Sugar High Friday, the lovely event created by Jennifer, The Domestic Goddess, is Sweet Gifts, as chosen by this month's host, Danielle of Habeas Brulee.
So, this time around the cupcakes are one of Aidan's favorite combinations (along with a large population of the world I'm sure). They are Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffle Cupcakes. Long name, great treat. I've been eyeing this recipe for probably four years. I just never got around to making them until now. I've tried to make note of it below, but the only change I made to the original recipe I found in the magazine was to substitute the coffee with more buttermilk. First off, I'm not giving my crazed four-year old any amount of caffeine or enhancement that he can take out on me with his excess of energy to my lack thereof. Secondly, we just don't keep the stuff or drink it. Back in my previous life I'll admit to being an absolute caffeine and coffee fiend. However, too many headaches cured me of it, even though I am still jealous of those than can have it. I just jealously smell the fumes. So, if coffee is your cup of tea, so to speak, then by all means use it. That said, I don't really think it needed it at all. The cupcake texture was moist, perfect and very chocolately without it.
Danielle's idea was based around something you make for someone else and the story to go with it. I generally end up making everything with someone else in mind, so it was really fun to just think about doing something for someone. Since cupcakes were the order of the day, and Aidan is one of my favorite people to make a special treat for, this challenge was a natural fit. He is the best big brother to Cole in the whole entire world. He has handled all of the turmoil our lives have been thrown into for the past five months with amazing humor, patience and kindness towards "our baby." I think that a lot of kids really would have had the sibling rivalry amped up on them when their world gets rocked the way ours did. He has been a champ. A bored, sometimes frustrated champ. But a real champ none-the-less. He is such a good, good boy. We love both of our boys so much. I'm lucky to have them. So, here is a sweet gift for my sweetheart.
(August/September 2004 Issue of Cooking Pleasures)
6 oz. white chocolate, chopped
¼ cup creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
¾ cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup sugar
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk (or ½ cup buttermilk & ½ cup strong coffee, cooled to room temperature)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup whipping cream
3.5 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
4 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
½ teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon corn syrup
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
Place white chocolate in medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on medium just until chocolate is soft; stir until smooth. Whisk in ¼ cup peanut butter until smooth.
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 12 muffin cups with cupcake liners; spray bottom of liners with nonstick cooking spray. Sift flour, sugar, ½ cup cocoa powder, baking soda and salt into medium bowl; combine with a whisk.
Place buttermilk, eggs and vanilla into a large mixing bowl; beat at medium speed until blended. Reduce speed to medium-low; slowly beat in flour mixture. Add melted butter. Increase speed to medium-high; beat 2 minutes.
Place cream in small saucepan; bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove pan from heat. Place chopped chocolate in a heat-proof bowl. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate. Let sit for 1 minute, then stir with a whisk to combine. Add 4 tablespoons peanut butter, the corn syrup, and the vanilla; stir until smooth. Place the bowl in an ice bath and keep stirring to cool to room temperature. Place mixture into a mixing bowl, or using a handheld mixture, whip the confectioner's sugar into the frosting until lighter. It will still be thick, just not as "ganache" like. Top each cupcake as desired.