For the peanut butter shells:
4 tablespoons butter, softened
6 tablespoons brown sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons peanut butter (creamy works best)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup flour
For the filling:
1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon peanut butter (creamy works best)
2 1/2 teaspoons baking cocoa
1 tablespoon butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Place either 12 regular sized cupcake liners, or 24 mini ones, in a muffin/cupcake tin. Set aside.
2. In a mixing bowl, cream the butter, brown sugar, peanut butter and vanilla until light and fluffy. Gradually add the flour until combined—the mixture will be fairly crumbly.
3. Take about 2/3 of the mixture and press into half of the cupcake cups in your prepared muffin tin, making sure to press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of the cups.
4. With the remaining mixture, press the dough into only the bottom of the remaining cups—so you will have half of the cups filled on the bottom and sides, and half just pressed into the bottom of the cups.
5. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned and set. Let cool.
6. In the meantime, make your filling. combine all of the ingredients either in a microwave-safe bowl for 30 seconds until combined and creamy. Pour into each of your waiting peanut butter cups. If your flat tops have not crumbled, put them on top; if they have, then go ahead and simply crumble them on top.
7. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or until the filling has set. After the filling has set, they can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container.