Friday, July 15, 2011

Chocolate Cupcakes & Peanut Butter Icing...Uh HEAVEN!!!!!

I LOVE CUP CAKES!  What an ingenious idea to create a pan in which to make mini-cakes.  Don't want to make a whole cake?  Make a cupcake!  I was asked to bring dessert to dinner at a friend's house, but I didn't want anything super decadent because I'm trying to watch my calories so I decided to make cupcakes in hopes it would keep me from eating too much dessert.  Nice try. :)

These cupcakes can best be described as Reese's Peanut Butter Cupcakes!  NO LIE!  The frosting tastes EXACTLY like the inside of a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup.  Oh my!  I thought with the sour cream that these cupcakes would be super moist, but no so.  :(  I'm not sure if it is the altitude (remember I'm baking at 7,000ft), the recipe or (more likely) me!  I would definitely be interested in feedback on how these babies turn out for you!

Ina Garten's Chocolate Cupcakes and Peanut Butter Icing

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk, shaken, at room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature
2 tablespoons brewed coffee
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup good cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line cupcake pans with paper liners.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and 2 sugars on high speed until light and fluffy, approximately 5 minutes. Lower the speed to medium, add the eggs 1 at a time, then add the vanilla and mix well. In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, sour cream, and coffee. In another bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. On low speed, add the buttermilk mixture and the flour mixture alternately in thirds to the mixer bowl, beginning with the buttermilk mixture and ending with the flour mixture. Mix only until blended. Fold the batter with a rubber spatula to be sure it's completely blended.
Divide the batter among the cupcake pans (1 rounded standard ice cream scoop per cup is the right amount). Bake in the middle of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes, remove from the pans, and allow to cool completely before frosting.
Frost each cupcake with Peanut Butter Icing and sprinkle with chopped peanuts, if desired.

Kathleen's Peanut Butter Icing:

1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 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.

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