Sunday, June 24, 2012

Peanut Butter Cupcakes
I was surfing the web a couple of weeks ago and found this website–no, not website. Godsend. What else could you call a page covered in pictures of 33 delicious-looking cupcakes? I swear, I almost smashed my computer to get at the cupcakes that I was sure were lurking just behind the screen.
I was salivating.
Tonight, my brothers had a bunch of friends over. (Side note: One of them made burgers. They were very good.)
Immerse yourself in my burger!
I was determined to bake something, despite the insane heat. I decided on the peanut butter cupcakes from Ming Makes Cupcakes, Cupcake 17. You garnish them with a peanut butter frosting AND chocolate ganache.
Unfortunately, I let my mom talk me out of making the cupcakes with Ming's recipe. She was worried about the fact that I had never made a cupcake from Ming's site before; Mom's a little leery about internet recipes. I conceded because I didn't want a hoard of dessert-hungry teenage boys raiding the house for any edible sweets. However, I was determined to make the luscious-looking frosting and ganache from Ming Makes Cupcakes. So, after an extensive search, I found a recipe for peanut butter cupcakes on Epicurious's site. (For some reason, good peanut butter cupcake recipes are hard to find. Reviews for most of the recipes I found said that they were dry or sunken or tasted weird.) Although some of the reviews for Epicurious's cupcakes said they were a little dry, others said that they were delicious if you reduce the flour. I made a couple other modifications as well. So here is my version of Epicurious's peanut butter cupcakes with a slightly modified peanut butter frosting and chocolate ganache from MingMakesCupcakes:



1 cup all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
Rounded 1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup whole milk (or 2/3 cup skim and 1-1/3 tablespoon melted butter mixed together)


1/2 cup peanut butter (crunchy or smooth)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup confectioner's sugar
3 tablespoons milk (any milk will do)


3/4 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup heavy cream



Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl.

Beat peanut butter, butter, and sugar in an electric mixer on medium speed for about 2 minutes or until blended.
Add egg and vanilla and beat until fluffy, also on medium speed.
Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture and milk alternately, beginning and ending with flour.
My substitute for whole milk: 2 tablespoons butter, 3/4 cup skim milk.
Mix until just combined and do not overmix! Divide batter amongst 11 or 12 lined cupcake/muffin cups.
They should be about 2/3 full, or a little more if you make 11. Bake in center of oven until pale gold and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean-ish, 17-20 minutes.
Take cupcakes out of pan and allow to cool completely.

Frosting (This actually makes a reasonable amount of frosting. You will not be stuck with a gallon of leftovers and nothing to do with them.):

While cupcakes are baking/cooling, beat peanut butter and vanilla until blended, preferably in an electric mixer.
Add 1-1/2 tablespoons milk and 1-1/2 tablespoons sugar while beating.
I added pretty much all the sugar. Silly me.
Add remaining milk and sugar and beat until smooth.

If frosting is too thick, add more milk and beat until the frosting looks like it does in the picture.
This picture.

After preparing frosting, pour chocolate chips in a bowl. Put cream in a small saucepan and bring to a low boil. Pour over chocolate chips and stir until smooth.
I did it with a double boiler. It didn't work as well.

Garnish cupcakes with heaping spoonful of frosting (or several). Drizzle ganache on top.

Gosh, where do I begin? These were AMAZING. The cupcakes were perfectly moist and not overly sweet. The recipe just barely makes enough for 12 cupcakes, so some of mine were a little small. It may be due to my habit of sampling the batter. Repeatedly.
If you like, make 11 and they should be larger. Although they aren't very peanut buttery on their own, the intense flavor of the frosting compensates for it. The frosting is the best part of this dessert. It was creamy and oh-so-peanuty. It tasted like a slightly sweeter and softer version of peanut butter and was just wonderful. I was sorely tempted to sit down and eat it with a spoon. The ganache really complemented the peanut flavor, but I found that the original method on Ming Makes Cupcakes (double boiler) left the ganache with flecks of chocolate or something else that refused to melt. Thus, I changed it to the usual boil-cream-and-pour-over-chocolate method.
If you are a die-hard peanut butter fanatic, I would add more peanut butter to the cupcakes. (Actually, Ming's recipe called for a full cup of peanut butter. Try hers!)
And Ming, I'm sorry for doubting your cupcakes.

1 comment:

  1. I will testify that these were amazing. Those of us who were out for the evening and got home late, barely got one!