Sunday, July 3, 2011

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

No matter the holiday, it is always a good time when folks can get together and fellowship. I have not seen my some of my girls since the end of last year and am looking forward to hanging out and catching up with them for our pre-Fourth of July get together.

We each have things we are good at preparing and my area is dessert. So this go round, I wanted to do something we had not done in the past. I am a creature of habit so I typically whip up a cheesecake, pound cake, red velvet or carrot cake. Today, I decided to make chocolate peanut butter cupcakes.

I love a good chocolate cake. And coffee and Kahlua transform chocolate cakes to a new level of decadence. Since I am not a coffee drinker, I hated having to brew a pot of coffee just to include a cup or so in a cake batter. So I happened to stumble upon some coffee singles from Maxwell House that do the trick without wasting a half a pot of coffee. These little packets work much like a tea bag. You just heat or microwave your water, dip them for a few minutes, and voila! I get excited about the simplest things.

These cupcakes are moist and delicious and almost taste exactly like a bite from a Reese's peanut butter cup. Not too sure it was a good complement for the new drink Renee was preparing, the Purple Alaskan Thunderfu*k. There were at least 8 different types of alcohol in this concoction, along with some soda, pineapple juice and grenadine. Surprisingly, everyone was still standing and speaking clearly as we prepared for the drive home.

As with most of our time together, it came to an end too soon. But, I am anxiously looking forward to the next time we can all get together.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

1 3/4 c AP flour
2 c sugar
3/4 c Hershey’s cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
1 c buttermilk
1/2 c canola oil
2 lg eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla flavoring
1 c hot coffee

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Line three muffin tins with liner paper.

Sift the dry ingredients together, including the sugar. In a separate bowl, combine the eggs and the remaining wet ingredients, with the exception of the coffee. Using a mixer at low speed, combine the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients, incorporating the dry ingredients ½ cup at a time. Slowly incorporate the hot coffee, making sure to scrape the sides of the bowl.

Pour batter into muffin tins and bake for 15-18 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean. Cool cupcakes in the pan for 15 minutes. Transfer them to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Peanut Butter Frosting

5 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1 c confectioners’ sugar
1 c creamy peanut butter
3/4 tsp vanilla flavoring
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/3 c soy milk (or heavy cream)
1 c Reese’s peanut butter cups, cut into small pieces

Bring the butter to room temperature. Place all of the ingredients, except the soy milk (or heavy cream), in a bowl. Mix on medium speed until creamy. Slowly incorporate the soy milk and beat until light and smooth. Refrigerate frosting for at least an hour. Frost cupcakes. Garnish with candy pieces.

*Recipe adapted from Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa

All photographs are actual pictures of the recipe listed, prepared by Sweet Treats 'n Good Eats, and cannot be used without the owner’s consent.

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