Saturday, March 20, 2010

Mini Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting

Recently I taught a cooking class entitled "How to Love Vegetables." We made main dish salads, vegetable snacks and nutritious side dishes but, just to prove how versatile vegetables can be, we also made these delicious miniature cupcakes that include grated zucchini in the batter. The amazing thing is, when peeled of its green skin, the zucchini is undetectable in the final result! The creamy, nutty peanut butter and sweet chocolate are the only flavors you'll taste. If you like Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, then you'll love these little 4-bite wonders at only 5 net carbs each. They are quick to make and fun to eat. What an ingenious way to sneak a little vegetable into a picky eater's diet!

Mini PB Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting
(Makes 18 mini cupcakes)

½ cup of all-purpose flour
½ cup almond flour (or finely ground almonds)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
½ cup Splenda granular (not the baking blend)
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup peeled zucchini, finely grated (make sure it is finely grated)
1/3 cup almond milk or skim milk

Chocolate frosting ingredients:
1 tablespoon cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s Special Dark)
1/3 cup almond milk
¼ cup mascarpone cheese (in the specialty cheese display at the grocery)
1½ tablespoons Splenda granular
1 tablespoon sugar-free, fat-free chocolate pudding mix

1. Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Arrange a rack in center of oven. Line muffin tin with paper liners. This recipe makes 18 mini cupcakes.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, almond flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside. In a large bowl, beat the egg until light and lemon colored using a handheld or standing mixer. Add the peanut butter, Splenda, canola oil and vanilla. Continue beating on medium-high speed for about 2-3 minutes. (Don't underbeat this step, you need to fluff up the egg mixture with air.) Beat in the grated zucchini on low speed until fully incorporated.

3. Alternate adding the dry ingredients with the milk and beat after each addition, scraping down the bowl occasionally with a rubber spatula. Use a small cookie scoop, spoon batter into the muffin cups until ¾ full (do not overfill).

4. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Test after 12 minutes and, if needed, bake another 1 to 2 minutes. The tops will only be slightly browned. Do not overbake because you don't want them to dry out.

5. Remove cupcakes to wire rack and cool completely before icing. To make frosting: Mix together the cocoa powder and almond milk and heat in the microwave for 20 seconds on high. Whisk until cocoa is incorporated and mixture is smooth. Set aside to cool, about 10-15 minutes. Add the mascarpone cheese and Splenda. With a handheld mixer, beat until light and fluffy (it should resemble a soft whipped cream). Add the dry powder from the pudding mix and beat until thickened. Refrigerate for at least 5 minutes until thickened and set. Stir before icing cupcakes.

Nutritional Information per cupcake with 2 generous teaspoons of frosting: 86.1 calories, 5.7 g carbohydrates, 6 g total fat, 1.3 g saturated fat, 0.8 g fiber, 2.4 g protein.

Original recipe by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2009

No comments:

Post a Comment