Friday, June 11, 2010

Chocolate/Peanut Butter Birthday Spectacular!

**Hello Fabulous readers of this here blog :) As previously tweeted, I said that I will have some guest bloggers since my schedule as a single-mom, student, worker etc. has been quite demanding as of late. So, instead of just being silent and absent, I've decided to call to arms other bloggers who are equally (if not more) fabulous than me and love cupcakes, food and pretty lil things just like me!

Crowning Victoria is a friend of mine (by proxy to one of my RL (real life) friend, Alicia)
She's a wedding blogger and quite the electric slide dancer (if I may so add) Without further ado, I present, Crowning Victoria!


I am thrilled to be guest blogging for color*ME*cupcake for numerous reasons, namely cupcakes.
I really don't do recipes on my blog, and that's just 'cuz I hate upkeep (the same reason I don't do highlights).  This opportunity to share one of my rare cupcake successes (some might argue "fail") highlights my MONTH, never-mind week.
Shameless plug: Visit my wedding planning/ego boosting blog called Crowning Victoria.

In the recent past I baked an awesome batch of chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter centers for my fiancee's birthday.  It should be noted that on my list of most disliked flavor combos is PB and Choc.  I just CAN NOT do it.  The sweet and salty overwhelms me, which is what draws in most people.  My fiancee is most people; he loves anything with peanut butter and chocolate.

So naturally I made Good Housekeeping's recipe for Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cupcakes, because I honestly do trust anything with the Good Housekeeping seal of approval (even choc-PB things).   It just seems right.
One of the reasons I heart this recipe is because the ingredients are simple.  There was no need to run out and purchase last minute items to make it all happen.  However, it's not the timeliest recipe, so if you're not in-it-to-win-it, then start earlier so you can win it.
But here's my downfall when it comes to baking: attention to detail.  I sorta flake on that, a lot, especially if I'm drinking wine.  One would think I might put the bottle aside, but baking and wino-ing are just inseparable in my mind.  Just don't add baking powder instead of baking soda.  Pay attention, now.

Filling and Cupcakes:
  • 2/3 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 10 tablespoon (1 1/4 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoon milk
  • 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 24 (more or less) standard muffin-pan cups with paper liners.

Make the Filling: Mix confectioners' sugar, peanut butter, 2 tablespoons butter, and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla until blended. This is hard without a Kitchen-Aide or fancypants blender.  Be patient, it will come together with a hand-held electric blender.
The recipe calls for 24 balls created by "heaping teaspoons."  I call shenanigans.
Dampen your hands first (or lightly apply olive oil to reduce stickiness).  Take quarter to nickle sized dollops into your hands and make something spherical.
Place balls on greased aluminum foil or a waxed paper-lined cookie sheet; set aside IN FRIDGE. 

1.  The recipe calls for combining flour, cocoa, baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon salt on waxed paper. Shenanigans. Put 'em in a bowl, it works just fine.
2.  In a GIANT (2-cup) liquid measuring cup, mix sour cream, milk, and remaining vanilla; set aside (don't loose it)
3.  In large bowl, beat granulated sugar and remaining 8 tablespoons butter just until blended (heart attack, maybe). 
4.  After a good mixin' add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well (like a naughty child) after each addition. 
5.  Beat 1 to 2 minutes more or until light and fluffy (unlike a naughty child)
6.  Add flour mixture alternately with sour cream mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat just until ingredients are combined, occasionally scraping bowl with rubber spatula. 
However, I just mixed the bejesus out of everything.  

Getting Jiggy With It:

1.  Spoon 1 (to 1 1/2) heaping measuring tablespoon batter into each muffin-pan cup.  SERIOUSLY, you want more on the bottom so the PB balls in the middle don't dry out.

2.  Drop 1 peanut butter ball of yumminess in center of each cup and top with another mound of batter. 

3.  The recipe calls to bake cupcakes 25 to 28 minutes or until toothpick inserted in cupcake comes out clean.  Mine were done in 20 minutes flat.

Immediately remove cupcakes from pans and cool completely on wire rack

For Butter Frosting: 
  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 6 tablespoons butter (no substitutions), softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons (or more, as needed) milk
 When cupcakes are cool, prepare Butter Frosting: In large bowl, with mixer on medium-low speed, beat confectioners' sugar, butter, vanilla, and 3 tablespoons milk until smooth and blended. Beat in additional milk as needed for easy spreading consistency. Increase speed to medium-high; beat until light and fluffy, scraping bowl often with rubber spatula. Makes 1 1/2 cups frosting. Spread frosting on cupcakes. 
(I used store bought frosting because I was in-it-to-kind-of-win-it)


(Like I said, attention to detail when baking is NOT my forte, and yet a necessity when baking.  That is why only 2 cupcakes are frosted and decorated!)

Thanks this guest post, chica!
Don't forget to visit my non-cupcakes blog!