Saturday, May 16, 2009

Chocolate Peanut Butter Graduation Cupcakes

Walter's cousin is graduating from high school on Sunday. Naturally, I had to bake for the party after. So, I made some chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter frosting and peanut butter cup graduation caps.

Chocolate Cupcakes

I got this recipe here from Ina Garten at The Food Network. I ended up with 18 cupcakes instead of the 14-15 she said I'd get, but I am not too concerned by it. These cupcakes were pretty delicious. Moist and chocolatey. Walter said you could taste the coffee and wasn't thoroughly impressed with that, but I couldn't taste it at all. Although afterwards, he said that perhaps he was just tasting the peanut butter icing, so I am not sure. Regardless, I rather enjoyed them.

-3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
-2/3 cup granulated sugar
-2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
-2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature (I used 2 large eggs)
-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 (I used table salt)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with paper liners and set aside.
2. Cream the butter and 2 sugars on high speed until light and fluffy, approximately 5 minutes.
3. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each egg. Add the vanilla and mix well.
4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, sour cream, and coffee. In another bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.
5. Add the buttermilk mixture and the flour mixture alternately in thirds to the butter mixture, beginning with the buttermilk mixture and ending with the flour mixture and mixing well after each addition. Fold the batter with a rubber spatula to be sure it's completely blended.
6. 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.

Peanut Butter Frosting

This also came from Ina Garten (same link as above). I was worried it would be too sweet, but it was very good and complimented the cupcakes well.

-1 cup powdered sugar
-1 cup creamy peanut butter
-5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
-3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
-1/4 teaspoon kosher salt (I used table salt)
-1/3 cup heavy cream

1. Combine first five ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and mix until smooth. Add cream and mix on high speed until combined and smooth. Spread over cupcakes.

Peanut Butter Cup Graduation Caps

This idea originally came from Bakerella, but I found it here at A Year in the Kitchen. I thought it was an adorable idea, so I had to do it!

-Reese's mini Peanut Butter Cups (the same number as you have cupcakes)
-An equal amount of chocolate squares (I used Hershey's Cacao Reserve milk chocolate squares)
-Fruit-by-the-Foot candies (Bakerella used Airheads Sours. I was going to use those, but I ate them all before I got to it and then couldn't find more. Ashlee used Twizzlers Pull N Peels. Basically, anything you think will work is great. Be creative!)
-Colored icing (I used Wilton's Icing Writers in blue for this. Ashlee used
-Peanut butter

1. Unwrap peanut butter cups and chocolate squares. Place a small dab of peanut butter on the underside of the chocolate square and attach it to the small end of the peanut butter cup (so that the cup is resting upside-down).
2. Cut a small strip from the Fruit-by-the-Foot and attach it to the top of the cap with some of the colored icing. Place a small dab of the icing in the center of the square to make it look like a cap top.
3. Place graduation craps on cupcakes and serve.


Elyse said...

I think your cupcakes turned out magnificently. I love Bakerella's graduation caps :) So cute! They're the perfect topping to such tasty cupcakes. What a great way to celebrate graduation! Sorry that I’ve been an absent commenter; I just finished up my law school exams and am finally getting around to my google reader.

Joelen said...

Looks delicious and I especially love the pairing of chocolate and peanut butter!