Monday, February 21, 2011

Trip Home and a Cupcake Recipe

For recipe, see bottom of post.
Woot woot for 4-day weekends! My Business Man and I were able to go home and visit our fam this past weekend, which was a blast. We hadn't been home since Christmas (!) so there was lots of catching up to do. 

I didn't have school Friday, so we even got to leave a little earlier than usual. Of course, not until after I ran 16 miles. (In shorts! In the sun! I was happy. I will expand on why I am running so much in a future post, promise.) We re-fueled along the ride with some Starbuck's, which was awesome. Did I mention it was sunny and beautiful out? That called for my usual 'summer' drink, an iced mocha. Did I mention I was happy? 
I believe my Business Man threatened to make me walk the remaining 240 miles home when I asked him to take this picture. Or maybe I said I would walk home, just to "prove a point." I might have once attempted to walk 11 miles home from work one summer trying to "prove a point" to my Business Man. I won't bore you with the details, but if you really want to know, just ask.

The weekend was spent talking and visiting and cuddling. (Well, cuddling with this cute pup.)

Trying to figure out if we liked each other or not. Don't worry, we became best friends real quick. And then napped together on the couch.
We also ate some delicious food from our favorite restaurants back home. I always thought it was crazy how when my uncle came to visit from Oregon, he would have to go visit all these certain restaurants, unique to the Peoria area.  What was the big deal? Now I know. When you have gone 109283721 weeks without a gondola, you start to crave it. Big time.

Anyways, we're back in the Bean Town now. With a whole mess of icy yuckiness outside. (Very technical terminology, I know.) We already have a delay scheduled for tomorrow because of the weather. We didn't have school today (go presidents!) so I slept in, and went for a nice lil' run at the gym. Then made a trip to Meijer, and saved over $8.00 in coupons. Not bad, not bad. 

The afternoon was spent catching up on schoolwork, because I tend to wait 'til the very last minute. There might have been papers from January that still needed to be graded. (It's those darn writing prompts!  I have to give my students writing prompts every week in my math classroom. I don't mind assigning them, I just don't love grading them. Any English majors out there wanna help me out??)

And then there were cupcakes. Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes, to be exact.

You see, last week, one of my classes earned their "goal average" on their exam. So now they get cupcakes. I let them vote last Thursday, and out of all the choices, the #1 pick ended up being Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes. I hope school's not cancelled tomorrow, so they get to enjoy them!

I think this is the very first recipe I ever made out of Anne Byrn's Cupcakes from the Cake Mix Doctor. I cannot even tell you how many times I've made it since. Lots and lots.

I made two versions today. A kid-friendly and an adults-only. Both start off with the same peanut butter-yellow cake fluffy base. The kid-friendly is frosted with a simple chocolate frosting. 

Basic chocolate frosting with some Reese's garnish! These will be going to school.

Now onto the good stuff. The adult-version requires indenting the cupcakes down with a spoon, before filling with a luscious dark chocolate ganache. Mmmm... not for the faint of heart.

These will not be going to school. These will be staying home, for me, myself, and I. I mean, my Business Man.

Never made chocolate ganache before? No problem, it's a cinch. Just two ingredients!

Heavy cream and chocolate chips. (I never said this was healthy stuff.)

Dump about 2 cups of semisweet chocolate chips into a bowl. (Just one bag. Nestle works well.)

Heat 1 cup heavy whipping cream in a small saucepan or in small bowl in microwave just until it bubbles. (My microwave took about 2 minutes, but it's pretty weak, so watch it.)

Pour the cream over the chocolate and let it sit. DO NOT TOUCH IT FOR FIVE WHOLE MINUTES!!!! I know your impatience will be killing you, but trust me. If you don't wait you'll have lumpy ganache. Think of it as an exercise in self-control.

After the five minutes is up, you may begin stirring. And keep stirring for quite a bit of time. At first it will look like nothing is happening. It will look gross.

You call this ganache? I call it melted ice cream soup.
Just keep stirring, eventually it'll all come together.

There it is, nice and beautiful. Now, you can let it sit at room temperature for awhile and wait for it to thicken up to be able to spread. Or you can speed up the process by putting it in the fridge for about 30 minutes. Just make sure you stir it every once in awhile.

Once it's ready, you can fill your cupcakes. Yes, I said "fill", not "frost." These adult cupcakes are not for chocolate weaklings.

Now I already said that you would have indented your cupcakes. Basically, about 1 minute after they come out of the oven, press a little indentation with a spoon into each cupcake.

Reminds me of Peanut Butter Cup cookies that I used to make at the bakery where I had my first job. I also remember sometimes the whole batch getting "stuck" in the pan and breaking. Too bad we couldn't serve them and I just might have had to take them all home. Not that that ever happened, of course.
When the ganache is ready, spoon as much as you can into the little indentation. Spread the rest to the edges so it looks pretty. Then top with some chopped Reese's cupcakes! Perfect garnish.

Technically, these should be stored in the fridge. However, I have left them in a tupperware on the counter before and they have been fine. Though, I highly recommend you store them in the fridge. The chocolate ganache firms up and becomes almost fudge-like. Pour yourself a glass of milk and you'll be in chocolate peanut butter heaven!

Oh, chocolate ganache. Delicious.


Anonymous said...

omgosh i was jsut thinking about those peanut butter cup cookies the other day! but i rememeber the whole batches getting stuck and you were def not the only one that snuck a batch home when they didnt turn out =) Good old Katie's! - Erika

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