Recipe: Cupcakes for PB&J Fans!

When my family and I visited Aspen this winter we were delighted to dine at The Hotel Jerome.  The luxurious property, which is part of the legendary Auberge Resorts, is known for its genuine hospitality, sensational accommodations and maybe most of all, its culinary excellence.  I was impressed to see the restaurant offers a complete menu for kids featuring favorites like penne noodles, grilled chicken breast and toasted cheese on 7-grain bread. And save room for dessert! I asked Executive Sous Chef, Jessica Chalk, if she would share one of her favorite kid-friendly recipes. Check out the PB&J cupcakes below.  Pure heaven!

Jelly filled cupcakes with peanut butter frosting

baking spray with flour
1 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp fine salt
4 oz unsalted butter, room temp
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
¾ cups milk
1 cup grape preserves

Peanut butter frosting:
½ cups smooth peanut butter
4 Tbs unsalted butter (room temp)
4 oz cream cheese
2 cups confectioners sugar
1 1/2 tsp milk
candy bars (crushed with rolling pin) such as reese's pieces, butterfinger, nutter butter, heath bar for decorating

Beat the peanut butter, butter and cream cheese with a hand or stand mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Slowly add confectioners sugar and mix until the frosting is smooth. Mix in the milk last.
Preheat oven to 350. Line one 12 cup standard muffin tin with paper cupcake liners. Spray liners with baking spray and set aside.

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt over a large piece of paper. In a large bowl, cream the butter and granulated sugar with a hand mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, egg yolk and vanilla. Reduce the speed to low and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Pour in the milk and continue to mix until smooth. Pick up the paper with the dry ingredients and gradually pour into the wet ingredients. Continue to mix just until blended.

Spoon batter evenly into prepared tin, filling the cups about three-quarters full. Bake until the tops of the cupcakes spring back to the touch and are not too golden(about 20 minutes). Cool in the tin for 15 minutes and then cool completely on a wire rack before filling or frosting.

Fill a squeeze bottle with grape jelly. Carefully inset the tip of the squeeze bottle as far as it will go into the tops of the cupcakes. Gently squeeze 1 tsp jelly inside of each cupcake. Ice tops with peanut butter frosting to cover. Decorate with your favorite candy.