VeganMoFo Day 21: Sleepy Sunday Peanut Butter Cupcakes

A storm is coming. The wind is rushing around the house, echoing through the chimney. Darkness filled the sky early and there’s a damp chill in the air. Everyone here settled in with indoor projects this morning, secretly (or not so secretly) wishing we could crawl back into bed with a good book and a mug of hot chocolate.

When evening came, dinner was a little dull. We tossed a couple of those Tofurky pizzas in the oven and made a small salad. It filled us up, but it didn’t quite satiate our hunger for some chilly day comfort food. We needed something warm and sweet for that.

“So, what’re we making?” my son asked with a grin.

“Don’t worry about that,” I told him as he headed off to do his homework. “I’ve got it handled.”

Although I love it when he spends time with me in the kitchen, I knew he was using the word “we” regarding something other than the making. He really meant “So, what’re we eating?” and that made me smile, too. I figure that being appreicated before a treat is made must mean I’m doing something right.

He nodded happily and slipped away with a pile of books and his laptop as I opened Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. http://www.amazon.com/Vegan-Cupcakes-Take-Over-World/dp/1569242739/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1350879668&sr=8-1&keywords=vegan+cupcakes

Vegan or not, I absolutely recommend this book for anyone who likes cupcakes at all ever. I honestly have no idea why I ever made cupcakes from a box even before becoming a vegan. It’s strange when you realize that things you used to do because they were so much more “convenient” weren’t any more convenient at all. It’s so easy to make vegan cupcakes from scratch. They’re amazing, everyone loves them, and they’re not full of all the animal products and artificial yucky-gross that most box mixes have. Vegan baking is crazy fun, people. If you don’t do it now, try it. You’ll love it and you will definitely find yourself doing better in the polls than whatever those grouchy naysayers you know might expect.

I made the Peanut Butter Cupcakes tonight and for once I followed the recipe pretty much exactly! I don’t do that very often, but this one turns out just the way I like it when I follow the recipe exactly as it’s written.

I guess I did cheat a little with the peanut butter. I used Earth Balance Crunchy Natural Peanut Butter. It is natural peanut butter, but it has more in it than just the normal peanuts and salt. The Earth Balance has flaxseed, agave syrup, and palm fruit oil. The big selling points for me, however, are that it’s no-stir (love that!), verified non-gmo, and labeled vegan. I wish everything I bought was so easy to use and so clearly labeled!

I felt a hint of guilt when I added the sugar to these cupcakes. I do try not to be a total sugar monster. Before I was vegan, I was a real sugar monster and thought there’d never be a day when I could break that horrible habit. I don’t crave sugar the way I did before, though. I have no idea why, but it is another item on my long, long, way-way long list of benefits I’ve experienced since becoming vegan.

The ingredients creamed together well with my hand mixer. I’d expected it to be more difficult because of the crunchy peanut butter.

After I mixed in all the ingredients, I popped these peanut butter cups into the oven for about 25 minutes. Their little tops didn’t rise the way I’d have liked even though I followed my regular routine with the soy milk and apple cider vinegar. That wasn’t a worry, though. On a cool, rainy night like tonight, I knew they wouldn’t last long.

I also made the Quick Melty Ganache from the same cookbook. I kind of glopped it on heavily. Since there wasn’t any other frosting, I thought that would be appreciated. At least I knew I would appreciate it! Simple and delicious – you can’t beat that. Who needs frosting when you have a chocolate and peanut butter cupcake? Not me!

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