Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

What do you get when you combine Flour bakery and the Barefoot Contessa? Chocolate and peanut butter? Sinfully delicious chocolate peanut butter cupcakes!

I originally found a recipe for chocolate peanut butter cupcakes on another food blog which used Ina Garten’s peanut butter frosting recipe. I loved the frosting but was not a fan of the cupcake which was too dense and dry (the actual chocolate cupcake recipe was not Ina Garten’s). So for take #2 of these cupcakes I decided to rely on my old favorite chocolate cupcake recipe (also featured in my St. Patty’s Day cupcakes): Joanne Chang’s chocolate cupcake from the Flour bakery cookbook.

The new combination was a success resulting in a softer/moist (sorry for people who hate that word) cupcake that was a much better complement to the fluffy peanut butter frosting. These have probably become one of my most requested cupcakes!

Recipe for Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

Chocolate Cupcakes (From Joanne Chang’s Flour bakery cookbook)
Yield: 12 standard size cupcakes

2 oz (56 grams) unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup (30 gram) Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 cup (200 grams) sugar
1/2 cup (one stick/114 grams) unsalted butter
1/3 cup (80 gram) water
1/2 cup (120 gram) milk
1 egg
1 yolk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup (140 grams) flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt

Line your muffin tin with 12 cupcake liners.

In a large heatproof bowl, combine chocolate and cocoa powder. In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat the sugar, butter, and water, stirring occasionally, until the butter melts and the sugar dissolves (3 to 4 minutes). Pour the butter mixture over the chocolate and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Let cool slightly and whisk the milk, egg, extra yolk, and vanilla into the chocolate mixture until combined.

In a bowl, stir the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together until blended. Add the flour mixture to the chocolate mixture and whisk until smooth. Let the batter sit at room temperature for at least 1 hour to thicken. Or, cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350F. Spoon the batter into the muffin tins, filling until at least 3/4 full. Bake for 30 minutes or until the tops spring back when pressed lightly with a fingertip and they pass a toothpick check. I usually start checking after 20-25 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Cupcakes can also be made in “mini” form. Makes 36 mini cupcakes. Fill mini cupcake tin with about 1 Tbs batter per cupcake. Bake for 13-15 minutes.

Peanut Butter Frosting (from Barefoot Contessa)

1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
7.5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup heavy cream

Place the confectioners’ sugar, peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium-low speed until creamy, scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula as you work. Add the cream and beat on high speed until the mixture is light and smooth.

Assembly

Spread or pipe peanut butter frosting onto cooled cupcakes. Enjoy!

“I got to thinking about relationships and partipbcupal lobotomies. Two seemingly different ideas that might just be perfect together- like chocolate and peanut butter.”

~Carrie Bradshaw, Sex and the City

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Lemon Raspberry Cupcakes with Lemon Curd Filling

I’ve been trying really hard to stay away from baking and posting about cupcakes. This is a blog about baking in general, not just cupcakes! Plus, everyone in the food world says that the cupcake trend is out…which makes me kinda sad. What’s so wrong about a single serving of cake and frosting in a cute little package? Didn’t anyone ever tell Bon Appetit that good things come in small packages? (I may be a little overly defensive on this issue given my 5′ 3″ stature) But I digress…

Despite trying really hard not to make more cupcakes, inspiration hit me Saturday morning as I left the hospital after an 18 hour shift, with the bright sun blinding my eyes. Although it may not be exactly warm out (seriously, 50 degrees in May?), it has at least been sunny which always puts me in the mood for lighter, refreshing flavors….such as lemon and raspberry. These cupcakes start with a moist, lemon cake which are then filled with a tangy lemon curd and finally topped with a fresh raspberry buttercream frosting, reminiscent of a raspberry sorbet. The result is a the perfect blend of sweet and tart in the form of a cupcake- perfect for a bridal/baby shower, Mother’s Day brunch or a crazy night on vascular surgery.

Recipe for Lemon Raspberry Cupcakes with Lemon Curd Filling (makes 24 cupcakes)

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Sticky Bun Cupcakes!

Anyone who knows me knows that I’m obsessed with Flour bakery and their cookbook (btw- the new Flour cookbook, Flour, Too, comes out in June!). I have made countless recipes from the Flour cookbook such as the muffins, maple scones, oreos, chocolate chip cookies, snickerdoodles, carrot cake, etc. but by far the favorite is always the sticky buns. What makes these so amazing, is the delicious “goo” that they are topped with. At some point in the past month, while likely getting yelled at in the operating room, I went to my “happy place” and came up with the brilliant idea to make a frosting out of the “goo” and hence “the sticky bun cupcake” was born. I finally had the time on my vacation to try them out, and aside from the fact that they may cause an instant heart attack, they were quite delicious.

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Easter Sunday

Just like a good little Jewish girl, I was really excited for Easter (did I mention that Easter this year fell during Passover?). I think the last time I had been this excited for Easter was when my Catholic ex-bf from college staged a real Easter egg hunt for me- my very first ever. This year, my enthusiasm was because I had come up with a brilliant idea for a cupcake (and who can pass up an opportunity to drink at 1PM at Easter brunch?). My vision was this: A yellow cupcake with a mini Cadbury cream egg hidden inside (that’s the Easter egg hunt part- get it?), topped with a “nest” of chocolate ganache frosting and filled with pastel colored chocolate eggs. Overall, it was a pretty good cupcake but I’m still searching for the perfect yellow cupcake recipe. Most I have tried are too dry and I’d hate to resort to a boxed yellow cake mix (although I do admit they can be pretty tasty)…any suggestions?

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Belated St. Patty’s Day Post


Everyone is Irish on St. Patty’s Day! While I generally despise this holiday- huge crowds of rowdier/drunker than normal Massholes crammed into a bar with a $20 cover and a 30 minute wait for a beer- my friend encouraged me to be a little more optimistic. I managed to whip up some enthusiasm when one of the nurses I work with mentioned some St. Patty’s Day themed cupcakes she had found online. There were green velvet cupcakes, lucky charms cupcakes and….Irish Car Bomb cupcakes. What makes these cupcakes quite amazing isn’t just the multiple elements of chocolate- it’s that there is alcohol in all 3 components. You start with a chocolate cupcakes with Guinness (I used a version of Flour bakery’s chocolate cupcake), then fill with a Whiskey ganache and finally top with Bailey’s buttercream frosting. Although, unfortunately, not enough alcohol to give you a buzz, they were quite delicious! Kiss me, I’m (not really) Irish!

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