- Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes -

Growing up, I was not the biggest fan of peanut butter. I occasionally liked it with bananas. But it was a rare occasion, indeed. It just wasn't my thing. Oh sure, I could've eat Reese's cups for days. The sugar was the culprit for that one, though. But other than that I've not been a big peanut butter / peanut fan. And since peanuts are technically legumes, I don't eat them anymore. That is, until 3 days ago.
See, I was at Whole Foods [my home away from home] and walked past the little station where you can grind your own almond or peanut butter. And it called to me. For the previous two weeks I had been craving peanut butter. Never in my life has that ever happened! Never. But I ignored it. That is until I saw that grinding station. And that is where the magic happened. I saw the nutritional profile for the peanuts that were in the machine to grind up- very similar to almonds. Less carbs, actually. And I thought, "I might as well try it!" So I ground up about four tablespoons of peanut butter and went on my way wandering the rest of the store.
I got home and right away stuck my finger in the freshly ground peanut butter, tasted it, and it was magical! It was so good and tasted so sweet even though it was unsweetened. I was a happy camper. I started to think of all the things I could make with my newfound enjoyment of peanut butter. Naturally, a chocolate peanut butter combo came to mind. I was just going to use a chocolate cupcake recipe I made last week, but I looked in my fridge and realized I was out of coconut flour. Bummer! But it made for a good occasion to try to make a good almond flour chocolate peanut butter cupcake recipe. And it worked. Splendidly! I shared some of these with my two housemates, two coworkers, and a friend and they all really liked these cupcakes. So exciting that I created a recipe that all sorts of people can enjoy. That makes me happy!
These cupcakes are quite dense and filling with a delicious, rich dark chocolate peanut butter flavor. The almond flour adds another layer of nuttiness, as well. I think next time I make them I will experiment with adding a tablespoon or so of coconut flour to cut the almond flour flavor. My original recipe wasn't quite as sweet as I had wanted it so I adjusted the recipe for you. And I know the cupcakes should have frosting on top, but the frosting is inside! [These would be amazing with fresh whipped cream, though.] :)
I truly hope you enjoy these as much as I have!

Chocolate Cupcake

• 3 tbsp coconut oil
• 5 tbsp grass-fed/pastured butter
• 1 oz unsweetened bakers chocolate
• 4 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
• 3 organic/pastured eggs
• 2/3 c ZSweet
• 1 1/2 c blanched almond flour
• 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
• 1 1/2 tsp aluminum-free baking powder
• 2 tbsp brewed strong coffee [decaf is a good idea for these!]
• 2 tbsp organic heavy cream

- Preheat oven to 350º and line 9 spots in a cupcake tin with paper liners.
- Melt coconut oil, butter, and bakers chocolate either on the stove or in the microwave, being careful not to scorch the chocolate. Then set aside to cool.
- In a separate medium bowl lightly beat the eggs and zsweet together.
- Add remaining ingredients and beat on low just to incorporate.
- As the mixer is going, slowly pour in the chocolate and beat lightly to mix well.
- Set aside.

Peanut Butter Filling

• 3 oz organic cream cheese, softened
• 2.5 tbsp freshly ground peanut butter, softened
• 1 tbsp organic heavy cream
• 2.5 tbsp ZSweet

- In a small bowl beat all ingredients together until well blended and smooth.
To Put Together

- Scoop a heaping tablespoon of chocolate cupcake batter into each of the lined cups.
- Scoop about a heaping teaspoon or so of the peanut butter mixture onto the chocolate batter and spread evenly.
- Evenly distribute the remaining chocolate batter between them all.
- Bake at 350º for about 15-18 minutes. Check frequently. They will be done when the tops are set in the middle and are firm to the touch.
- Cool in the pan for 10 minutes then remove cupcakes and cool completely on wire rack or countertop.
- Can serve slightly warm, but they are best after they’ve been in the fridge for a day or two. Great cold straight from the fridge or heat for about 8 seconds in the microwave.

**Please come back here and let me know if you've tried these. I truly would love to know what you though of them and if you made any alterations. Thanks and enjoy. :) **