This one was intended to be a straight up strawberry buttercream.  When I started blending the butter with my strawberry concentrate, however, it was not even sort of combining.  The butter kept in these tiny balls that just mixed in with the strawberry jam-like substance I had created.  I realized that more fat was needed if this was going to work. An emulsifier, if you will.  My two other icings worked perfectly and both contained one thing: nut butter.  Maybe this was the key! Indeed, it was! Turns out, if you want to make a paleo buttercream, all you need is butter, sweetener of choice, and a spoonful of nut butter.  With that, the PB&J Buttercream was born.

Ingredients:

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1 cup Strawberries, cut up
1/2 cup water
Juice of 1 lemon
Pinch salt
Vanilla Bean
1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temp
2 tbsp Peanut Butter

1) First thing’s first: make the strawberry concentrate. Very easy. Put strawberries, water, and  pinch of salt in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil and let go for 7 min, stirring occasionally.  After 7 min, remove from heat and throw it in a blender. Blitz until smooth and return to saucepan.  Scrape insides of vanilla bean and add the seeds and pod to the puree.  Let simmer on low heat for 10 min. Remove the pod, put puree aside and let cool.

2) When the puree is cooled completely, add it to a mixing bowl with the butter, peanut butter, and a pinch of salt.  Whip with a hand mixer on a medium speed for 3 minutes. You will see the consistency change as air is added.

3) That’s it.  If you’re feeling fancy, put the icing into a piping bag and to your COMPLETELY cooled cupcakes. You can also go rustic and slap it on with a spoon.