Friday, July 27, 2012

Marathon Cupcakes: Banana Peanut Butter with Apricot

Apparently all the rave in food networks right now is strange ingredients for cupcakes. My last cupcake post contained a recipe for Sweet Pea Cupcakes with Goat Cheese Icing - strange indeed. This time around, I'm sharing a Cupcake Wars  inspired recipe that is a little less strange, but still atypical in my opinion.

Banana Peanut Butter Cupcake with Apricot Filling and Toasted Marshmallow Frosting

1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup sour cream
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 large ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
1 cup chopped peanut butter cups
Heat oven to 350F. Place liners (12) in muffin pan. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Add sour cream and vanilla extract. Slowly beat in eggs, one at a time. Combine dry and wet ingredients and mix well. Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full and bake for 20 minutes or until tops are golden brown and toothpick placed in centre comes out clean. Remove from muffin tin and place on wire rack to cool.

2 (6oz) packages dried apricot
1 1/2 cups water
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 - 3/4 cup granulated sugar
Place apricots and water in a small saucepan and let stand, covered for 2 hours. Simmer for 20 minutes on very low heat until apricots are soft. Puree in a food processor. Add lemon juice and sugar blending with numerous on/off turns. Add more sugar for a sweeter filling. 

For a How-To on a few different ways to fill the cupcakes, I'm linking you to Annie's Eats.

2 egg whites
2 cups sugar
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
2 tsp vanilla extract
Combine all ingredients in the top of a double boiler. Heat to 160F, stirring frequently. Pour into electric mixer and whisk at a gradually increasing speed until stiff, glossy peaks form. Frost cupcakes and then torch or place in oven on broil until toasty brown. 

Now you may be wondering what connection these scrumptious cupcakes have to running. Bananas provide the much needed potassium that muscles use to perform efficiently. When you run, you sweat and when you sweat, you lose potassium. Peanut butter is one of the best sports food in existence, packed full of the protein your muscles need to properly function. Apricots are especially beneficial to female runners (like me) because they are rich in iron. Without the proper amounts of iron, the body becomes weak and tired. As for the marshmallow frosting - well - I've got nothin' there...just YUM!

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