Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Iron Cupcake: Chocolate with a Peanut Butter Twist

"You got chocolate in my peanut butter!"
"You got peanut butter in my chocolate!"

Once again it's time for my Iron Cupcake entry for this month. This month's challenge was called "chocolate with a twist" which meant you were supposed to pair chocolate with something else. Here's what I came up with:

Is there any better pairing than peanut butter and chocolate? How about peanut butter, chocolate, and caramel! I'm not really sure what to title these cupcakes. I'm open to any suggestions, so if any of you have any brilliant ideas, please leave a comment and let me know. This cupcake is chocolate with peanut butter filling, topped with whipped cream, Reese's peanut butter cups, chopped peanuts, and drizzled with caramel sauce. Mmm, delish!

As is the usual drill, you can vote for me by clicking either on this link or or on my Iron Cupcake badge at the bottom of this page. Voting is now open and will go through January 2nd at noon. This time you get to vote for your five favorites, so hopefully mine will be one of yours!

The prizes for winning are:
A pair of cupcake earrings from LOTS OF SPRINKLES
Something from Betty Turbo
Also a sweet art piece from CAKESPY
Last and certainly not least, corporate prize providers: HEAD CHEFS by FIESTA PRODUCTS, , HELLO CUPCAKE by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson, , JESSIE STEELE APRONS ; the CUPCAKE COURIER ; TASTE OF HOME books, . Iron Cupcake:Earth is sponsored in part by 1-800-Flowers,
Learn more at the Iron Cupcake Cuphub:

If you want to experience this lovely chocolate peanut buttery cupcake for yourself, here's the recipe (sorry it has so many parts to it):

Chocolate Cups:
1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 tsp. shortening (no substitutes)
foil cupcake liners

Line six muffin cups with foil liners. Microwave chocolate chips and shortening in a microwave safe bowl on high for 1 minute. Stir. If needed, microwave 30 more seconds or until ships are melted and smooth when stirred.
Using a pastry brush, coat inside sides and bottom of cup liners thickly and evenly with chocolate. Refrigerate coated liners for 10 minutes or until set. Recoat any thin spots (you can reheat the chocolate in the microwave for a few seconds if necessary). Refrigerate liners until very firm, 2 hours or overnight. Carefully peel foil liners from each chocolate cup. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
(If you want more than six cups, increase the chocolate cup recipe accordingly.)

I used a chocolate cake recipe from my Betty Crocker cookbook. Here it is:
Betty Crocker's Chocolate Cake:
2 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 2/3 c. sugar
3/4 c. butter or margarine, softened
2/3 c. baking cocoa
1 1/4 c. water
1 1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp baking powder
2 large eggs

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tin with cupcake liners. In a large bowl, beat all ingredients with electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds, scraping bowl constantly. Beat on high speed 3 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Pour into muffin cups. Bake 15-18 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely.

Peanut Butter filling:
3 T. butter
1 c. peanut butter
2/3 c. powdered sugar
1/4 tsp. vanilla

Cream together butter, peanut butter, and vanilla. Mix in powdered sugar. Fill pastry bag fitted with 1/4 inch star tip with peanut butter mixture. Push tip into cupcake about 3/4 inch in and squeeze filling in slowly, withdrawing tip as you squeeze. You will feed the cupcake slightly expand. Wipe off any excess filling on top of the cupcake.

Once the cupcakes were cooled and filled and the chocolate cups were ready, I peeled the cupcake liners off some of the cupcakes and transferred them into the chocolate cups. They are then ready for the next steps:

Whipped Cream:

1 c. heavy whipping cream
1/2 t. vanilla
2 T. granulated white sugar

Beat on high setting until whipped. Top cupcakes with whipped cream and garnish with peanut butter cups (cut up if desired) and chopped peanuts.

Caramel Sauce (Betty Crocker again):
1 c. light corn syrup
1 1/4 c. packed brown sugar
1/4 c. butter
1 c. whipping cream.

In a 2 quart saucepan, heat corn syrup, brown sugar, and butter to boiling over low heat, stirring constantly. Boil 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in whipping cream and heat to boiling. Cool about 30 minutes. Drizzle over cupcakes while sauce is still slightly warm.
Eat and enjoy!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Sunday Rolls

I inherited many things from my mother: her love of holidays and parades, her stubbornness, and countless delicious recipes. Sadly, a delicious roll recipe is not one of those. No, we were one of those families that relied on "Sister Rhodes" for our Sunday rolls. Because of that, for quite a while now I've been searching for a great roll recipe. My sister-in-law makes delicious ones but I keep forgetting to ask her for it, so I pulled this one out of one of my recipe books the other day and was very pleased with the result. They were everything Sunday rolls should be--light, melt-in-your-mouth, buttery. Mmm. The only thing I would possibly do differently next time is to brush them with melted butter before baking like my mom does to her Rhodes rolls. I just like the extra buttery flavor it gives them. So here's my new Sunday roll recipe. (And by the way, Lindsay, I would love to get your roll recipe too!)

3/4 c. plus 1 t. sugar, divided
1/2 c. warm water
2 T. active dry yeast
1 c. butter-flavored shortening
1 c. boiling water
1 c. cold water
4 eggs, beaten
2 t. salt
8 C. all-purpose flour, divided
non-stick cooking spray

Dissolve one teaspoon sugar in warm water and sprinkle yeast over it; set aside. Blend shortening and remaining 3/4 c. sugar. Stir in boiling water. Add cold water, yeast mixture, eggs, and salt; mix well. Add flour, 4 cups at a time; mix well. Let dough rise for one hour. Divide dough into thirds. Roll each third into a circle; cut into 12 wedges. Roll each wedge up crescent roll style. Cover with plastic wrap that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray; let rise another hour. Bake on ungreased baking sheets at 350 degrees for 15 to 18 minutes. Makes 3 dozen.

**Note: Recently a friend told me a trick she learned from a man in his 90s that baked all his own bread and which he claimed made his bread light and fluffy every time. The trick is to microwave your yeast/sugar/water mixture for a few seconds before adding it to your dough. I tried it with this, microwaving my mixture for about 5 seconds, and as far as I could tell it worked. At least it didn't seem to harm the dough at all, so feel free to try it yourself if you feel so inclined.**