Thursday, July 28, 2011

Fluffernutter Cupcakes

So, I've never actually had the joy of eating a fluffernutter sandwich.  A what? Exactly. Fluffernutter.  Apparently a childhood staple particularly in the Northeastern U.S., a "fluffernutter" is a gooey mashup of peanut butter and marshmallow creme sandwiched between two slices of bread has been around for decades.  The sandwich is even a registered trademark of the Marshmallow Fluff company, complete with a website and theme song sung by The Flufferettes. Obviously.

While I have to admit that this combo doesn't sound particularly appealing to me as a sandwich, I knew it would be a home run cupcake and couldn't wait to try out this recipe from The Novice Chef.  Pairing peanut butter cupcakes with marshmallow frosting and a surprise Nutella center even seemed like a modern twist on the s'mores concept and, let's be honest, I never pass up an opportunity to eat Nutella.

If you tend not to like cupcakes because you find them too sweet (then we can't be friends.  Just kidding. But seriously) then these are definitely not the cakes for you.  I think the marshmallow frosting alone is definitely enough to make your dentist cringe, and the addition of peanut butter will certainly leave you looking for a glass of milk to wash it all down.  So, all in all, I loved them :) Honestly, as over the top as it sounds, I probably would have added more Nutella as well.  This time I decided to try out my bismarck filling tip to try to save time instead of cutting wells in each of the cupcakes like usual, but it just didn't provide enough filling in each cake.  Or maybe I just need to work on my technique.

Either way this is not a cupcake for the faint of heart, but I definitely recommend it for all you fluffernuts out there

I call it: Cupcakes in the City :)

Fluffernutter Cupcakes
     makes 24
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
1 1/2 cup peanut butter
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 pinch salt

Marshmallow Frosting
4 large egg whites
1 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1.  Line a cupcake pan with paper liners. In a large bowl, mix together the brown sugar, oil and peanut butter until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla.

2.  Combine the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt. Stir dry mixture into the batter alternately with the milk. Spoon into the prepared muffin cups.

3.  Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, until the top of the cupcakes spring back when lightly pressed. Cool in the pan for at least 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Nutella Filling
Using a piping bag and a Wilton 230 tip, slowly insert tip into top of cooled cupcake. Squeeze in Nutella and carefully withdraw.

1.  Place egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar in the heatproof bowl of an electric mixer. Set over a saucepan with simmering water. Whisk constantly until sugar is dissolved and whites are warm to the touch, 3 to 4 minutes.

2.  Transfer bowl to electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and beat, starting on low speed, gradually increasing to high, until stiff, glossy peaks form, 5 to 7 minutes. Add vanilla, and mix until combined. Frost as desired

Monday, July 11, 2011

Pattycake, Pattycake

On my last trip home to visit family, I knew visiting one hometown cupcakery just wouldn't enough and, after stopping off at Blue Frost, mom and I immediately made a bee-line for another cupcake stop getting a lot of buzz around town.  As Columbus, OH's first vegan bakery, Pattycake Bakery has somewhat of a cult following, and for good reason.

In addition to their commitment to providing the most delicious vegan sweets imaginable, the folks at Pattycake are true business role models of global responsibility: from 100% biodegradable packaging (they even use vegan glue!), to working with local producers, recycling or composting nearly everything they produce and reducing their carbon footprint through making deliveries by bicycle, Pattycake Bakery is lading the way as a pillar of the community. 

Delivery bike!

But now, on to the sweets :)  Not having a lot of experience with vegan baking or cuisine, mom and I were a little unsure how our trip to Pattycake would go, but all our fears were quickly assuaged by the amazingly friendly staff and, of course, the incredible cupcakes.  Our favorites were the pineapple and raspberry cakes and they were incredibly sweet and moist, and I loved the use of real, fresh fruit.

If you want to indulge your vegan sweet tooth but can't make it to Columbus, never fear--Pattycake has an online shop, too!