Sunday, January 3, 2010

Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

For the cupcakes:
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
3 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup + 2 Tbsp. buttermilk, shaken, at room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup good cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

For the icing:
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup heavy cream

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line 2 cupcake pans with 24 paper liners.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and 2 sugars on high speed until light and fluffy, approximately 5 minutes.

Lower the speed to medium, add the eggs 1 at a time, then add the vanilla and mix well. In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and sour cream. In another bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.

On low speed, add the buttermilk mixture and the flour mixture alternately in thirds to the mixer bowl, beginning with the buttermilk mixture and ending with the flour mixture. Mix only until blended. Fold the batter with a rubber spatula to be sure it's completely blended.

Scoop batter into the cupcake pans with large scoop. Bake in the middle of the oven 18-22 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes, remove from the pans, and allow to cool completely before frosting.

To make the icing, put the confectioners' sugar, peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium-low speed until creamy, scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula as you work. Add the cream and beat on high speed until the mixture is light and smooth. Do not whip, the cream will start to separate.

Frost each cupcake with Peanut Butter Icing and sprinkle with chopped peanuts, if desired.

Source:Adapted from Barefoot Contessa

NOTES:These cupcakes are really delicious and the icing is to die for! The cake part is not my favorite, it was a little crumbly. I think I will try a more dense cake next time and there definitely will be a next time!

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