Saturday, January 22, 2011

Chocolate Brownie Cupcakes with Amazing PB Frosting!

Today is "special days with Daddy," as my 4 yr old calls it!  My husband's 2 days off a week add a lot of pressure to make them as special as possible, since he doesn't get to spend a ton of time with the girls during the work today, with the promise of family movie time, there was also the promise of "special snacks"!  (We stick the word "special" in front of a lot of things, in order to conjure up excitement in the kids)!  My requirements for "special snacks" are that they typically need to be void of sugar and all that unhealthy stuff...and my kids' interpretation is something that tastes amazing, that they typically wouldn't be able to eat!  So I have to get creative and come up with things that LOOK special and unhealthy...and taste good...all while actually being within my limits of "healthy" food!  ANYWAYS, back on track here...I wanted to test out an idea I had:  turning the gluten free brownies that I make, into cupcakes...and adding a sugar free chocolate PB frosting (because we ALL know that there's nothing better than the combination of PB and chocolate!)  So this is what we have...the cupcakes are very low in fat, gluten free, chewy and fudgy!  The frosting uses absolutely no sugar, and although I can't say it's extremely low is one of the most healthy frostings you'll find out there!

So here's what you do:

Buy a package of Pamela's brand Chocolate Brownie Mix and add:

1 T. Bobs Red Mill Egg Replacer, instead of eggs
2 t. baking powder
1 t. vanilla
1/2 c. applesauce, instead of oil
1/4 c. unsweetened almond milk, instead of water

-Beat until well incorporated, but be careful not to over do it, and bake at 350 for 18-20 minutes (until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean)

-While you're baking your cupcakes, let's make the frosting!

1/2 c. Earth Balance Buttery Spread
1/4 c. + 1 T. organic PB (just make sure whatever PB you use is void of heart cloggers such as:  hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated well as sugar)

-Beat the above two ingredients together to get rid of any lumps and add:

1/8 t. sea salt
1 t. vanilla
2 c. Ideal brand xylitol-based powdered sugar (I've seen this in Meijer...I think it's a relatively new product...but I'm pretty sure most health food stores will carry it)  Xylitol is a tooth-friendly, low calorie, natural sweetener derived from some fruits and birch bark...and is said to be safe for diabetics!  (Double check that with your doctor before taking my word for it!)
3 T. unsweetened almond milk (add them 1 T. at a time, because your frosting's texture may be just fine with 1 T. or 2...the third may make it too runny)

-When the cupcakes come out of the oven, cool them on a rack before frosting them (or all of that amazing frosting will slide right off!)

-Note:  IF you wanted to take these to the next level (for like a Bday party or something really special) COULD pulse some Reeses PB cups (the mini ones) in a food processor and either put some into the batter before you bake it, or sprinkle them over the top of the frosting when they're done!  Guaranteed your kids will FREAK OUT over these!  You probably will too...if we're being honest!

-The brownie recipe made 9 cupcakes...the frosting recipe could probably frost about triple that...but this isn't a problem...either bake more cupcakes or refrigerate the frosting for a later use!

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