PB Pretzel Cupcakes

This is another chocolate covered cupcake.  But it’s a peanut butter chocolate.

You can make ganache with peanut butter.  And since ganache is easy, this is an easy topping.

We added chopped pretzels as a coating.  The pretzels created a spark of salt and crunch.  (I thought we needed more pretzel pieces but both Kelli, in the kitchen, and Leslie, from Production, that it was just right.)

Anyway, these are interesting, good cupcakes.

The cupcakes:

Use our Baby Cakes cake mix.  Mix and bake according to package directions.

The filling:

Use our chocolate Bavarian cream pastry filling.  Clip a corner on the two-pound pack and squeeze about 1/3 ounce through the top of each baked cupcake.

The buttercream frosting:

Use our vanilla buttercream frosting mix or a recipe of your choice.  Make the frosting with butter, not shortening.

The peanuts:

Use salted snack-type peanuts.  Chop them into small pieces, about 1/8-inch.

The ganache:

Use this recipe and a good quality of chocolate.  We recommend wafers, not chips, since wafers are made with a better chocolate and are of candy-making quality.

The following recipe will yield a thick, paste like ganache. You may thin your ganache with more cream.

Ganache Recipe

1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
8 ounces semisweet or dark chocolate, cut into pieces
4 tablespoons butter

Bring the cream to a boil. Remove from the heat and add the vanilla.  In a medium bowl, pour the hot cream over the chocolate. Stir until the chocolate is melted. Stir in the butter. Let the ganache cool until it reaches a desired thick consistency.

You can heat it or cool it as needed to get a thick coating.

How to Assemble Your Cupcakes

To get the pillowy mounds, we use a round tip on a pastry bag, not a star tip, to apply the frosting.  Dip the frosted tops in the ganache.  The ganache should be cool enough to be just liquid both so that you get a generous coating of ganache on the cupcake and so that it just barely starts to melt the frosting.

Variation:  Ice Cream Filled Cupcakes

Instead of filling the cupcakes with chocolate Bavarian cream, these are excellent filled with ice cream.

To do so, you will need an ice cream cupcake tool.  The tool cuts a core from your cupcake with a simple twist.  You then use the tool to cut a core from a plug of hard frozen vanilla ice cream.  Use the tool to inject the plug of ice cream into the center of the cupcake.

Cover the top, and hole, with frosting.

You will need to keep these cupcakes frozen until you are ready to serve.

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