I’m baaaack!! Happy 2015 everyone! I can’t even begin to express my giddiness that Kirsten has asked me to be a regular here at Sweet Tea and Saving Grace. I look forward to sharing my adventures in the kitchen with you all and I hope that you enjoy today’s recipe for Chocolate Beer & Pretzel Cupcakes!
So who’s excited for Super Bowl Sunday?! Oh, wait… was I supposed to raise my hand? Ugh, the secret is out… this girl is not a football aficionado. Not really a sports nut of any kind actually. I will say this though, if there is a game going on and Chicago is playing I will always root for my hometown. 😉 And yes, I am aware that they haven’t won a Super Bowl since Super Bowl XX… Super Bowl Shuffle anyone? I find watching any sporting events to be quite stressful. So kudos to all those devoted fans out there tirelessly cheering on their favorite teams!
OK, back to our recipe… in keeping with the whole football theme, I thought… what do you usually serve up at a football party? BEER! What goes with beer? Pretzels and chocolate of course.
So here again you guys are going to think I’m completely off my rocker… I must confess that I do not drink beer. When I started to hammer out the recipe details, I knew that I didn’t want to use Guinness. My husband suggested that I look into using some chocolate beer. My response was “there’s chocolate beer?” LOL! I had to call my sister, Corinna, and her hubby, Rob, because I knew they like beer as well as enjoy cooking with it. Turns out Rob is somewhat of a connoisseur because he immediately made a few suggestions and then he even gave me an oatmeal chocolate stout for me to try in this recipe. 🙂
I tasted the beer before I made the cupcakes and I was pleasantly surprised by the chocolate flavor. It even had a nice chocolate color when I poured it in the saucepan. Then after I baked them, yet another surprise because there was a wonderful subtle beer flavor that balanced well with the chocolate. These cupcakes are moist, with a crunchy pretzel bottom crust, topped with a delicious peanut butter buttercream, and garnished with pretzel crumble, caramel, and mini chocolate chips. Too much?… I think not. So kick back, sport your favorite team’s jersey, and enjoy some Chocolate Beer and Pretzel cupcake goodness!
*Quick note about the recipe: When I was researching for this recipe I referred to several of my friend Betsy’s recipes over at JavaCupcake. She’s one of my baking inspirations! You can visit blog here. Also the beer Rob gave me was part of a craft beer gift set. If you can’t get your hands on the exact one, I would just look for a chocolate stout. You can check out your local specialty liquor store to see if they sell craft beers by the individual bottle too.
Want to see what I’ll be baking next? You can check out my Facebook page, The Red Eye Baker. xox Roxana
Grab the recipe:
- 1 ½ c salted pretzel sticks
- 4 ½ Tbsp butter, melted
- 1 ½ Tbsp brown sugar
- ½ c chocolate stout beer (I used Boulevard Brewing Co. Tasting Room Oatmeal Stout, Kansas City, MO)
- ½ c (1 stick) butter
- ¼ c + 2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 c flour
- 1 c sugar
- ¾ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 egg, room temperature
- ⅓ c sour cream
- 1 tsp vanilla
- ½ c (1 stick) butter, room temperature
- ½ c heaping of creamy peanut butter
- 1 ½ - 2 c powdered sugar
- ¼ c heavy cream
- Pinch of salt
- ½ tsp vanilla
- Pretzel crumble
- Mini chocolate chips
- Homemade caramel sauce or your favorite store bought
- Preheat oven to 350 F degrees and line your cupcake pan with liners.
- In a food processor, pulse the pretzel sticks into small chunks.
- Add the brown sugar and melted butter, process on high until well combined and the pretzels are in smaller crumbs.
- Press about 1 Tbsp of pretzel crumbs into the bottom of each liner, reserve approximately ½ c of crumble for the garnish.
- Bake the crust for 8 – 10 minutes. You want it to just be golden brown.
- In a heavy saucepan, bring the butter and beer to a simmer over medium heat.
- Add the cocoa and whisk until smooth. Remove from heat and add the vanilla, let cool slightly.
- In a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt together.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the egg together with the sour cream
- Very slowly add the warm chocolate mixture to the egg/sour cream mixture, whisking constantly.
- Add the wet mixture to the dry and mix until just combined and no lumps remain. Do not over mix.
- Scoop batter over pretzel crust and bake for 17 – 19 minutes.
- Cool cupcakes in the pan for about a minute and move them to a covered container. This helps to keep the cupcakes moist or you prefer, you can move them to a cooling rack.
- Using the paddle attachment of a stand mixer, cream the butter and the peanut butter together until it pales in color a bit.
- Turn the mixer to low and slowly add powdered sugar ½ c at a time.
- Add the salt and the vanilla.
- Add the heavy cream and beat on high until light and fluffy.
- Using your favorite tip (I used Wilton 1E) pipe a swirl of buttercream on top of each cupcake.
- Garnish with the reserved pretzel crumb mixture, mini chocolate chips, and caramel sauce.
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