Welcome to the new and improved Carano's Cucina. I make a lot of kick ass food and go out to some amazing restaurants. Take a look around and make yourself at home :)

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Lost Blog (Part I)

I found a bunch of photos I had taken of things I've made and realized that there are a bunch of blogs I never wrote. They were taken right before Grandma got sick and I totally forgot about them. The first one is Peanut Butter Cookie Cupcakes. The recipe is from Martha, and the idea is that it's like a peanut butter cookie, only a cupcake. You probably got that idea from the title of the recipe.

You may recall that Nick is a big peanut butter fan, so when I saw this recipe I knew I had to make them for him. You start by sifting (or whisking) together 1 3/4 cups flour, 3/4 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon baking soda.

Then in a mixer fitted with the paddle, cream 3/4 cup softened unsalted butter with 1 1/3 cups sugar, until pale and fluffy.

Reduce speed to low, then mix in 2/3 cup natural creamy peanut butter. I use chunky. I always use chunky unless I'm making peanut butter cups. Then add 3 eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add 1/2 teaspoon vanilla after that. Then add the flour mixture and mix until well combined.

When that is all mixed, add 1/2 cup sour cream and mix until blended. You will want about three Tablespoons of batter in each cupcake cup. It's about three quarters of the way full.

They bake at 375 for about 13 minutes. Then transfer to a wire rack and cool.

The icing. These cupcakes are all about the icing! Back in your mixer with the paddle, mix 12 ounces of cream cheese (softened), 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar and 3 Tablespoons of softened unsalted butter. Make sure you start very slow or you'll be wearing that powdered sugar! When it's all mixed together nicely, take the bowl off and mix in 1 1/2 cups of creamy peanut butter by hand. I used chunky again.

When the cupcakes are completely cooled, spread about 1 1/2 Tablespoons of frosting onto each cupcake. Martha says to refrigerate for 10 minutes so the frosting can firm up and then make the crosshatch pattern on the top with a fork like you would with a peanut butter cookie. I say, spread that frosting on and dig in!

Peanut Butter Cookie Cupcakes

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/3 cups sugar
2/3 cup natural creamy peanut butter
3 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream


12 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups powdered (confectioner's) sugar
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line 3 standard 12 cup muffin tins with paper liners.

Whisk flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda in a medium bowl. Put butter and sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to low. Mix in peanut butter. Mix in eggs, one at a time, and then vanilla. Add flour mixture, mix until combined. Mix in sour cream.

Spoon scant 3 Tablespoons batter into each muffin cup. Bake until pale golden and cake tester inserted into the centers comes out clean, about 13 minutes. Transfer to wire rack; let cool completely.

For the icing, put cream cheese, powdered sugar and butter into cleaned bowl from your mixer fitted with cleaned paddle attachment.; mix on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy (remember what I said, start it on low or you'll be wearing that sugar!). Stir in peanut butter by hand with rubber spatula.

Spread 1 1/2 Tablespoons of icing onto each cupcake. Refrigerate until frosting is firm (about 10 minutes). Using tines of a fork dipped in powdered sugar, score each top in a crosshatch pattern. Cupcakes can be refrigerated in single layers in airtight containers up to two days.

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