Rich chocolate muffins studded with semisweet chocolate chips and filled with a surprise peanut butter filling.
Is it a muffin, or is it a cupcake?
I wrestled with this question for far too long, particularly while photographing these rich, chocolate beauties with their peanut butter surprises peeking out from soft edges and from beneath still-molten chocolate chips. They’re sweet, they’re chocolaty, and I definitely would not be disappointed to be offered one of these to satiate my sweet tooth after a meal. Signs started to lean toward cupcake, and even my family members referred to them as such.
But ultimately, I decided that what really makes a cupcake a cupcake (at least in my head) is a sweet, sugary crowning of frosting. Meticulously swirled or carelessly slabbed on top with an ill-wielded butter knife or icing spatula, it’s frosting that makes a cupcake a cupcake, and these have none.
So, muffins they are. They lose nothing for lack of a frosting, though, and hold their own proudly with a sweet cream cheese and peanut butter based filling that offers a peanut butter-thick contrast to the soft chocolate crumb of the cupcake in each bite. They’re not too sweet as to make your teeth hurt, but they’re sweet enough that a glass of milk would go wonderfully alongside one (or so I hear, I actually don’t drink milk myself).
Also, if you call these muffins, it’s suddenly far more acceptable to devour one or two for breakfast (2 muffins for breakfast sounds much better than admitting to having eaten 2 cupcakes, right?).
They remind me a bit of Reese’s cups for obvious reasons, but with a much softer, fluffier chocolate “shell”.
I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend; I’m starting another vacation day with a muffin for breakfast, and spending it by surely making a mess in the kitchen while trying to keep that (loathsome) pile of dishes as small as possible (wish me luck on that!).
Peanut Butter Filled Chocolate Muffins
Chocolate chip studded chocolate muffins with a peanut butter surprise inside!
Peanut Butter Filling
- 8 oz cream cheese softened
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg lightly beaten
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 cup canola oil vegetable oil would also work
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 large eggs lightly beaten
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2/3 cup sour cream
- 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips divided
Preheat oven to 350F and line 18 muffin cups with cupcake liners (or lightly grease and flour).
Prepare Peanut Butter Filling first by microwaving cream cheese and peanut butter at 10 second intervals until it is easily stirred and combine.
Stir in granulated sugar, egg, and vanilla. Set aside.
In large bowl, whisk together oil, sugar, and milk. Stir in eggs and vanilla until well-combined.
Gently fold in sour cream until just-combined.
In separate, medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.
Fold flour mixture gently into wet mixture, folding until just barely combined. Stir in 1 1/2 cup chocolate chips.
Scoop chocolate muffin batter into prepared muffin tin, filling only 1/2 full.
Scoop heaping spoonfuls (I used a heaping 1 1/2" cookie dough scoop) peanut butter mixture on top of the chocolate batter, then cover with a layer of chocolate batter so that muffin cup is filled 3/4 to 4/3 of the way full.
Repeat until all batter has been dispersed.
Sprinkle tops of muffins with remaining chocolate chips.
Bake on 350F for 22-25 minutes (toothpick inserted in center should come out mostly clean, with a few crumbs.
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