Facebook 1

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Chocolate peanut butter pretzel cupcakes

Yeah, in case you were wondering, you read that title correctly.  Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Cupcakes.  Chocolate + peanut butter + pretzels.  In a cupcake. Pretty awesome sounding, right?

A few days ago, I made these awesome cannoli-inspired cupcakes (affectionately named the Dom DeLuise cupcake) for JulieBakes' 2nd birthday.  I found them online on a blog that I subscribe to, mere days before the cookbook they're featured in was launched.  These chocolate peanut butter pretzel cupcakes are by the same bakers/bakery, Robicelli's.  These two cupcakes sounded so awesome (as did another one posted on that same blog, but I'm saving those for another day), that I ended up baking them both in the span of a few days -- and ordering their newly launched cookbook!  Look out for a post about all the awesome recipes featured in it soon (once I receive it, read it, and drool over it).

When I made the Dom DeLuise cupcakes, the recipe said it made 12, but I ended up with 22 regular sized cupcakes and 24 mini cupcakes.  These chocolate peanut butter pretzel cupcakes said that they made 24 regular sized cupcakes, but I ended up with 21 full-sized cupcakes.  I didn't even overfill any of them.  Interesting that the recipes are by the same people but the number of cupcakes would be off on both of them.  Regardless, super awesome cupcakes, so it doesn't really matter to me....and it shouldn't to you, unless you need a specific number of cupcakes.  I needed 12-14 cupcakes, so I ended up with more than enough cupcakes for my need.

A few notes about these cupcakes:

- I used Dutch press cocoa because I wanted to cupcakes to come out dark and super chocolatey looking.
- The recipe said that the cocoa-coffee mixture was going to be a thick paste.  Mine was actually pretty runny.
- The batter itself is pretty runny.  Don't fret.  It'll bake up nice and pretty anyway.
- Usually when I use coffee in my chocolate cake recipes, you don't taste the coffee at all, it just enhances the chocolate.  I used Starbuck's dark roast coffee, and it was pretty strong, so the cake tasted a little coffee-y.  It got better as the cake cooled.  So if you're a "taste it when it's fresh out of the oven" baker, as I tend to be more often than not, again, don't fret!
- Don't worry if the icing isn't perfectly piped - it'll be covered with crushed peanuts and pretzels, and then drizzled with chocolate ganache, and you won't be able to tell if the swirls aren't perfect.
- For the perfect drizzle - or close to it - I used a squeeze bottle and a back and forth motion.  If you don't have a squeeze bottle, using a fork dipped into the ganache would work well, too.

I feel like it's one of those math problems from elementary school: chocolate + peanut butter + pretzels + peanuts + ganache - concern for calories = one awesome cupcake.  That makes sense, even to the least math savvy person out there.  So does the following statement: Make these cupcakes.  Now.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Cupcakes
From Robicelli's: A Love Story, with Cupcakes, found on Food52



3/4 cups cocoa powder (I used Dutch press cocoa for super dark, chocolatey cupcakes)
2/3 cups scalding hot coffee
2/3 cups buttermilk
2/3 cups canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/3 cup all purpose flour
1 3/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 350.
Line cupcake pans with 24 liners.
Place cocoa powder in mixer bowl and pour scalding hot coffee over.
Mix on low speed until a thick paste forms and mixture stops steaming- about one minute. Like I said before, mine was not thick nor was it a paste, it was actually quite runny.  The cupcakes turned out perfectly deliciously well.
Turn mixer speed to medium.
In a measuring cup, combine buttermilk, egg, yolk, vanilla, salt and oil, and mix lightly with a fork, ensuring yolks are broken.
Slowly pour into mixer.
Stop mixer and scrape bottom well to loosen any caked on cocoa.
Reattach and turn mixer to medium, letting run one minute.
Stop mixer again.
Sift together dry ingredients and pour into wet mixture.
Mix on low speed until just combined.
Remove bowl and use scrape down the sides of the bowl, ensuring everything is mixed.
Scoop cake batter into prepared pans, filling cups 2/3 of the way.
Bake in the middle of the oven for 20-25 minutes, rotating halfway through (I don't rotate them....shhh, don't tell).
Cupcakes are done when the centers spring back when you touch them.
Remove cupcakes from oven.
Let cool completely. 
Peanut Butter Buttercream:
3 sticks unsalted butter
1/2 cup natural peanut butter
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream

Cream together the butter, peanut butter, and kosher salt with a mixer set to "high" until light and fluffy.

Add powdered sugar a 1/4 cup at a time, beating well between each addition.
Add heavy cream.
Once combined, taste for flavor.  I added more peanut butter -- probably about 1/4+ cups.

Continue to beat on high for an additional minute to incorporate air.

Classic Chocolate Ganache:


1/4 cup semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup cream
pinch of sea salt


Place chocolate in a bowl, and shake back and forth until it flattens out on top.
Heat cream and sea salt in a medium saucepan until it comes to a boil.
Immediately pour hot cream mixture over chocolate, and allow to sit for two minutes to allow chocolate to melt.
Using a heatproof spatula, stir the cream and chocolate together until completely smooth.
Allow to cool slightly before drizzling on cupcakes.
Ganache should not be hot to the touch, but still be liquid.
If it cools completely and becomes solid, microwave on 50% power in 20 second increments, stirring between each, until desired consistency is reached.
3/4 cups roasted peanuts
1 1/2 cup pretzels
Directions: Pulse pretzels and peanuts in a food processor until they're coarse crumbs.  (Alternately, place in a strong ziptop bag and repeatedly smack with a rolling pin, a heavy skillet, or anything else your find enjoyable. Place crumbs in a pie dish or baking pan.)

Fill pastry bag fitted with regular tip with peanut buttercream, and pipe onto each chocolate cupcake.
Put cupcakes into the refrigerator so buttercream hardens- about 20 minutes.  Don't skip this step - my icing was pretty soft otherwise and I'm sure they wouldn't have been nicely domed afterwards.

Gently roll the sides of the buttercream in peanut/pretzel mixture.
Pour a handful over the top and lightly pack on with hand. Do NOT dip them top down into the bowl and press.  The icing isn't THAT hard.  You will flatten out the icing on the top of the cupcakes.  I learned that lesson after cupcake #1, and the rest of them looked perfect (if I do say so myself).
Shake off excess and set aside.
Drizzle ganache across each cupcake

No comments:

Post a Comment