These were pretty good. I think this is probably as much peanut butter flavor as you're likely to get in a cake. I found the sugar level appropriate, but added more salt (about a teaspoon) and I'm glad I did. I subbed more PB for the shortening, since commercial PB is basically shortening and peanuts. You definitely need an electric beater for this, and don't expect to incorporate much air. I think that's why a lot of folks reported not much rise--with very few bubbles to start with, the small amount of soda and acid aren't going to make a whole lot either and you won't get the light and fluffy volume you might have been hoping for. With the amount of batter, I used an ice cream disher to measure each cup, and my disher fills my normal muffin tins almost full. I thought that might be rather too full, but since the rise is small, it wasn't bad. The muffins did spread out, and the tops ended up rather like peanut butter cookies sitting on top of a little, dense cake. We like them. We didn't have any trouble with the tops breaking off, either, mostly because nothing stuck to the pan at all--used paper liners for the bottoms based on other reviews. I plan to frost them with chocolate today. I am debating popping the tops and doing an inner layer of chocolate instead of doing the tops, just to preserve the 'cookie' look they have. Anyway, pretty good unfrosted. Next time I might try changing it to add lift, maybe more egg or soda/tartar or milk.
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These were pretty good. I think this is probably as much peanut butter flavor as you're likely...