Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Fourth of July!

 Let freedom ring my friends!

Today, at least in my case, that means not doing a red, white, and/or blue themed post.  It means I have the right to choose what I post about.  I mean, this is America, right?  We like to stand behind our rights, so that only makes sense.

And, actually?  I just don't have any red, white, or blue themed recipes that I want to share at this moment.  But, what I do want to share is awesome, just the same.
 Today, we're talking about Chocolate Cupcakes with a Peanut Butter-Cream Frosting Dipped in Chocolate.

Yes, those capital letters were absolutely necessary.  I feel as though I should be yelling how much I LOVE THIS RECIPE!!!  But, let's try to keep ourselves contained, at least a little bit, right?

First off, start with your favorite chocolate cupcake base.  I really love the base I used for the Oreo cupcakes (minus the Oreo). You could use your own favorite or even a box mix.  I won't tell.
 To me, the glory here comes in the top half of the cake, so that's what I'm going to focus on.

Peanut Butter Cream Frosting Ingredients:
1/2 cup granulated sugar2 large egg whites
1/8 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons softened unsalted butter,
cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup peanut butter
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
* this only covers about 12 cupcakes *

1. Combine sugar, egg whites, and salt in bowl.
2. Set bowl over pan of simmering water. Gently whisk until mixture registers 160 degrees F on instant-read thermometer. (I just went until it's warm to the touch).
3. With whisk attachment on your mixer, whip on medium-high speed until mixture resembles consistency of shaving cream.
4. On medium speed, add butter one piece at a time, until combined and creamy.
5. Whip in peanut butter and vanilla, and beat until smooth.
6. Using a zip lock bag, or a nice frosting bag and tip, pipe on that frosting, and let it go high.  Looks aren't necessarily important since all imperfections will be covered with the chocolate dip.  You could also just stop here and have a great recipe for PB Cream Frosting on Chocolate cupcakes, but why stop when you know it can only get better?
7. Place frosted cupcakes in the fridge for at least an hour to let the butter cream harden.

Chocolate Dip Ingredients:
8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
* this only covers about 8-12 cupcakes *

1. Melt chocolate and oil together (in microwave or through a double boiler approach)
2. Dip cold cupcakes directly into the chocolate.  It helps if you have a tall, relatively skinny container for the chocolate. Cover all of the butter cream frosting.
3. Let harden in fridge and enjoy!

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