Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Week 28, August 15, 2014 ~ Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Cupcakes

I am sooo far behind! Work has been consuming my life and I am finally getting back into me normal routine. Considering I have spent more hours at work than home the past few weeks I am proud of myself for even finding time to make cupcakes. Week 28 was my birthday (Happy first 29th Birthday to me!) so I had to make something extra special obviously! I was really wanting an extra chocolatey cupcake and I love all things sweet and salty and peanut buttery! I used my favorite Guinness chocolate cake recipe,I think I like it better than chocolate cupcake recipes that use coffee, and filled them with a peanut butter sauce and topped them off with a whipped chocolate ganache, all atop a pretzel crust. For decoration I kept it simple with a pretzel and peanut butter drizzle. The chocolate ganache was kind of amazing and gave the cupcake a more sophisticated look than a plain ganache may have. I definitely think this cupcake is a top 10 contender! I am about 4 weeks behind on posts so I will just get on with it!

This recipe makes 2 dozen cupcakes!

For the Pretzel Crust:
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 heaping cup crushed pretzels
1.In a medium bowl, mix together the three ingredients
4. Drop about a tablespoon of the crust mixture into the bottom of each cup. Use a small glass to pack down the crust.

For the Guinness Chocolate Cake:

  • 1 1/2 cups Guinness
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  •  3/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder - I use Hershey's Special Dark
  • 2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 egg
  • 1 1/3 cup sour cream
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Bring the Guinness and butter to a simmer in a heavy, medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the cocoa powder and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.
  2. Whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt in a large bowl to combine. Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs and sour cream on medium speed until combined.
  3. Add the Guinness-chocolate mixture to the egg mixture and beat just to combine. Reduce the speed to low, add the flour mixture and beat briefly.
  4. Divide the batter among the cupcake liners. Bake until a thin knife inserted into the center comes out clean, about 17 minutes. Cool the cupcakes on a rack.
For the Peanut Butter Filling:
  • 2/3 cup peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
1. Combine all three ingredients and mix until smooth.
2. Fill each cupcake with about a tablespoon of the mixture. I injected mine with a pastry bag and bismarck tip.

For the Whipped Chocolate Ganache:
  • 2 2/3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 1/3 cups heavy whipping cream
  1. Heat the heavy cream in a small saucepan until it begins to simmer. 
  2. Pour the heavy cream over the chocolate chips. Let it stand for a couple minutes to melt the chips and then stir until smooth.
  3. Let it cool to room temperature then whip with a mixer until it is firm enough to hold shape.
  4. Pipe on the cupcakes any way you want
Top cupcakes with a pretzel and peanut butter drizzle (I used wilton peanut butter candy melts.

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