Cooking Column: Peanut butter icing-filled cupcakes

Cooking Column: Peanut butter icing-filled cupcakes
Serena Bailey / Alabama Crimson White

   

Before I get started with what might be the most sugar laden recipe I’ve done this semester, let me just say: eating healthy during high stress weeks is important. Eating foods that help you focus and give you energy during finals week will help you study more effectively. However, it’s also important during high stress times to indulge a little, take breaks and keep your positive morale up.

So in the spirit of indulgence and treating myself and some friends for a semester well-done, I made chocolate cupcakes topped and filled with homemade peanut butter icing. We had a party this week in one of my classes and we decided to do it potluck style. Since I was already planning to bake to de-stress at the end of Dead Week, I just moved my plans up a few days so I could bring something homemade to the party.

Little did I know I would spend Tuesday night making a mess of my kitchen. It just wasn’t my night I guess. The cake mix spilled on the floor, I dropped the bag of chocolate chips, I couldn’t find the potholders and then I spilled the powder sugar. Oops.

But it was all worth it when I took the cupcakes to class the next day and watched my friends enjoy them. It’s really fun to watch someone bite into the center of a cupcake if they don’t know there’s frosting there. What’s also exciting is the prospect of enjoying the six cupcakes I set aside for me and my roommate to enjoy next week.

You see, both of us don’t do to well with stressful things. Personally, when my to-do list is intimidating, I tend to put off what I have to do and pretend everything’s fine until I suddenly have to do it or it won’t get done in time. That’s okay for one to two page papers, but not for studying an entire semester’s worth or half semester's worth of material for a final.

To keep on track, I bargain with myself. If I get few good hours of studying in, I can eat a cupcake. It works pretty well. I might eat a few more than I should, but that’s fine. It’s never a bad thing to indulge every now and then.

So before you get started studying for next week or when you just need a couple hours off from the books, treat yourself for another semester survived.

WHAT YOU NEED

For the cake:

A box of chocolate cake mix and specified amount (on the back of box) of eggs and oil

For the icing:

½ cup butter, softened (1 stick)

1 cup creamy peanut butter

½ cup of chocolate chips

4 tablespoons of milk

2 cups confectioners’ sugar

HOW TO MAKE IT

1. Prepare the cupcake mix according to the box directions. While the cupcakes are baking, begin making the icing.

2. Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring after every interval until smooth.

3. Combine the melted chocolate, peanut butter and butter in a medium bowl, beating with an electric mixer

4. Add in powdered sugar, one quarter cup at a time.

5. As it starts to get thick add in the milk one tablespoon at a time.

6. Mix until it gets to a consistency you want.

7. When the cupcakes are done, allow them to cool completely

8. Spoon icing into a ziploc bag and cut off the tip, to create an icing piping bag.

9. Stick the tip of the bag into the center of the cupcake and squeeze to fill the inside. Then use the icing bag to frost the top.

10. Bite into one and enjoy! 

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