So I've done peanut butter buttercream before, yes but the traditional "american" buttercream which was good - don't get me wrong! But, it was a tricky balance to get right - almost too easy to make it too dry for my taste. Now Swiss Meringue on the other hand...oh, this stuff is dreamy! The dreamy stuff that dreams are made of! Seriously, folks - you must try this buttercream! When paired with my chocolate espresso cupcake and topped off with a mini peanut butter cup - mmm...heaven! <3 I will say the two times I've made this swiss meringue it's come out much thinner than other flavor varieties and if I can find a way to alter that, I'll be sure to post the correction, but it's still good for piping on cupcakes - wouldn't advise using as a filling on cakes though.
Peanut Butter Swiss Meringue Buttercream
5 large egg whites
1 1/4 cups light brown sugar
2 cups unsalted butter, softened and cut into pieces
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 - 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter, to taste
Add egg whites and brown sugar to bowl of electric mixer and simmer over a pot of water, whisking gently, until temp reaches 140 degrees, or until the sugar has completely dissolved and the egg whites are hot, about 8 minutes if you used room temp egg whites.
Place the bowl back onto the mixer stand and with whisk attachment, begin to whip until the meringue is thick, glossy and the bottom of the bowl feels neutral to the touch (can take up to 10 minutes or so). Switch to paddle attachment and with mixer on low speed, add softened butter in chunks until incorporated and mix until it has reached a silky smooth texture (if it curdles, keep mixing on medium low and it will come back to smooth).
Add vanilla flavoring and peanut butter and continue to beat on low speed until well combined. (I had to increase the speed on my mixer to fluff it up a bit before piping on my cupcakes).