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Spiced PB & Red Zin Cupcakes































ENTRY #3 for JANUARY'S Iron Cupcake: Earth, secret ingredient WINE
**Please vote for my cupcakes on between Jan. 26th and Jan 31st at http://ironcupcake.blogspot.com . My three entries for this month are: Ginger Plum Wine Cupcakes, Dark Chocolate Apricot Blackberry and Plum Wine Cupcakes (AKA Devil's Drunken Cupcakes), and Spiced PB & Red Zin Cupcakes.

What do you do when your 9 year old niece wants to enter a cupcake for ICE when the ingredient of the month is wine? You make a spiked PB and J style cupcake! These are peanut butter cupcakes filled with a Red Zinfandel curd (adapted from a lemon curd recipe) and topped with a cinnamon vanilla meringue. The peanut butter cupcakes are dense, yet touched with a hit of cinnamon. The curd definitely tastes like a great red wine (but the kiddos loved them.) The meringue is light and toasty, it is like adding the glass of milk to your PB&J sandwich.
NOTE: I started with the meringue since some of the ingredients need a lot more cooling time. Then, I worked on the curd; and finally, the cupcakes. This order worked well for getting the assembly to work out. Make sure to set aside lots of time if you plan to do all three parts of the recipe... It takes quite a while to make it all. (BUT that's just another reason why this was a great project to do with the kiddos!)


PEANUT BUTTER CUPCAKE INGREDIENTS:
1/3 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup milk
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DIRECTIONS:
In a mixing bowl, cream the butter, peanut butter and brown sugar. Beat in egg and vanilla. Combine the dry ingredients; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk. Fill paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 350 degrees F for 15-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely. Take a metal tube (the wide end of a large frosting tip works well) and stick it in the center of the cupcakes. Twist the tube and pull it out of the cupcake, a plug should pull out of the center. Snack on the left-over pieces :) You can fill the centers with the Red Zinfandel curd (recipe follows.)
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RED ZINFANDEL CURD INGREDIENTS:
3 large eggs
1/3 cup Red Zinfandel
3/4 cup sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into small pieces
Red food coloring
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DIRECTIONS:
In a stainless steel bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water, whisk together the eggs, sugar, and wine until blended. Stir in as much red food coloring as needed (the mixture will look grayish otherwise.) Cook, stirring constantly (to prevent it from curdling), until the mixture becomes thick (like sour cream or a hollandaise sauce) (160 degrees F or 71 degrees C). This will take approximately 10 minutes. Remove from heat and immediately pour through a fine strainer to remove any lumps. Cut the butter into small pieces and whisk into the mixture until the butter has melted. Allow to cool. The wine curd will continue to thicken as it cools. Spoon the curd into a pasty bag with a medium sized tip. Squeeze some of the curd into each cupcake hole.
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MERINGUE INGREDIENTS:
1 tablespoon cornstarch (or Kuzu)
2 tablespoons cold water
1/2 cup boiling water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 egg whites
6 tablespoons white sugar
1 pinch salt
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DIRECTIONS:
Blend cornstarch (or Kuzu) and cold water in a saucepan. Add boiling water, and cook until thick and clear. Cool completely.
Beat egg whites till foamy. Gradually beat in sugar, beating until stiff and glossy. Add salt and vanilla, and slowly beat in cold cornstarch mixture. Beat quickly for several minutes. Spoon the meringue into a pasty bag fitted with a large circular tip. On a well buttered cookie sheet, swirl out cupcake toppers (make sure to count the number of cupcakes you have.)
Bake at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes. Once cooled, pick up the meringues with a spatula and place one on to each cupcake. Dust with cinnamon.

3 comments:

Alia said...

I know those little ones! give them kisses!

Alia said...

Do you think you could come up with a raw food cupcake so we could make it???

Keckie said...

Sure, I'll work on something for the next Iron Cupcake challenge. :)

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