Sunday, July 8, 2012

Trouble Ahead: Peanut Butter-Brownie Cupcakes

B asked me to describe these cupcakes. I said bad. I didn't really mean bad. I meant dangerous. Addictive. Really, really good. They're trouble.

The cupcake is a rich brownie; the filling is a creamy, sweet peanut butter frosting. The sprinkles? Well, I just got a little sprinkle happy because it was E's birthday.

Peanut Butter-Brownie Cupcakes

Adapted from Butter Lane's Chocolate Cupcakes

2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate, melted and cooled to room temperature
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup heavy cream

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line standard muffin cups with cupcake liners and set aside.

Whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and cocoa powder in a large bowl.

In a separate bowl, beat the sugar and butter together with a hand mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes). Add the melted chocolate and beat until well combined. Add the eggs one at a time and beat well after each addition. Add the heavy cream and the vanilla and beat until well combined.

With the hand mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture in three parts (about a cup at a time) to the butter mixture and beat well after each addition.

Fill the muffin cups about 3/4 full and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in a cupcake comes out mostly clean. Set aside the cupcakes to cool before frosting.

Peanut Butter Frosting
Inspired by Candace's Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie in The New Basics Cookbook

8 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoons heavy cream

Beat the cream cheese, peanut butter, and sugar together with a hand mixer on medium speed. Add the cream and mix well. Refrigerate until you're ready to frost the cupcakes. If it's quite cold, you may need to briefly beat the frosting before using it.

To Assemble

Scoop out the top of each cupcake so that about three tablespoons of frosting fits in the center. Smooth the frosting with a knife. Makes 18 cupcakes.

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