Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Cupcakes


Often a possible recipe will rattle around in my brain for a few weeks. This one has been created over and over again in my head for about a month or so. Sadly, it had to wait until after I got my tonsils out and after I could eat something like pretzels once again. Well, I've got the green light now so that means go a create whatever evil creation in the kitchen you can come up with.

These really should be named "Chubby Hubby" cupcakes, but I wasn't sure everyone across this lovely world of ours had access to the wonderful Vermont-made Ben & Jerry's flavor of ice cream, justly named "Chubby Hubby" It's ice cream, mixed with fudge, peanut butter and littered with chocolate covered peanut butter pretzels. The snack bar in my freshman dorm at Syracuse University sold it, and I think it was responsible for most of that freshman 15 (or was that the copious amounts of beer I drank, who can tell, right?).

These are cupcakes not to be messed with, they're substantial The filling is what you'd find in a peanut butter ball or buckeye, but with added chocolate covered pretzel chunks. No they're not local (although I do use as making regional baking ingredients as possible) and they're certainly not on the "light" side. However, when a massive storm is bearing upon New England and a blizzard is attacking the Midwest, these are what the doctor ordered, I promise.


Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Cupcakes
Makes: 18 cupcakes
Sources: base cake recipe from David Lebovitz, frosting is Hershey's Perfectly Chocolate Frosting


Cupcakes
9 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups cake flour (not self-rising) (195 grams, I weigh flour)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup strong coffee (or water, but I recommend the coffee), cooled
1/2 cup whole or low-fat milk (I used low fat)

Filling
1 cup peanut butter (I recommend creamy, but chunky might be fun)
1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups confectioners (powdered/icing) sugar
2 large chocolate covered pretzels, crushed, enough for a 1/2 cup of crushed pretzel

Frosting
1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Garnish 
package of mini chocolate covered pretzels
2-4 large chocolate covered pretzels, crushed, to sprinkle over frosting

Preheat that oven to 350 degrees, set the rack to the center, and get crackin'. I suggest cleaning as you go on this one, it makes a mess.

For the cupcakes themselves, take two cupcake/muffin pans and butter top of each pan and fill the little holes with your favorite cupcake liner, and set them aside. (You'll have one full pan, one half full)

Now, sift together the cocoa powder, cake flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder in a bowl (I just recently bought an actual flour sifter, do it, my life has been changed). In the bowl of a standing mixer, or by hand, beat together the butter and sugar about a minute until it becomes smooth and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time until fully incorporated.

In a glass measuring cup or bowl, mix together the coffee and the milk. Stir half the dry ingredients into the butter mixture, add the coffee/milk mixture and then stir in the other half of the dry ingredients.

Now take that batter, and pour it into your little cupcake liners, filling them about 2/3 of the way full. Pop them in the oven and bake until a toothpick comes out of the center cleanly, about 19-21 minutes.

Allow the cupcakes to cool in their pan 5 minutes, and then let them cool completely on a wire baking rack.


 Now, let's move onto the filling. First, take In a microwavable bowl, or in a saucepan on the stove top, melt peanut butter, unsalted butter and salt until soft, stirring the entire way. Take off the heat, and add in your confectioner's sugar and vanilla extract. Now, while the mixture is still a little warm, add your crushed chocolate covered pretzels. The chocolate will melt a bit into the mixture, which turns out amazing.


Now head back over to your cooled cupcakes. Using a sharp edged spoon or melon baller, scoop out the center of each cupcake to make room for the filling. Set aside the little top you've cut out, we'll be putting that back on. I usually fill cupcakes with a frosting tip, but the pretzels will clog it up in this case. Now, put a spoonful of filling into each little cupcake, and put the top back on. If it leaks out a little, no worries, we're going to put frosting on top of it anyway.

Speaking of the frosting - melt your butter, stir in your cocoa, and alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beat with an electric mixer until you have spreading consistency. Stir in your vanilla. You get about 2 cups of frosting with this recipe.

Now you can just slather that stuff on the top of the cupcakes, or you can pipe them, I used a Wilton 22m star tip in this case. Now, take some more chocolate covered pretzels, crush them and sprinkle them over the top and add a cute little mini-pretzel to the tippity top and dig in! Pin It

25 comments:

Kathy said...

uMM. I WANT ONE OF THESE. RIGHT NOW! NOMS! <3 THE COMBO OF PEANUT BUTTER/CHOCOLATE/PRETZEL

ALSO: CAN'T WAIT TO MEET YOU ON SUNDAY!

Elizabeth said...

This combines so many of my loves it's insane: choc and pb, cupcakes, choc covered pretzels. I want one so much.

Heather said...

Ahhhh, my favorite combination of ingredients! These look so wonderful. As someone in the midwest who is currently under siege-by-weather, I'm jealous! :)

Laura said...

help! i'm being haunted by pretzel cupcakes! ahh. ... lol i had one of these last week from a local shop and have been thinking of them ever sense. I'm going to save this in my online cookbook, cookmarked.com, and make immediately!

Sandra said...

Oh my goodness, that is amazing! Looks awesome!!

Jamieanne said...

Hi there, I just found this post on FoodGawker and thought it would be absolutely perfect to enter in this month's Mystery Box Cupcake Challenge, which is a monthly cupcake competition that I host. The theme this month is Chocolate Cake - With a Twist. If you're interested, just stop by my blog at www.sweetestkitchen.com! :)

Kimmy Bingham said...

Thank you all for the sweet comments! I can't resist chocolate/peanut butter and pretzels... yum.

JaimeAnne - I'll definitely take a look!

Stephanie said...

Sounds delicious! I love a good salty/sweet combo.

Lacey @ dishfolio said...

Wow, those look so yummy. We'd love for you to share your work at dishfolio.com.

Medeja said...

What a filling! What a frosting! I love absolutely everything about these cupcakes :)

Tiffany said...

W.O.W.! I love the peanut butter pretzels at Trader Joe's ... so I bet these cupcakes are just phenomenal!

The Small Boston Kitchen said...

Pretzels, chocolate and peanut butter are probably my most favorite combo of sweet flavors ever...totally need to make these!

Megan said...

This is pretty much heaven in a cupcake wrapper. Obviously bookmarking these! :)

Kate @ Diethood.com said...

Oh my goodness - these look incredible! I'm drooling... how could you not with all those flavors!

Kimmy Bingham said...

You are all really too kind :-)Warning, they don't last long - as in, anyone who come in contact with them, eats them :-)

briarrose said...

Just wow! I must have one. Now...now is good. ;) The flavors look wonderful and the chocolate pretzel topper is just perfect.

Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite said...

Kimmy these are absolutely gorgeous! I love the flavour combination - the perfect amount of sweet and salty!

kmdshaw said...

I just found your blog while trolling Tastespotting and was THRILLED to find a peanut butter filling for cupcakes! I used your recipe for Superbowl cupcakes for work today and everyone LOVED the filling. Score! But I just wanted to let you know that you mention vanilla in the directions for cooking the filling down, but it's not listed as an ingredient above. I added 1 teaspoon just in case and it certainly didn't hurt!

Can't wait to see what else you make in the future. Great blog!

Kimmy Bingham said...

kmdshaw - you caught my mistake, thank you! Yes, a 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla in the filling everyone (or more if you'd like). It's corrected in the ingredient list above. I'm so thrilled you enjoyed them (and so did your co-workers). I love getting feedback!

kmdshaw said...

I just found your blog while trolling Tastespotting and was THRILLED to find a peanut butter filling for cupcakes! I used your recipe for Superbowl cupcakes for work today and everyone LOVED the filling. Score! But I just wanted to let you know that you mention vanilla in the directions for cooking the filling down, but it's not listed as an ingredient above. I added 1 teaspoon just in case and it certainly didn't hurt!

Can't wait to see what else you make in the future. Great blog!

Kathy said...

uMM. I WANT ONE OF THESE. RIGHT NOW! NOMS! <3 THE COMBO OF PEANUT BUTTER/CHOCOLATE/PRETZEL

ALSO: CAN'T WAIT TO MEET YOU ON SUNDAY!

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Brandyc Garth said...

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