A clear, cool blue Colorado sky is peeking at me through the nearly-bare tree outside my office window. It's taunting me, laughing at the fact that I have to sit at a desk all day, instead of being allowed to experience the beautiful fall weather outside.
I can't hear the rustle of the red and gold leaves through the glass, but I can see them dancing across the street, having their happy little leaf party without me.
Football parties seem to be taking over everyone's Sundays lately, but I have yet to give up my own weekends for football. Besides having so many wedding-related activities to do the past few weekends - visiting venues, meeting caterers, engagement photos - I can think of at least 67 things I would rather be doing with my weekends than sitting and watching football.
To my friends who like hosting football parties, you probably won't see me at your party. For this, I do not apologize.
I can appreciate the game day snacks, though, and so I made these simple cupcakes for a coworker's football party they hosted on Sunday. Chocolate cupcakes with chocolate peanut butter buttercream, topped with a simple marzipan football. As pretty to look at as they are yummy to eat.
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Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Hershey's Special Dark)
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 eggs
- 6 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon meringue powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1-2 tablespoons milk or cream
- 3 ounces marzipan
- brown gel food coloring
- 1 ounce white chocolate
Bake the Cupcakes:
Preheat the oven to 350, and line a muffin tin with 12 paper liners.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, espresso powder, salt and baking soda. Add the eggs, whipping cream, sour cream, oil and vanilla and mix until well combined. Stir in the chocolate chips. Divide batter between the liners and bake for 17-19 minutes, until the tops of the cupcakes spring back when gently touched and a toothpick comes out clean.
Remove cupcakes from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack, covered loosely with a clean kitchen towel.
Make the Buttercream:
In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the butter and peanut butter for 1 minute until combined. In a separate bowl, combine the powdered sugar, cocoa powder and meringue powder. With the mixer on low, add the sugar mixture by spoonfuls. Add the vanilla, and increase speed to medium high, whipping for 4-5 minutes until very light and fluffy, adding the milk if needed.
Make the Marzipan Footballs:
Knead the marzipan with your hands until it is soft and pliable, then knead in a drop or two of brown food coloring. Divide into 12 pieces, keeping them covered with plastic wrap until you're ready to use them. Shape each piece into a football and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Melt the white chocolate according to the instructions on the package, then pipe the lines onto the footballs. Refrigerate the footballs to set the chocolate.
Frost the cooled cupcakes and garnish with the footballs.
Yields 12 cupcakes
Recipe and Design by Curly Girl Kitchen