Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

See this cupcake carrier?
Best Christmas present ever.  This thing holds 24 cupcakes and transports them safely from my kitchen to someone else's.  On Friday night, this carried 22 dark chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter frosting to a guy friend's house for a mostly-guys get-together.
And it carried six home.
Conclusion: chocolate peanut butter cupcakes = boy food.
Secondary conclusion: chocolate peanut butter cupcakes = insanely delicious.

Now for the surprise: the cupcakes are vegan.  No butter, no eggs - the leavening comes from a baking soda and vinegar reaction!  The frosting...not so much.
But vegan boy food.  Except the frosting, but still.
I also snuck whole wheat into them.  I'm a mischievous one :)

You should really make these.  Especially if you have boys to feed.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes
Adapted from Joy the Baker, cupcakes originally from Organic and Chic

For the cupcakes - 
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup white whole wheat flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup unsweetened dark cocoa (recommended: Hershey's Special Dark)
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup canola oil or extra-light olive oil
2 tsp white vinegar
2 cups cold water

For the frosting -
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup creamy peanut butter
3-4 cups confectioners' sugar
1 tbsp milk or vanilla soy milk

To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350˚F and line two cupcake pans with paper liners.  In a large bowl, sift together the dry ingredients.  Set aside.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the vanilla, oil, vinegar, and water.  Slowly whisk the wet ingredients into the dry, being careful not to overmix.  The resulting batter will be quite wet.  That's good :)
Fill the cupcake liners 2/3 full.  Bake for 20-24 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean.  (Mine were done in 21 minutes) Allow to cool in the pans for 10 minutes before removing and allowing to cool to room temperature on racks.
To make the frosting, cream the butter and peanut butter together in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until smooth and creamy (I'm sure a hand mixer would work fine too).  Scrape down the bowl, then gradually add 3 cups of confectioners' sugar and beat on low for 1 minute.  Add the milk or soy milk and beat on medium-high speed for 1 minute.  If you want your frosting even thicker, add an additional cup of powdered sugar.
Frost the cooled cupcakes generously with the peanut butter frosting.  Decorate with chopped Reese's cups, if desired (though they don't need it!).  Enjoy!

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