April 13, 2012

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcakes

I apparently work in a tourist trap. I know, I know, I was surprised too. But then some Israeli tourists- a husband, wife, and their 9 or 10 year-old son- came in and started asking me if they could look around the building.

No, I'm not making this up. Really.

How do I know they were Israeli tourists? Well, to tell the truth, I didn't ask, but for one thing the man and his son were wearing yarmulkes. In and of itself, that's not too unusual. I mean, it's unusual, but not so much that I look twice at a guy wearing one. Unless he's really cute. But that's beside the point.

The first thing that really tipped me off to the fact that they weren't just someone's unannounced visitors was that they had their son with them. People either usually bring their small children or their adult children, never in the middle. And they spoke with really heavy accents. They spoke English very well, but not well enough to understand "pharmaceutical company."

After several failed attempts on my part to explain, I finally said, "We sell drugs." Which sounds terrible. Like I'm the receptionist for a drug cartel or something. And then the husband asked if he could walk around the building, and I explained that you need a security badge for that.

They were really very sweet and kind, and as it was a slow time for me, I really didn't mind the company. However, as they were leaving, a bit mystified by our automated revolving doors as most people are, our CEO was coming in.

Now, our CEO is an executive who... let me put this diplomatically... likes to be treated like an executive. So when he had to wait for the revolving doors, he was a bit... perturbed. Instead, he went through the handicapped doors, just as the husband realized that was an option, and they almost ran smack into each other.

I almost died. Of mirth. It was very hard to contain my laughter as Lord Sour Puss... whoops, sorry, that wasn't diplomatic... our CEO came to me for his badge. But I had it ready and waiting for him, so he had absolutely nothing to complain about. And if my smile was a bit too wide, I was just being extra welcoming to the new CAO who was with him.
Something tells me that our exalted CEO wouldn't enjoy these cupcakes. Not one bit. From the bright, pretty colors, to the simple moist cake and smooth frosting, to the beloved childhood staple that inspired them. No, I see him eating those really complicated, really expensive desserts with eccentric flavor combinations and aren't at all satisfying. And you know what? I'm okay with that. Because these cupcakes are bangin' and I don't need any high powered executives to tell me that. Besides, most of the high-powered executives that I work with on a daily basis would fall over themselves for one of my cupcakes.

Now I filled as well as frosted these because I wanted there to be peanut butter and jelly flavor in every bite, but you could probably do without the filling. The peanut butter flavor is a bit milder than I had anticipated.

The cupcake recipe I made up, as per usual. The frosting is from RecipeGirl's Lemon Raspberry Cupcakes (which are amazeballs. That recipe's a favorite with my friends), I just whipped in some heavy cream to to give it a lighter texture and flavor. You could probably substitute any jelly flavor you like, but I love the raspberry, so that's what I went with.

Peanut Butter & Jelly Cupcakes {Printable Version}

For the cupcakes:

1 cup sugar
¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
½ cup creamy peanut butter
2 eggs
½ tsp. vanilla
1¼ cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
1/3 cup milk
1 tsp. white vinegar

For the filling/frosting:
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
½ cup seedless raspberry jelly
3 cups powdered sugar
¼ whipping cream

For the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 325°. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the butter, peanut butter,
and sugar. Beat on medium speed until fluffy. Add in the eggs and vanilla, beating well after each
addition. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add about half of the flour mixture to
the butter mixture and beat on low until just incorporated. Beat in the milk and vinegar, and then beat
in the remaining flour. Mix until fully incorporated. Fill a muffin tin about 2/3 of the way with batter.
Bake for 20 minutes, or until the tops spring back when pressed. Cool completely.

For the filling/frosting: Beat together the butter and jelly. Gradually add the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a
time, continuing to beat on low. Add the whipping cream and beat on low until just combined, then
increase the speed to high and whip until light and fluffy.

To assemble: Core the cooled cupcakes with a cupcake corer or a small, sharp paring knife. Fill and frost
using the raspberry frosting.

Cupcake recipe by Kim. Raspberry frosting recipe adapted from RecipeGirl.com

Yield: 20 cupcakes