Sunday, August 21, 2011

Peanut Butter Filled Hot-Fudge Cupcakes (Warning: these are deadly...good)

I am still lamenting how summer blue skies, and warm temperatures has bypassed the Central Coast of California.  My tomatoes aren't pleased, either.  Then again, I've been reading tweets and blogs, from those of you who are melting in triple-digit temperatures-- so I have no right to complain.  At least, with cooler weather, I haven no problem  baking something in the oven.  I have a wicked mean sweet tooth.  I collect, by far, more dessert recipes than I do savory.

Baking is very therapeutic for me.  Those who hate to measure are (in my own theory) those who say they hate to bake.  I don't mind measuring ingredients.  The problem is, I have minimal self-control when it comes to not eating what I bake.

When I first spotted this recipe on "How Sweet It Is", I almost skipped reading about it.  Peanut butter, you see, isn't my favorite ingredient.  Sure, a PBJ sandwich sounds great with homemade jam.  I do enjoy a Reese's Peanut Butter cup treat every so often. Otherwise, peanut butter isn't something that triggers a food lust within me.  My husband loves peanut butter, and so I decided to bake this treat just for him. (Selfishly, my plan was that I'd be able to resist these.)

The first step in making the cupcake batter requires a hot fudge sauce.  (You will find a printable recipe at the end of this post.)  Most likely (if you're a baker) you have the items in your pantry:  flour, dark cocoa powder, salt, sugar, butter, milk (or water, but I chose whole milk) and pure vanilla.  If you scrutinize photos (which I've been known to do on occasion), I added the pat of butter at the beginning.  Then, I realized it's added at the end-- and I pulled it out.  Whisk the ingredients together with the hot milk (or water) and whisk until it thickens. Then add the pat of butter and vanilla, off heat.

I don't own a double boiler. Usually, I set a bowl over a low-simmering pot of water.  This worked out well, however.
 The sauce thickened in about five minutes.  It's divine, and it makes a lot more than you need for the batter.  Vanilla ice cream would be excellent with this sauce...

 The recipe directions doesn't say to strain the sauce, but I did anyway.  

15 minutes of time invested, start to finish, I have hot fudge sauce. Do I hear an amen?  Angels singing?  This stuff is pretty good, I must say!  I poured it into a squeeze bottle and now, for the cupcake batter--

We need flour, dark coco powder, melted butter, an egg, sour cream, pure vanilla extract, brown sugar, baking soda and salt.  

Preheat the oven to 350F. I used my stand mixer, but I think this can easily be done by hand-- with a whisk.  Begin by mixing the brown sugar and egg, Add milk, cream, butter and vanilla, and mix until combined. Stir in sour cream. Sift dry ingredients together and then add to the wet mixture. Mix until batter is smooth, then swirl in fudge sauce.
 Line a muffin tin (12 count) with liners and using a ¼ cup measure, add batter to each cup. (I use an ice cream scoop.)

 Bake for 15-18 minutes. 

I got 14 cupcakes, and I discovered that once the batter sits for 18 minutes (second batch), these puffed up even higher.   Just a side note. Let cool before frosting.

Oh yeah, frosting!

Cream butter and peanut butter together in the bowl of an electric mixer. Add powdered sugar with mixer on low speed and gradually add milk and vanilla extract. Add a pinch of salt and mix until frosting is smooth. If too thick, add more milk; if too thin, add more sugar.  This is your basic buttercream frosting.  Me, the Anti-Peanut butter lover took a taste.  Sweet, but not cloyingly sweet. The peanut butter flavor there, but it didn't go "Pow"!  Hmmm...

 For years, I frosted cupcakes with a small butter knife. I think that's a royal pain, if you ask me.  I like to pipe my frosting with a pastry bag.  I use a Wilton 1M Star tip with a disposable bag.  It's much easier to fill a pastry bag when you place it into a tall glass, then fold the top of the bag over it, like a cuff.  Fill the bag, squeeze the top and squeeze over a bowl to remove any excess air. There!  Now here's something cool I learned from "How Sweet It Is"... and it's sweet!

Plunge the tip into the cupcake and squeeze, while lifting up...

There ya go!  Frosting filled cupcakes.  Easy!

Squeeze and swirl the frosting... there!  Quick and easy...

A few jimmie sprinkles or some shaved chocolate would be pretty. But, we have that fudge sauce...
The squeeze bottle works well (but drizzling with spoon can work)... slowly...

Come to mama!

I like!


The chocolate cupcake recipe has some very stiff competition, because I am in-love with my Moist Chocolate Cake recipe.  I don't like dry cupcakes... well, who does? How do you eat your cupcake?  Do you pull off the bottom and put it on top-- and eat your cupcake like a sandwich? Just curious... as that's how I do it. I want an even ratio of frosting to cake, you see. 


Well, look!  I won't have to do that with this frosting technique  I have frosting inside, and on top.  Oh dear, my sweet tooth is throbbing and at full attention.  I have to taste this...

VERDICT:   Oh, help me, Rhonda!  The cake is incredibly moist.  It's baby soft, and tender, and the chocolate flavor is spot on.  The frosting-- I'm toast.  Really, this is not what I had planned expected.  It's phenomenal.  Seriously, I'm diggin' the peanut butter and chocolate combo.  I'm in serious trouble, here.   My plan to bake a resistible dessert was foiled.  I took most of the cupcakes to the office and they were gone in a nano-second.  I had some very happy peanut butter and chocolate lovin' co-workers.  Winner!

This cupcake has altered my ho-hum attitude about peanut butter.  Yes, I'd make this again...and again...but only for potlucks or bake sales.  I can't have them in my kitchen, or I can't promise that I'd have any kind of self-control.  You need these in your life. Even if just once...


 


Here's the printable recipe:

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19 comments:

Ali said...

These are totally out of control! haha, they look so delicious :)

mjskit said...

It's posts like this that make me want to start baking! These are gorgeous!!! I can taste them just looking at your picture! YUM!

Aarthi said...

wow....lovely recipe

bellini said...

These do sound deadly Debby.

Joanne said...

I both need and want to run as far away from these as possible. They look amazing.

Ama said...

Wow, these look amazing! They're making my mouth water. I've got to try these out!! This is a great recipe :)

Monica H said...

I feel the same way about PB. Actually I like PB, just don't love it with chocolate- I think it's the salty.sweet aspect of it that I don't love. But PB and jam? yes please!

All that being said, I want one of these cupcakes, because I"m hoping they'll change my mind about that flavor combo. They really do look delicious.


On another note, I wanted to ask you a question about the Mississippi Muda cake that you made not too long ago. I was wanting to make it, googled it and realized that it was the same recipe you made. You mentioned that you would add sour cream or oil to it to make it more moist. Does it need oil or sour cream to make it moist or were you just wanting to play around with the recipe? Also the sauce...do you recommend I make it a day ahead of time? Do I refrigerate it or just leave it out covered on the counter at room temp?

Thanks love! I look forward to hearing your suggestions!

Monica

Valerie said...

I have no words. I just want one of those cupcakes, now. :P

Wow!

The Dutch Baker's Daughter said...

Nice! I love filled cupcakes--peanut butter makes it all the better. :) Your pics are mouthwatering!

Chris and Amy said...

Is there anything better than chocolate and peanut butter? These look incredible. Soooo good!

Noelle Marie said...

AMEN. To the whole post! WOWsers. The funny thing is I bought those cupcake wrappers too and JUST USED THEM LAST NIGHT. Can't wait for you to see... post coming soon, but you beat me to it ;-) forget september, I'm coming over!

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

I love PB too! These cakes look divine. I think I'd eat that fudge sauce with a spoon.

Karen (Back Road Journal) said...

Oh my goodness, what a wonderful sounding cupcake. Who could possibly resist it.

Becki's Whole Life said...

Oh my goodness, these look delicious! Chocolate and peanut butter are my favorite.

Stacey Snacks said...

Deb,
These are beautiful! and I love peanut butter with chocolate. Though they do sound deadly!

Marguerite said...

Omg, these look sinfully delicious! Thanks for the great recipe and for stopping by!

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Oh Debby - You are killing me with these cupcakes. It's that fudge sauce over the top that makes these stand out above the crowd. oh yes.

Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

My husband is the peanut butter lover in our house and he would go crazy over these. They are so pretty, who wouldn't?

Have a lovely weekend Debby. It’s nice to be able to get out and visit old friends again.
Sam

Kate said...

These are beautiful...I can't think of a better way to celebrate National Peanut Butter Day...unless it is eating them! Oh my, Debby!