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Celebrate National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day on April 2 with these tasty cupcakes that honor the classic sandwich. Jam placed in the center of each baked cupcake is a pleasant fruity burst as you bite into the vanilla cake. Peanut butter morsels throughout and a peanut butter frosting round out that favorite flavor combination.
While today pb&j sandwiches are typically associated with children, this favorite combination can actually be traced back to American soldiers during World War II. During the 1920s and ‘30s, the peanut butter sandwich was a popular Great Depression food, since it was filling, easy and affordable. It wasn’t until World War II that jelly became a main ingredient when white bread, peanut butter and jelly were all on the military’s rations list. Once the soldiers returned home, they sought out foods that they’d become used to during the war. The popularity of the peanut butter and jelly sandwich boomed. Today, it is said that the average child in the United States will eat 1,500 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches before graduating from high school.
Cupcakes:1 cup cake flour1/2 cup white wheat flour1 cup granulated white sugar1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder1/4 teaspoon salt1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature (cut into pieces)1 large egg, room temperature2 large egg yolks, room temperature1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt1/2 cup Reese’s peanut butter chips
Filling:Approximately 1/2 cup of your favorite jam (Smucker’s® Seedless Strawberry Jam used here)
Frosting:1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature1/2 cup peanut butter (Smucker’s® Natural Creamy Peanut Butter used here)1 Tablespoon milk1 teaspoon vanilla1 cup powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners.
Add flour, sugar, baking powder and salt to a large mixing bowl. Beat to combine.
Add the butter, egg, egg yolks, vanilla extract and yogurt. Mix at medium speed just until combined. Scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula as needed.
Add peanut butter chips and fold in using the spatula.
Evenly distribute cupcake batter between the 12 cupcake liners and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
Allow cupcakes to cool for 10 minutes before transferring to metal cooking rack.
Cut out a small portion in the center of each cupcake using an apple corer or small knife. Fill a pastry bag or a decorating tool such as the Wilton® Dessert Decorator Pro with jam. Squeeze about a Tablespoon of jam into the center of each cupcake, just until the jam comes to the top of the cupcake.
To make frosting, combine all ingredients except the sugar in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until combined. Mix in powdered sugar by gradually adding and beating with mixer.
Decorate cupcakes as desired. Frosting and chopped peanuts used here.
Note: You may not need all of the frosting depending on your preferences. If it seems like too much frosting, you can save the frosting refrigerated for up to 5 days. It also makes an excellent dip for pretzels and even fruit.
Shopping and presentation tips: For easy and beautiful piping of jam and frosting, try the Dessert Decorator Plus or Pro made by Wilton. Easy-to-use, these tools are well worth the price for any regular baker.
You can find these decorating tools at craft stores such as the A.C. Moore on Street Road in Bensalem, PA. Be sure to check for a coupon to get the best deal.
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