When Cliff and I went To Washington D.C./Virginia for my birthday last month we did a mini cupcake tour of the area. Each place we went we tried a classic cupcake flavor and then we got a “wild card.” Which was basically, in our opinion, the weirdest cupcake on the menu. One of the cupcakes we had was an “ants on a log” cupcake. We really had no idea what to expect. But it turned out to be a favorite. I knew right away that we needed to make our own version of an “ants on a log” cupcake.
First of all, everyone knows what “ants on a log” is, right? I am not sure if it is a regional thing or if everyone grew up on “ants on a log.” We went to Washington D.C. to visit our friends Amanda and Kyle. Amanda had never heard of “ants on a log” before. So, in case you don’t know, it is celery with peanut butter and raisins. I think it’s a popular snack among pre-schoolers but Kelly and I still eat them regularly.
We have made a lot of cupcakes in the past year, and I have to say this makes the top 3 for me. I loved them! I wasn’t sure how the candied celery would turn out, but it was actually pretty good! I wouldn’t eat a lot of it, but as a garnish I really liked it. We put rum in ours but if you omit the rum they would make great treats for a kid’s party. I am really excited about these cupcakes, so I hope SOMEONE tries them!
¼ cup butter, softened
½ cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 ½ cups flour
1 ¼ teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup milk
¾ cup peanut butter chips/morsels
2 sticks unsalted butter
3-4 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon rum
1 cup raisins, roughly chopped
Celery, cut into 1 inch long pieces
1 cup water
2 cups sugar, divided
Pre heat the oven to 350 degrees. Cream the butter and peanut butter together in the bowl of a stand mixer until smooth. Add the sugar and eggs and continue to beat. Add the vanilla and mix for 1 more minute.
Add the dry ingredients to a bowl. Add half of the dry ingredients to the butter/sugar mixture, and mix until combined. Add the milk. Once combined add the rest of the dry ingredients. Carefully fold in peanut butter morsels. Fill each cupcake tin 2/3 full. You should have enough batter for about 12-14 cupcakes. Bake 15-20 minutes. Let cool completely before frosting.
Add the butter and powdered sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix until combined. Add the rum and salt. Mix 1 more minute. Fold in the raisins.
Cut the celery into 1 inch pieces. Heat the water and 1 cup of sugar in a skillet; add the celery. Coat the celery in the sugar/water mixture. Cook about 10 minutes on medium/low heat. Remove the celery from the heat and transfer the celery to a Ziploc bag. Add 1 cup of sugar. Shake to coat the celery. Transfer the celery to a plate and the sugar will harden.
Note: If you are going to garnish the cupcakes with the candied celery, wait til just before serving so that the sugar doesn’t melt and leave a pool of liquid in the frosting.
Source: A Live Love Pasta Original