June 23, 2009

Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

Steve asked me to bake something for his team meeting where they celebrate whomever's birthday it is that month. Yes, his work team. Of grown adults. I would rather celebrate with a nice cocktail...but to each their own. I jokingly asked if he wanted me to make clown cupcakes or those cupcakes in ice cream cones since I was having a flash back of elementary school, but he assured me that wasn't necessary.

As we were in Costco (one of my favorite places to shop) this weekend, I found a Barefoot Cookbook I didn't have yet, Barefoot Contessa at Home. It was just $20 and I was thumbing through it, came across the recipe for Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting that looked yummy. Steve said make it, so we got the book and I made these tonight.

They are delicious! The cupcake recipe itself is kind of involved, but it is worth it. At one point, when alternating the wet and dry mixes into the main mix, the cupcake batter was looking like an Irish Car Bomb shot gone bad...but I kept the Mean Green Kitchen Aid 'a goin' and it all came out great in the end.

The frosting is so light and creamy and not over-powering. I was also pretty excited to use more of our new kitchen gadgets, a sifter and my cake decorator!

This recipe said it made around 14-15 cupcakes. When I made them, it yielded 23. Nothing like having these left over to munch on!

Cupcake Ingredients

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 (our oven took 20 minutes exactly), until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes, remove from the pans, and allow to cool completely before frosting.

Kathleen's Peanut Butter Frosting Ingredients

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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