Monday, March 4, 2013

A Pretty Wedding Cake

I attended a wedding this past weekend and this was one of the more beautiful wedding cakes I've seen. This cake is the epitome of the word sweet, isn't it? Much like the rest of the wedding, this cake was graceful and elegant. Furthermore, the food was perfect, the flowers were tastefully done, and the band was hands down the best live band I've heard at an event. I wish all weddings were this fun. :)

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cucakes

I've been on a cupcake kick lately, not wanting to bother with the torting and frosting of cakes that you're not even allowed to cut into and taste until the final presentation. I mean, how is it that people blog about making cakes for birthday parties and events and manage to shoot and style professional looking photos, complete with props and lighting? Just slide that little sliver back in and smooth more frosting over? Hmph. I tried out this "Sprinkles Cupcakes" peanut butter chocolate chip cupcake recipe out of curiosity. It's the one Candace Nelson demo-ed on Home with Lisa Quinn. Admittedly, I have never had the real thing since I usually stick to red velvet when I go there. I have to wonder, however, if it's the recipe for the ones they sell at the shop. In any case, it was a total win.

In summary, this was a great cupcake. I was worried that they were a little firm and muffin like (like a freshly baked chocolate chip cookie), but they were wonderful when combined with the frosting. They were a little too crumbly, possibly due to the 2 cups of chocolate chips (per dozen cupcakes) so I'd reduce that on the next round. I also found the frosting to be a bit fussy, which may have been attributed to the natural peanut butter I used which is not as thick and smooth as the "conventional" brands. The ratio given did not work at all, producing something to soft and not sweet enough. "Not sweet enough" will usually pass, but in this case, the saltiness of the peanut butter needs that sweetness to balance and brighten it up. I ended up added about double the powdered sugar which produced a frosting that was still a little less firm and structured that I'd normally like, but tasted just sweet enough to lighten the already rich cupcake. Taste always trumps appearance.

These were a hit with the bf and his coworkers (since he usually ends up bringing them to the office on Monday mornings).

Peanut Butter Chip Cupcakes Cupcake Ingredients

1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
6 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup smooth all natural peanut butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup whole milk
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine milk and vanilla in small bowl. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in bowl. Beat butter and sugars in mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs and blend until smooth. Slowly mix in peanut butter. Add half the flour mixture and blend slowly. When fully incorporated, add milk mixture. Continue to blend slowly. Add remaining flour mixture and mix on low speed just until incorporated. Add chocolate chips and fold in by hand. Scoop into 12 lined baking cups and bake for about 22 minutes, or until tops spring back when lightly touched and the edges are golden brown.


6 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup creamy peanut butter, natural (or if you want a smoother look, go not-natural)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup whole milk

Combine sugar and salt in bowl. Combine milk and vanilla in bowl. Beat butter and peanut butter in mixer until smooth and creamy. Alternately add sugar and milk mixture until fully incorporated. Add additional milk for a softer consistency. Frost on top of cooled cupcakes.