I love the feature on my blog stats page which shows me all of the search terms which have led people to my blog. As you might expect, most of the search terms have something to do with food; marinara using fresh tomatoes, best oatmeal cookie, Nick Tahou’s at the New York State Fair. But I also get a fair share of hits from search terms which leave me puzzled, for example, How to Make a Christmas Money Wreath. What’s a Christmas money wreath? I want one of those.
And then today, I awoke to find that someone had been led to my blog by the search term, Irresistible Hot Moms. HAHA! That’s absolutely awesome. I’m pretty sure it led the searcher to my post on Irresistible Spinach Dip with Wonton Pasta Chips, wherein the recipe included details about getting the cooking oil hot. Just a wild guess, but I suspect the searcher wasn’t looking for a spinach dip recipe. Funny stuff.
Speaking of funny stuff… Does it get any better than Funny Bones? You know, those delicious chocolatey-peanut buttery Drake’s cakes. As a child, I’d easily bypass the racks of Twinkies, Devil Dogs, Yodels, or Ding Dongs in search of my all-time favorite snack cake, Funny Bones! I could’ve eaten a whole box in one sitting and wouldn’t have even regretted the resulting bellyache. For some reason, as I grew up, Funny Bones seemed to be in shorter supply. Perhaps they have a limited distribution area and I was moving to all of the wrong places. But one day I woke up and realized I hadn’t seen a Funny Bone in ages. That realization was not so funny at all.
I don’t eat snack cakes very often these days. The deep-fried twinkie, which I recently devoured at the fair, was probably the first snack cake I’ve eaten all year. But, I’ve been feeling a bit nostalgic lately, so I’ve decided to build a cupcake inspired by childhood favorite. The only difference is that my cupcake will feature grown-up deep chocolate flavor. Moist, dark chocolate cupcakes, filled with sweet peanut butter filling, and decked with a smooth chocolate ganache. Funny Bones improved.
For the cake, I’m using a recipe I stumbled upon a few months ago while searching for a base for my Baked Alaska endeavor. The recipe for Deep Dark Chocolate Cake, found on the Hershey’s website, is perhaps the best chocolate cake I’ve ever tasted. I’ll never make another chocolate cake recipe. It’s rich, oh so moist, and a cinch to make. For the filling, I’m simply combining creamy peanut butter with confectioners sugar and a bit of cream for a sweet and creamy texture. My favorite simple chocolate ganache will deck the cupcake tops with a sprinkle of chopped peanuts as a finishing touch.
Tomorrow night, my girls are coming over to help me figure out a hairstyle for the big Bertolli Fashion Week event next week. I’m sure they’ll also be willing to help me take care of a few of these cupcakes!
Dark Chocolate Cupcakes
(Barely adapted from Hershey’s Deep Dark Chocolate Cake recipe)
- 2 cups Sugar
- 1-3/4 cups All-purpose Flour
- 3/4 cup HERSHEY’S Cocoa or HERSHEY’S SPECIAL DARK Cocoa
- 1-1/2 teaspoons Baking Powder
- 1-1/2 teaspoons Baking Soda
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 2 Eggs
- 1 cup Milk
- 1/2 cup Vegetable Oil
- 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
- 1 cup Boiling Water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare cupcakes pans with cupcake liners or grease and lightly flour.
In a large bowl, combine the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla. Beat for a couple minutes until well combined. Add the boiling water and stir. The batter will be thinner than you might expect. Pour the batter into the prepared cupcake pans. *Fill each cupcake about 2/3 full, to avoid overflowing. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool completely before filling and frosting.
Peanut Butter Filling
- 1/2 cup Creamy Peanut Butter
- 1/2 cup Confectioners Sugar
- 3 Tbsp Heavy Cream
Warm the peanut butter for a few seconds in the microwave to soften. Add the sugar and stir together until smooth. Add the cream, as necessary, to reach a consistency which is thick, but loose enough to easily squeeze through a pastry tip.
- 6 ounces Semisweet Chocolate
- 1/2 cup Heavy Cream
Give the chocolate a coarse chop. Place the chocolate pieces in a bowl. Heat the cream, just to a boil. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and stir until smooth.
To compose the cupcakes…
Spoon the peanut butter filling into a pastry bag fitted with a small/medium round tip. (You can also use a ziploc bag with the corner cut off and a pastry tip inserted.) Insert the pastry tip into the top of each cupcake and squeeze to fill the cakes with a small amount of peanut butter filling. Refrigerate for about 10 minutes to set the filling.
Prepare the ganache. One at a time, hold each cupcake by the base and dip the top into the ganache to evenly coat. Return to the cooling rack. Garnish the cupcakes with a few chopped peanuts. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Children will especially enjoy helping out with the dipping and tasting the results!