Jan 6, 2006

Cupcakes and Quick Breads

I hope you've all been enjoying my Guest Bloggers this week! I know I sure have enjoyed some new and delicous sounding recipes. I'll have a new guest every Monday so be sure to stop back by and see who's visiting :)

I recently saw the most beautiful looking Chocolate and Peanut Butter Cupcakes on The Baking Sheet so of course, since I had the ingredients on hand I had to try them! My kids did not have a problem being the guinea pigs for a new recipe involving their two favorite flavors. I made a couple of changes to the recipe. First of all I added buttermilk in place of part of the regular milk called for because I love buttermilk in anything chocolate. I also added cinnamon. To me chocolate tastes incomplete without cinnamon, but that is a personal preference.

Chocolate Cupcakes
(recipe modified from Culinary Epiphanies)

1 ½ cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
¾ cup cocoa powder
¼ tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
¼ cup butter, very soft
1 cup sugar
½ cup brown sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup milk, warm
1/2 cup buttermilk, warm

Preheat oven to 350F. Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugars.eat in eggs one at a time. Add vanilla. Add flour and milk, alternating in 3 additions, ending with flour. Evenly distribute into prepared muffin tins. Bake at 350F for 15-17 minutes, until a tester comes out clean and the cake springs back when lightly pressed.
Cool completely on a wire rack. Makes 18.

Peanut Butter Frosting
(recipe originally from Cullinary In The Desert)

2 tbsp peanut butter
1 tbsp butter
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup milk
2 cups confectioners sugar

In a small saucepan over low heat, melt peanut butter and butter and dissolve sugar. Remove from heat and whisk in milk. Transfer to a medium bowl and set aside to cool completely.
Add confectioners sugar and beat on medium/high speed with an electric mixer, until smooth and fluffy. Spread on cooked cupcakes. Will frost 18 cupcakes (approx. 1 1/2 cups).

(I topped each cupcake with a slice of Reeses peanut butter cup)

Since I was in a baking mood, I also made a couple of quick breads. I am planning to take these with us to church this Sunday to share with the members of our church. I found these recipes on-line (I can't for the life of me remember where) and I changed them up a bit. They smelled wonderful baking. I have a photo of them which is not much to look at. I find that most quick breads don't have a lot of eye appeal but they taste great and are very moist. I think these will fit that bill as well!

Strawberry Banana Bread

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. tablespoon cinnamon
2 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups frozen strawberries, thawed and diced
1 over-ripe banana, mashed well
1 1/2 cups chopped nuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two loaf pans. Combine flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and sugar. Stir in 4 beaten eggs, oil, strawberries, banana, and nuts. Combine all ingredients until well moistened. Pour into prepared loaf pans. Bake for 65 minutes. Cool before removing from pans.

Carrot Cake Bread

3 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 carrots
1 (15 ounce) can crushed pineapple
1 1/2 cups canola oil
2 cups sugar
6 eggs
1 cups raisins
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease and flour two 9x5 inch loaf pans. Sift together baking soda, salt, spices, and flour. In a large bowl, combine ground carrots, pineapple, oil, and sugar. Mix in eggs. Blend flour mixture into carrot mixture. Mix well. Fold nuts and raisins into batter. Pour into prepared pans. Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into bread comes out clean.

NOTE: I cut both recipes in half for today but normally I'd go ahead and make the two loaves.


Cyndi said...

I'm going to try to adapt both bread recipes to whole wheat and other grains, with Splenda as the sweetener. I'm always on the lookout for good quick bread recipes, and I don't have one with either of these flavors. I can't wait to try them. I'll let you know, and I'll do a post about adapting Michele's bread recipes. : )

Michele said...

Cyndi, let me know how they turn out for you. I was so tempted to take a little nibble but am holding off until Sunday. :)

Anonymous said...

Very impressive amount of baking going on at your house! The cupcakes do sound delicious. Chocolate and PB together is one of the truly great combos!

Michele said...

Isn't that the best combination... i also love peanutbutter cookies with chocolate ships in them... **sigh** :0)