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Back to School Sweet Treats

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcakes

The scent of fall is about to fill the air. Pencils will be sharpened, shoes polished and cleaned, teeth brushed (or so they will claim), hair perfectly combed, and lunches packed. The hearts of our young ones filled with hope, and tummies filled with butterflies, for it’s a fresh start for all. Not quite a new year, but more importantly a new school year. And for our children, it’s the only start that matters. Going back to school… we still remember how it felt like it was just yesterday. Don’t you? So long summer… It’s back to school September 5th Everything was so simple. Summer days were long and vacation felt like an eternity. You couldn’t wait to see your friends and share stories of adventure. And then there was the possibility of school crushes, new teachers and recess gossip. Those were the days… when all we had to worry about was homework. At least that’s how it seems looking back. Small and simple. But to our children school life is far from small and anything but simple. School life is life. It’s BIG, and it’s complicated. Their world revolves around school crushes, being with friends in new classes, and who gets picked first for anything. They have anxieties, fears, pressures, challenges, new experiences, excitements; feelings so big they can barely process them and hopefully, some homework too (we’ll remain optimistic). So, on the first day of this new school year, as we send our littles off, remember, though it may seem small and simple to us, it’s the first day of the rest of their lives. Let the young ones hug you a little longer and let the older ones act like they don’t know you. All we can do is love them just a bit more and celebrate their new beginnings. To help ensure you also get an A+ and five gold stars we created the ultimate in after school treats: Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcakes. A whimsical twist on a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, these crafty cupcakes are the perfect treat to share as your children recap every detail of their first day. Loaded with peanut butter, topped with peanut butter cream cheese icing, and generously filled with Stonewall Kitchen’s Strawberry Jam, they’ll make you nostalgic for your school days and your children nostalgic for you.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcakes

Peanut Butter Cupcakes
Makes 18 cupcakes
1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
3/4 light brown sugar, packed (if at high altitude decrease by 1 tbsp)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp baking powder (if at high altitude decrease by 1/4 tsp)
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp kosher salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (I don’t recommend natural as it’s too oily)
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 egg white, at room temperature
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream. at room temperature
1/2 cup whole milk, at room temperature (if at high altitude add 2-4 tablespoons of water to your milk)
1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (375° if at high altitude). Line cupcake pans with Belle Cose’s Gingham Paper Baking Cups. 2. In a large mixing bowl mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
3. In a small bowl, mix the milk and sour cream together. Set aside.
4. With a Kitchenaid mixer, cream the butter and two sugars till light and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes.
5. Add eggs, egg white, and vanilla one at a time. Mix well after each addition.
6. Add the peanut butter. Mix till combined.
7. With the Kitchenaid mixer on low, add 1/2 of the flour mixture, followed by 1/2 of the milk mixture. Repeat. Mix till just combined.
8. Using an ice cream scoop, fill each liner 2/3 full. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. Allow cupcakes to cool on wire rack.
Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
6 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 creamy peanut butter
4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
1. With a Kitchenaid mixer, cream the butter, cream cheese, and peanut butter.
2. Slowly add the vanilla and powdered sugar.
3. Once combined, mix on high speed for 3 minutes till light and fluffy.
You’ll need one jar of Stonewall Kitchen Jam – our favorite flavor is strawberry. With a pairing knife or apple core, remove a center piece of the cooled cupcake. Fill with a generous spoonful of preserves. Top with frosting and garnish with fresh fruit.