Mini Triple-Treat Cupcakes

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Each fall, my husband and I invite his entire extended family over to our house for a Regan Family Get Together. We try to keep the food menu fairly simple so we can spend more time catching up with our loved ones, so we provide heroes and pizza, and everyone else brings a dessert, appetizer or side.

We always host it over Columbus Day weekend, and usually the weather cooperates. But this year, the weather was stormy, rainy and chilly. So to brighten up the atmosphere, I decided to add in some Halloween flair to our merry little gathering and made these Mini Triple-Treat Cupcakes.

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This recipe from Everyday Food has been dog-eared since last fall, but I never got around to making it. I'm happy to say, the wait was well worth it – these little treats were a big hit with both the kids and adults alike. They were also the perfect party dessert – you could just grab one and go!

This Mini Triple-Treat Cupcakes recipe should be kept on hand for any holiday that leaves you with an excess of candy afterwards – think Halloween, Christmas, and Easter too! Just swap out the candy corns for something appropriately festive.

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MINI TRIPLE-TREAT CUPCAKES
Makes ~36*

Ingredients:
* 1 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
* 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
* 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
* 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
* 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
* 1 large egg, plus 1 large egg yolk
* 1/4 cup buttermilk
* 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
* 48 miniature chocolate peanut-butter cups, such as Reese's
* 48 pieces candy corn, for decorating

Directions:

Step 1.)  Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with racks in upper and lower thirds. Line two 24-cup mini-muffin pans with paper liners.

Step 2.) In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat together peanut butter, butter, and brown sugar on high until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in egg and egg yolk, scraping down bowl as needed. With mixer on low, beat in flour mixture, buttermilk, and vanilla until combined.

Step 3.) With the large end of a melon baller or a spoon, place 2 teaspoons batter into each muffin cup, then press a peanut-butter candy into each center until batter aligns with top edge of candy. Bake until puffed and set, about 10 minutes, rotating pans halfway through.

Step 4.) Immediately place a piece of candy corn on top of each cupcake; let cool completely in pans on wire racks.

*Cook's Note: The batch did not produce Martha's anticipated 48 mini-cupcakes; I had about 36.

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Happy Eating,

Denine

P.S. The original recipe appeared in Everyday Food, October 2011.

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