Is My Blog Burning: Fluffernutter Cupcakes

 

Cupcakes take the cake! At least that’s what Maki at I Was Just Really Hungry says for this month’s edition of Is My Blog Burning.

Cupcakes take me back to my childhood, when the best thing about celebrating classmates’ birthdays was the obligatory cupcakes. Ha, forget about wishing them a good birthday. Just give me the cupcake…a cake I don’t have to share with anyone else.

Remember the good old days, before schools banned cupcakes? At least Texas reversed its decision.

And perhaps no other food encompasses childhood like the Fluffernutter sandwich. Before artisan breads became stylish, before we had to worry about eating whole grains, stick-to-the-roof-of-your-mouth peanut butter and marshmallow fluff on soft white bread was perfectly acceptable.

So I made a Fluffernutter sandwich in cupcake form. These are semi-healthy, since most of the fat comes from the peanuts. Most cupcake recipes call for a stick of butter each for the batter and frosting. This recipe has 1/8 of a stick of butter!

The first thing I noticed about these cupcakes was the intense peanut butter smell. Although they weren’t as moist as the cakes from Sugar Sweet Sunshine (which can be remedied by adding butter of course), they were a satisfying snack for a sweet ‘n’ salty craving.

Fluffernutter Cupcakes
(adapted from The Joy of Cooking)
Makes 15-18 cupcakes

For the peanut butter cupcakes:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1 large egg
1 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line muffin pans with paper liners.

Combine all ingredients in a food processor. Pulse for a few seconds to mix. Scrape the sides of the bowl and the blade and pulse until smooth. The entire mixing process should not take more than 5 seconds.

If you don’t have a food processor, whisk all the dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside. Cream the butter, oil and peanut butter with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the sugar. When incorporated, add the egg and vanilla. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl frequently with a rubber spatula to keep the batter smooth. On low-speed, alternately add the dry mixture in three additions with the milk in two additions, beginning and ending with the dry mixture. Stir in chocolate chips, if using. Hint: toss the chips with a bit of flour to keep them from sinking to the bottom of the cake.

Fill the muffin cups about two-thirds full. Hint: for mess-free, consistent portion control, use an ice cream scoop.

Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 25-30 minutes.

Remove from the pan and let cool completely on a rack before frosting. Hint: put more frosting than you think you need on a spatula/knife and place it in the middle of the cake. Without lifting the spatula, spread the frosting to the edges by rotating your wrist.

For the marshmallow (aka seven-minute) frosting:
(adapted from The Joy of Cooking)
Makes 2 cups

2 1/2 tbsp water
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
2/3 cup sugar
1 large egg white
1/2 tbsp light corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla

Have the egg whites at room temperature, 68-70 F. Whisk everything except the vanilla together in a large stainless-steel bowl. Whipe excess sugar off the side of the bowl, as it will be difficult to dissolve later.

Set the bowl in a wide, deep skillet filled with about 1 inch of simmering water. Make sure the water level is at least as high as the depth of the egg whites in the bowl.

Beat the whites on low speed until the mixture reaches 140F on an instant-read thermometer. Do not stop beating while the bowl is in the skillet, or the egg whites will be overcooked. If you cannot hold the thermometer stem in the egg whites while continuing to beat, remove the bowl from the skillet just to read the thermometer, then return the bowl to the skillet. Beat on high speed for exactly 5 minutes.

Remove the bowl from the skillet and add the vanilla.

Beat on high speed for 2-3 more minutes to cool. Use the day it is made.

Since I won a pack-rat/frugal food food award, here’s suggestions for leftover frosting:
Dollop hot cocoa with it
Make Fluffernutter sandwiches out of it
Melt it with 1-2 tbsp butter and stir in rice krispies/oatmeal (1-2 cups) to make bars
Spoon it on top of ice cream

Variations:

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes
Frost with chocolate frosting for a richer cupcake.

Chocolate Frosting:
(adapted from The Joy of Cooking)
Makes about 2 cups

1 cup plus 2 tbsp sugar
1 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
6 ounces milk chocolate, finely chopped (You can substitute dark chocolate for adult tastes. Or you can simply use 3 ounces dark chocolate to cut the fat and keep the flavor)

Combine sugar and cocoa small, heavy saucepan. Gradually add just enough milk to make a paste, and then stir in the rest.

Cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon and reaching into the corners of the pan, over medium heat until the mixture comes to a boil Boil gently, sirring, for about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and add vanilla.

Let cool for 5 minutes. Stir in chocolate until melted and smooth. Cover the surgace of the frosting with a piece of wax or parchment paper and let cool until spreadable.

This keeps, refrigerated, for up to 1 week. Or freeze for up to 6 months.

Peanut Butter Jelly Cupakes
Swirl 1/3 cup melted jelly in the batter. Or, fill muffin cups 1/3 of the way up, spoon in 1 tsp jelly, and top with batter to fill the cups 2/3 full.

Nutella-Peanut Butter Cupakes
Frost cupcakes with Nutella. Melt the Nutella with a couple tablespoons milk, or it will be too thick and tear the cupcakes.

Honey Nut Cupcakes
Substitute sugar with 1/2 cup + 1 2/3 tbsp honey and reduce milk to 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp. Also add 1/8 tsp baking soda. Note that honey browns faster than sugar, so the cakes will probably cook faster. Thanks to Good Eats for the adaptation. I have no idea if it works.

Frost with:
Honey Cream Cheese Frosting
(Adapted from The Joy of Cooking)

8 ounces cream cheese
5 tbsp unsalted butter (optional)
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 to 2 cups honey (feel free to change based on your tastes)

Have the cream cheese cold and the butter at room temperature, 68-70 F.

In a medium bowl, beat cheese, butter and vanilla just until blended. Add the honey one-third at a time and beat just until smooth and the desired consistency. If the frosting is too stiff, beat for a few seconds longer. Do not overbeat.

This keeps, refrigerated, for about 1 week. Or freeze for up to 3 months. Soften and stir until smooth before using.

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12 Comments »

  1. Touches of Style said,

    I’m going to send my daughter over here. She has just decided that she likes cupcakes rather than the entire cake. I think that she can just monitor how much her brother eats lol…

    A Touch of Style :)

    March 27, 2005 at 5:53 pm

  2. Lynn said,

    Jessica,

    Does the frosting taste very sweet for your cupcake? I looks interesting and I want to try it too if it’s not too sweet. How many cupcakes will it frost for the amount you listed?

    March 24, 2005 at 6:09 am

  3. Sweetnicks said,

    I love cupcakes, especially in their itty-bitty form, so this month’s IMBB topic is right up my alley. I gotta get cracking on my own blog’s entry. In the meantime, LOVE your blog, and have added a link for you. :)

    March 24, 2005 at 9:44 am

  4. tanvi said,

    i love the idea of a peanut butter cupcake- ingenious! im impressed at the versality of it too, though id probably reach for a chocolate frosted one first they all sound good. great entry (or shall i say entries?!)

    March 24, 2005 at 8:52 pm

  5. Kelli said,

    I love peanut butter! These sound so good. I agree with Tanvi too — I’m up for the chocolate frosted ones.

    March 25, 2005 at 5:26 pm

  6. Nic said,

    I *love* fluffernutters and think that this is a great idea for cupcakes. I’ll definately give these a try!

    March 25, 2005 at 7:04 pm

  7. Emily said,

    whoaaa! i loved fluffernutters when i was younger. oh.. who am i kidding. i love fluffernutters now! the homemade marshmallow fluff icing is making my mouth crave that gooey sweetness. thank you for sharing!

    March 26, 2005 at 2:14 am

  8. Santos said,

    dang, all these recipes, so little time!

    March 26, 2005 at 7:16 am

  9. Cathy said,

    Jessica – you made peanut butter cupcakes too! Yours look realy great and the icing is beautiful! The variation with chocolate icing sounds good too (I have a weakness for peanut butter cups).

    March 26, 2005 at 11:47 pm

  10. A Touch of Style said,

    I’m going to send my daughter over here. She has just decided that she likes cupcakes rather than the entire cake. I think that she can just monitor how much her brother eats lol…

    A Touch of Style :)

    March 27, 2005 at 5:53 pm

  11. chronicler said,

    I have never had fluffernutters! I must give them a try!

    March 30, 2005 at 2:52 pm

  12. Kristen said,

    Oh my god, I think I love you. Fluffernutter cupcakes! I can’t wait to try ‘em :)

    March 4, 2006 at 10:26 pm

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