Chocolate Peanut Butter Filled Cupcakes Dipped in Dark Chocolate Ganache

Everyone has their own opinions on where is the best place to get a great cupcake here in LA. Some people say Sprinkles, others say Magnolia, maybe Susie Cakes, I could keep listing them but you won’t believe where I’ve found a great cupcake. Recently, I caved when I walked past the dessert section of Trader Joe’s and snuck a 4 pack of these Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with a Peanut Butter Filling into the cart. Normally, I do not participate in store bought cookies, cakes, or any dessert for that matter. I know that I will generally still uphold this rule, but I now have a MAJOR exception for these cupcakes.

Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Filled Cupcakes

Trader Joe’s made the best cupcake that I have had in months. I KNOW. It’s absolutely absurd. Totally insane. You’re probably asking yourself how many drinks I had before tasting this cupcake, but no alcohol was involved.

The problem with so many cupcake shops is that the cake is boring and the frosting is overly sweet to try and balance it out.

These cupcakes are the perfect balance of a great cake and instead of a sugary frosting, it has a dark chocolate ganache instead which is so rich and delicious. Oh, and don’t forget this peanut butter filling which is basically slightly sweetened peanut butter, A.K.A Heaven.

Like the rest of the desserts I see in stores, I said to myself “I have to remake this”, and oh did I.

TNB Chocolate Peanut Butter Filled Cupcakes

There are no more words. This is THE cupcake.

TNB Chocolate Peanut Butter Filled CupcakesI know…

 

{Can I Have} S’mores Cupcakes

The kitchen for me is a really sacred place. When I’m happy, when I’m sad, when I’m angry – that is where I go. Everything melts away and all I think about is what is happening in front of me. Chopping chocolate and whipping egg whites is like meditating. My mind literally can not go to those sad places when the mixer is on high, and my eyes are fixated on the egg whites turning from clear and slippery to glossy white clouds.

Everyone has that release. This is mine.

My all time favorite theme of desserts has to be anything s’mores related. So far I’ve made S’mores Pudding and S’mores Bars, but let me tell you my friends, this is only the beginning. Endless possibilities I tell you, endless.

S’mores are my comfort food. They take me back to a time when my friends would come over and we’d roast s’mores in the backyard and take silly pictures that should not exist, but they do. Things haven’t changed too much in the taking silly pictures category, but I don’t see many friends coming over for a good marshmallow roasting. Maybe that will change this summer. You’re all invited for margaritas, tacos and sunshine during the day and s’mores and cuddling by the fire in the evening.  Seriously, can we do this?

Due to the fact that I rely so heavily on the kitchen being my comforting tool, I really needed these cupcakes to turn out amazing, and thank the baking gods because they were. I ate three that evening, and wanted three more afterwards but my tummy was too full. If only one thing inspires you to go and bake off of this blog, I hope it might be these, and that you’ll invite me over for one.

The frosting, which is hardly a frosting but more of a meringue, is made with 8 egg whites. I know that seems like a lot of egg whites, but it’s an important part of the cupcake and don’t worry about using raw egg whites, they’re heated with the sugar on the stove.

I know that they make egg whites in a jug, which probably would be really convenient when making these, but I don’t suggest them. Why you ask? Because they come in a jug. Just stop it right now. Go buy a carton of eggs and then use the remaining egg yolks to make a really deliciously rich and creamy ice cream! The recipes I have posted here use 6 egg yolks, but you can most definitely add the remaining 2, it will just make it even better.

Note: If you’re going to make ice cream with the remaining egg yolks, but not right away, cover the yolks with plastic wrap and stick them in the fridge. As long as they don’t look dehydrated and you cover them properly you can use them within the next 2 days.

We did a little easter egg hunt for my niece, she was too cute. The girl loves a good chunk of chocolate too. Definitely fits into the family perfectly.

Enjoy,

Madeline

Toasted Coconut Vanilla Cupcakes

Sometimes life surprises you. You’re just going about your normal routine, and then adorable 7 year olds completely make your week, and your cupcakes taste infinity times better than you thought they would.

We taught an incredibly sweet group of 2nd graders this week at the beach. Just imagine smiley, super excited but well behaved little munchkins listening to everything you have to say like its just the most incredibly thing they’ve ever heard. If that in itself wasn’t enough to make my week, I may have fallen in love with a 2nd grader. This little boy followed me around, asked me lots of questions about the ocean, invited me over to play with his pet sand crab sometime, and told me that I’m beautiful. I mean seriously? When this kid grows up, he’s going to be such a heartbreaker.

To top it off, two days later we taught another class of 2nd graders, from that same school, and one of the girls came and told me that my little man went back to school and told everyone how pretty I was. Seriously?! I can only hope my future children are as sweet as you, little man.

Now let’s talk about cupcakes. I’m sure I’ve mentioned it before, but I’m not a fan of vanilla cupcakes. And by not a fan, I mean I just plain don’t like them. I’d rather not eat a cupcake at all if it’s going to be vanilla. I’ve tried a few recipes, and I’ve had them from cupcake shops, but they are never as satisfying as chocolate. Team Chocolate!

And frankly, I’m not a huge coconut person either!

So why did I make coconut vanilla cupcakes? I have no idea.

I was thinking about what I wanted to make and for some reason this popped in my head and I couldn’t get it out. I’ve never even had a coconut cupcake! But you know what? These were SO GOOD! How good? I averaged about 2-3 a day for 3 days. I’m half ashamed and half proud about that last statement.

If you’re not a vanilla person, or a coconut person, I think these would change your mind. The cake has vanilla & almond extract in it, as well as some toasted coconut mixed in. So the cake itself is not so much coconut as it is almond/vanilla, but the coconut in the batter adds a nice texture and flavor to it. I toasted the coconut instead of leaving it raw, which I think was a fabulous decision. The tangy but sweet frosting is a cream cheese frosting with vanilla & almond in it to compliment the flavor of the cupcakes, and don’t forget the layer of toasted coconut on top! Mmmmm, yes.

I never thought I would crave a vanilla cupcake…until now. I hope you guys had a week that was as lovely as mine :).

Enjoy,

Madeline

Stout & Bailey’s Chocolate Cupcakes {Sea Monster Edition}

A lovely friend from New Zealand, who has an up-and-coming microbrewery in Wellington called the Garage Project (go check them out!), was in town this week and brought lots of beer. I knew I had to revisit those Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes I made last year and test it out with one of the stouts he picked up along the way.

The beer in these cupcakes is an Imperial Stout from Ballast Point called Sea Monster. What an awesome name, and logo. My ocean-loving self is a big fan of the Angler Fish on it. As soon as I opened it up the intense smell of beer filled the kitchen. I was a little worried that this was going to be too overpowering for the cupcake, but they turned out amazing. There is no noticeable beer taste in the cupcake, it just accentuates the chocolate and gives it a unique delicious flavor.

I changed up the recipe this time by using Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa powder, which gives the cupcake a deeper chocolate flavor and a seriously dark color. I also used a dark chocolate for the ganache in the center. If you’re not a fan of dark chocolate (although you should be, it’s better for you. Any excuse to make chocolate good for you and Ill take it) you can use bittersweet or even milk, just depends on your taste. It all comes together in the end where the sweetness of the frosting balances out the darkness of the cupcake.

I hope everyone I shared these with enjoyed them!

Enjoy 🙂

Madeline

Oreo Cupcakes with a Peanut Butter Filling {Happy 100th Birthday Oreos!}

Did you know that Oreo’s are celebrating their 100th birthday? I had no idea that they have been around since 1912, that blows my mind a little bit. Before I get further into this post, I just need to tell you that they have these special edition Birthday Cake Oreos in honor of their 100th…and I’m telling you if you like Funfetti Cake & Oreos you need to go out and buy these right now. They’re like a dream come true in my eyes.

As a kid, I don’t remember being especially infatuated with Oreos. I would eat them if they were there, but I don’t recall begging for them at the store, my mother can correct me if I am wrong.

Problem is, I’ve turned into that kid. It all started up when I was living in the dorms. Maybe it was because there was no kitchen to make my own cookies, but oreos became quite a bit of an obsession. I always had a package of Double Stuffed Oreos hidden in one of my drawers and a jar of peanut butter next to it. It was common knowledge around the dorm that I had a problem with Oreos.

I knew I needed to make an Oreo/Cookies & Cream style cupcake at some point, but I had this delicious idea as I was driving home along the coast stuck in traffic: Peanut butter! Inside! Peanut butter inside the cupcake! Genius Madeline, genius. When I got home I had to run the idea by a friend to make sure it wasn’t strange, and that other people like that idea too. [She approved 😉 Smart lady]

So here we are. This cupcake is a serious chocolate cupcake with a peanut butter filling and an Oreo cream cheese frosting. When I took a bite into the cake and got a little bit of each component of the cupcake…sigh…it just clicked like I was back in the dorm studying with a jar of peanut butter in one hand and 10 oreos sitting in front of me ready to be downed. Nostalgia at its finest.

The frosting, oh the frosting. It was as if I scraped out all of the cream in between each one of those oreos and made a beautiful pot of oreo insides just for you. It is so good. SO good.

Enjoy!

Madeline

 

#67 Superbowl/Football Themed Chocolate Cupcakes

I like football, I really do. My problem is that I need someone to say “Hey, lets go watch the Raiders game” otherwise I’m not going to watch it. I make an effort to watch College Football, particularly USC, but I’m not so great at watching the NFL. Maybe it is because I can relate more to College Football, who knows but there is just something less exciting about the NFL to me.

Anyways, even though I’m not a crazy NFL fan, I was born into a Raiders family so that is just who I root for. It’s kind of like being raised a certain religion; I was raised to worship the Raiders and the USC Trojans.

Since the Raider’s didn’t make it to the Superbowl, my second option was to root for another California team to make it. That didn’t happen either. Now it’s between the Giants and the Patriots, and I frankly don’t really like either of them.

Instead of deciding which non-california team I should care about, I made some ridiculously delicious Football Cupcakes that will be festive regardless of which team you may support, yay!

I know I could have done an adorable little grassy patch on top of this cupcake and topped it with a fondant little football or a helmet, but I am not a fan of fondant. Why put something on a delicious cupcake that tastes like crap? I just don’t get it at all. Say no to fondant!

Besides, this is rustic.  Rustic tastes better. Rustic feels better. Rustic sounds better.

This recipe is from the New York famous Magnolia Bakery. They put out a cookbook with their recipes, which I question how true to the real thing they are, but they’re fabulous. The cake itself isn’t very sweet. Yeah, I ate a cupcake without frosting. This frosting is so beautifully silky and chocolatey, I just wanted to slather it on everything. On its own, the frosting is pretty sweet but combined with the cake, it matches up together perfectly.  Then I ate another cupcake with frosting and I’ll probably have another one later on this evening. The life of a sugar addict/food blogger; when eating 3 cupcakes in a 2 hour period is considered acceptable.

How amazing does that batter look?

Don’t have Buttermilk? Neither do I, ever. At my store, the smallest size of buttermilk you can get is too much for me. This is a buttermilk substitute that I have used time and time again and it has yet to fail me. Take 1 cup of milk and add 1 tablespoon of White Vinegar to it and let it set for 5 minutes, then it’s ready to use. Beware, it will be a little chunky, don’t worry.

Enjoy!

Madeline

#65 Homemade Funfetti Cupcakes

My childhood was filled with Funfetti cake. You know, that amazingly delicious box cake mix that seems like no one could ever make from scratch. Since I have become involved in the kitchen on a level higher than box mixes, funfetti cake has been the hardest thing to let go.

Recently, I have made two different types of ice cream, Vanilla Ice Cream and Brown Butter Ice Cream. The best home made ice cream has lots of egg yolks in it and both of these recipes that I shared recently use 6 egg yolks. I’m happy to tell you that this cupcake recipe uses 6 egg whites! So go make a pint of Vanilla ice cream and some Funfetti cupcakes – don’t waste those eggs!

How cute are these little cupcake feet!

There cupcakes are pretty much as close are you’re going to get to the mix. Just looking at the pretty little rainbow sprinkles melted into the batter puts a smile on my face. At first I was only going to try a little bite of it, but that was just silly so the whole thing was gobbled up in about mmmm 10 seconds. Seriously, these cupcakes are so tasty and moist (am I the only one that doesn’t like that word?) I almost didn’t put any frosting on top of it. But alas I did. I made a basic Vanilla Buttercream and only put a small amount on top, so that it didn’t overpower the rest of the cake.

Enjoy!

Madeline

#48 Chocolate & Peanut Butter Cupcakes


Happy One Year Anniversary to Thursday Night Baking Blog!! 

I can’t believe it was a year ago today that I decided to start on this crazy adventure! The positive feed back I have received from all of you has been beyond humbling. I love this blog, I love you guys. In the past year I’ve gone from a spare time Wordpress blog to having my own domain name and making it on to FoodGawker and TasteSpotting. I smile so big just thinking about it. Thanks for being so awesome! Cheers to going strong! ::clink::

In honor of this fabulous day (although it’s raining here in So.Cal) I thought I would share with you these absolutely delicious cupcakes! Chocolate and Peanut Butter is the ultimate combination for me. I could bake just Chocolate and Peanut Butter goodies for the rest of my time and be quite happy. But imagine Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, or Tagalongs if you’re a Girl Scout Cookie eater (so good…). This is a moist chocolate cupcake with a silky smooth Peanut Butter Frosting. It’s heaven in your mouth, I kid you not. I’m considering making this frosting and keeping it on hand to put on oreo’s when I am too tired to bake – it’s that good.

 

#45 Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

I think Wednesday served as a wake up call for all of us sandal-wearing, beach-going, Southern Californians. I’m not a cold weather type of person, but I do love the food that comes along with it. Since it felt like this was the first real day of Fall, I had to make something with pumpkin in it to really kick off the season.

 

I was torn between a lot of different recipes. These pumpkin cupcakes are just so good, regardless of the weather, I couldn’t resist. I made these last year during Thanksgiving time but I will justify this post with the fact that they are so delicious that you guys need to hear about them again. Especially since I am sure all of you anti-pumpkin people probably overlooked this last time. Look again! You’ll love them 🙂

The best thing to do when you’re freezing and its pouring outside is to get in the kitchen and bake something. I went into the kitchen wearing too many layers of clothes to even admitt, and ended up dressed like a normal human being by the end of baking. On top of this, the house will smell amazing while you’re making these. I call that a double win.

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
Recipe from Martha Stewart

Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with paper liners; set aside.

In a small saucepan, melt the two sticks of butter. Set aside to cool.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice; set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together, brown sugar, granulated sugar, butter, and eggs. Add dry ingredients, and whisk until smooth. Whisk in pumpkin puree.

Divide batter evenly among liners, filling each about 2/3 full. Bake until tops spring back when touched, and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes, rotating pans halfway though. Take cupcakes out of pan and let cool.

Cream Cheese Frosting
Ingredients
2 sticks of butter, room temperature
16 oz of cream cheese (2 packages)
3-ish cups of powdered sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Directions

With an electric mixer, mix the butter and cream cheese together, about 3 minutes on medium speed until very smooth. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure even mixing.

Add the vanilla extract and mix. Slowly add the powdered sugar. Keep adding until you get to desired sweetness and thickness.

Spoon into a piping bag or spread on with a blunt knife.

 

Enjoy,

Madeline

 

#41 Lamington Cupcakes

When its a baking day, I end up going to the grocery store multiple times that day. It’s embarrassing really. I read through the entire recipe, I make a list, and then I forget the eggs/sugar/something. I of course don’t realize I am missing these things until ingredients are opened and poured already. Tip: I suggest always using the self check out to spare yourself from ultimate embarrasement of going to the same check out guy twice in a 1 hour span of time, multiple times a month…

With that said, I forgot to buy eggs.

These cupcakes are on the front cover of “The Craft of Baking” cook book by Karen DeMasco and Mindy Fox and are absolutely delicious. They kind of taste like a cupcake donut, dipped in chocolate, and rolled in toasted coconut. Awesome, I know. I love these cupcakes because they are a little different than the normal cupcake. Aside from the fact that it is steering away from the traditional swirl of luscious frosting on top, the cake itself is a little denser, which gives it more of an old fashion donut taste. They’re delicious, don’t worry.

Toast the coconut first, let it cool, and then smash it up so its in small pieces and not the long strands

Since you will be dipping these in chocolate after they have cooled, there is no need to waste your cupcake liners. Melt some butter and use a brush to butter each pan. Then, dust with flour. The trick with that is to spoon a little flour into each cupcake well and then shake the pan around. You can tap out any excess flour in the sink.

Use a knife to scrape around the edges and flip the cupcakes out of the pan. Don't try and turn the pan over, it wont work the way you imagine it should.

Dipped and Rolled waiting to be eaten

Mini Lamingtons

I hope you enjoy!

Lamington Cupcakes

Printer Friendly Recipe

Ingredients:

2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
1 ½ cups cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp kosher salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup sugar
1 tbs vanilla
¼ vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped out
½ cup whole milk
4 large egg whites

¼ cup 3 tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups confectioners sugar
¼ tsp kosher salt
½ tsp vanilla

Instructions:

Set oven to 300° F.

Spread coconut on baking sheet and put in oven until golden, 5-10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely. After cooled, crumble up the coconut and put into a wide shallow bowl.

Increase oven temp to 350. Butter and flour muffin tins.

Sift together flour, baking powder and salt.

In a bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter, sugar, vanilla, and vanilla bean seeds on medium-high until light and fluffy, 5 mins. Scrape down sides of bowl.

With mixer on medium speed, add milk and flour mix, alternating in 3 additions.

Transfer to another bowl. Clean the bowl to the electric mixer (I know, what a pain), and add the egg whites to it. Whisk on medium speed until soft peaks form, 4 mins. In 3 additions, fold into batter.

Divide batter among muffin cups, ¾ full.

Bake for 20 mins, rotate halfway. Use knife to separate cupcake from tin and flip them out of the pan. Let cool completely

In a medium bowl, sift together the cocoa powder,confectioners sugar, and salt. Add ¼ cup plus 2 tablspoons water and the vanilla. Whisk until smooth.

Dip cupcake into glaze, coating entire cupcake. Immediately roll the cupcake in the toasted coconut. Transfer to a wire rack placed on top of a cookie sheet to catch the drippings.

Enjoy!

 

Madeline