heaping spoonful of peanut butter in your peanut-buttery saucepan, and warm til it melts. do the same thing in another saucepan with the jelly. allow the mixtures to cool (not harden/thicken, just cool) and scoop into ziplock bags.
okay, i got too excited and forgot to take a picture, but first, frost the cupcakes with buttercream. i used a piping bag, but you can use the ziplock bag trick-- just cut a corner and spiral a thin topping of frosting on the cupcake (don't pile it on-- these will be way too sweet if you do!). then, cut teeny tiny holes in the corners of the peanut butter and jelly ziplocks, and drizzle thin lines of each on top of the buttercream. voila!