Good Eats and Sweet Treats from My Small Boston Kitchen

Blueberry Dark Chocolate Chunk Cupcakes

Before the cupcakes came about, I hadn’t been in the kitchen for an entire week. Sure, I make myself breakfast and lunch for work every day, but mixing up some overnight oats and throwing together a salad — those things hardly constitute getting dirty in the kitchen. I thought once I’d settled into my new job, I’d find that I had more free time and less stress, but guess what? That’s not the case. I’m finding it hard to cook as much as I would like to, so I’m going to have to get creative or risk losing my skills! Tomorrow I’m diving back in, and I already have a dinner recipe planned for Wednesday. Watch out world! I’m getting my act together for real this time.

But anyway, the cupcakes. These cupcakes were sooo good. And you know the best part? They were very nearly healthy, and they didn’t taste like it at all! Often times I find when you sub in whole wheat flour, or remove some of the fat, the flavor is very telling. But this recipe was built to taste sinfully delicious without wasting all of the calories. And who’d have thought — it’s a Paula Dean recipe! The woman who uses a pound of butter per recipe — this recipe only had 1/2 half a stick. And then there’s some apple sauce, and maple syrup for flavor. And blueberries and chocolate chips and your favorite granola for texture. SO GOOD! They are hearty cupcakes, not light and fluffy, but dense and delicious. If you skip the icing, I’d say they’d made a pretty fantastic breakfast, but with the icing they are the perfect dessert. I dipped some of the iced cupcakes in coconut, and those were extra special — they looked beautiful, but they also had an extra element of flavor and texture.

I brought these beauties to a friend’s housewarming party (check out her brunch blog!), and they seemed to go over pretty darn well. I frosted maybe half of them, and dipped about half of those in coconut. Serving them altogether was fun, because they all looked different — I didn’t take pictures of them, but I did decorate a bunch with blueberry designs, and they looked so fun! There’s nothing better an easy recipe that tastes good and looks impressive.

As usual, I made a few changes to the recipe, though nothing major. I didn’t have apple butter but I did have a tub of unopened applesauce that I christened for this occasion. It seemed a fine substitution. I also swapped half of the all-purpose flour for whole wheat flour, and that was a really great change for these cupcakes. I think if you used 100% all-purpose, they’d be a bit less dense, so it’s completely up to you and what you prefer. I filled the cupcake liners up pretty full, and had some extra batter so I made a few mini cupcakes. However, you can fill the liners up allllll the way — my cupcakes were smaller than I’d hoped for, just because I was worried they’d overflow. These cupcakes bake very evenly though, and come out of the oven looking and smelling quite wonderful. I made a boiled frosting recipe from Sugar Plum, and I really liked it. It’s a bit buttercream, a bit cream cheese, and a bit of boiled sugar. Can you say DELICIOUS?! I made the mistake of not whisking the flour and the sugar FIRST, so I got some rather lumpy frosting — oops! You live and you learn, but please, learn from my mistakes!

 Blueberry Dark Chocolate Chunk Cupcakes

Ingredients

1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour (I did 1 cup all-purpose, and 2/3 cup whole wheat)
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
2 large eggs
½ cup sugar
¼ cup maple syrup (I didn’t detect any maple syrup flavor — I think it adds an element of depth, but don’t use the expensive stuff, because it’d probably be a waste!)
¼ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
¼ cup apple butter (I used applesauce and I’d totally recommend it!)
½ cup milk
6 oz blueberries (I used a cup)
1 cup granola (any variety)
1 cup dark chocolate chunks or chips

Directions

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2) In a small bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, and baking soda and set aside.

3) In a large bowl, mix the eggs and sugar until light and creamy. Mix in the maple syrup, butter, and apple butter, and beat until smooth.

4) Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture, and stir until just combined. Mix in the milk until smooth.

5) Fold in the blueberries, granola, and chocolate chunks. be sure not to over-mix, or the cupcakes will become tough! Divide the batter evenly between twelve cupcake liners, and bake for twenty-five minutes or until the tops bounce back when lightly touched.

Paula recommended you frost your cupcakes with whipped cream, but like I said, I made a boiled frosting and it was delicious. You can find the link for that frosting recipe here. (The accompanying cake looks pretty delish too, I’ve made a mental note to try it soon.)

And that’s all I’ve got for you today! I had a seriously incredible breakfast in Boston that I’m going to share with you soon, I foolishly forgot to snap a picture of my sandwich, but fortunately I’m covered. One of my dining companions, who is also a fabulous photographer, did a sandwich series around Boston so she captured a Scups Ultimate BLT in a much better picture than I could ever hope to create. So that’s coming soon! But in the meantime if you’re hungry, and in/around Boston, head to Scups on the Harbor, and then go home and make these cupcakes! You’ll be thanking Paula Dean for days.

With love, and sugar. Enjoy!

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