Thursday, June 09, 2011

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

Picture this: it's my friend's 50th birthday party, held in my back yard around the in-ground pool. It's a beautiful evening, with good music and fun people. We've had a nice dinner and I bring out platters of cupcakes. The guests gather round and sing an enthusiastic chorus of  "Happy Birthday." To everyone's amusement, the balmy breeze keeps blowing out the candle for the guest of honor. Amid oohs and ahhs, the guests eagerly reach to snatch a cupcake and ...

"WAIT! I forgot to take pictures of the cupcakes!"

Everyone freezes as I snap a quick shot of my cupcakes. Welcome to a party thrown by a food blogger.

In the end, the picture above was the only picture I got of some of my cupcakes. Guess I won't be submitting this post to Tastespotting.

So on to the Chocolate Peanut Butter cupcakes in the foreground. They were inspired by my recent visit to local cupcake shop, Sugar Mountain Bake Shoppe. I loved the way their chocolate peanut butter cupcakes looked but thought the peanut butter frosting and filling overwhelmed the flavor of the chocolate cupcake. My version: my favorite chocolate cupcake recipe (which I got from the awesome Julie) topped with a generous amount of peanut butter buttercream. No filling.

Well, guess what?

The peanut butter frosting, which was divine, still overwhelmed the chocolate flavor of the cupcake. I was surprised because those cupcakes were really chocolatey. Next time I may devise a chocolate filling to really bring out the chocolate flavor.

All in all, the party goers were very happy with them. I even caught one person licking the wrapper. But the party favorite will come next.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes
Makes 36 cupcakes

1 1/2 cups hot strong coffee
1/3 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
3 large eggs
3/4 cup canola oil
3 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 (313 grams) cups flour
1 ½ (138 grams) cups cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
Peanut Butter Buttercream, below
Mini peanut butter cups, cut in half.

Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Line cupcake cups with paper liners.

Mix the hot coffee with the chopped chocolate, stirring occasionally until the mixture is smooth.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs until they are slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Slowly add the canola oil, and mix at medium speed for 1 minute. Gradually add the sugar, mixing until well combined. Slowly add the buttermilk, coffee mixture and vanilla, and mix until blended.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the batter in three additions on low speed, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. The batter will be liquidy.

Divide the batter among the prepared pans and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center emerges clean, 18-22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center emerges clean.

When completely cooled, frost with peanut butter buttercream (for 36 cupcakes you'll need to multiply the recipe by 1 1/2). I used a Wilton 6B decorating tip to pipe on the frosting. Garnish with a half of a mini peanut butter cup.

Peanut Butter Buttercream
Frosts about 24 cupcakes

1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup creamy peanut butter
5 cups (250 grams) powdered sugar
3 Tablespoons milk

Beat butter and vanilla with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add peanut butter and mix until combined. Add powdered sugar in one cup increments. Add milk and beat until fluffy.

3 comments:

Patsyk said...

How funny that you almost forgot to snap a photo! I have that happen and most of our friends just know that I may do that kind of thing these days. At least you did get one before everyone began nibbling them!

Angela FRS said...

Those look great and I love the chocolate filling idea (although I really don't mind being overwhelmed by peanut butter). I am thinking I will just start submitting intentionally awful photos to Tastespotting and Foodgawker just to be annoying. They are so FICKLE!

lapetitepancake said...

I would totally be licking the wrapper!
Have you been accepted into Tastespotter?
I have submitted a few things to Foodgawker, but I definitely need to work on my photography skills.

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