Peach Cupcakes with Pistachios and Dark Chocolate

yumFor those who reside in the midwest, such as myself, you are probably aware of a grocery store chain called Giant Eagle. They have begun launching their Market District stores, which is basically Whole Foods, Earth Fare, and Giant Eagle rolled into one and on steroids/crack. On Thursday the Cleveland area Market District opened – with a special appearance by Michael Symon! – and you would have thought the entire city of Solon shut down. The store, parking lot, and surrounding areas were packed. I was crazy enough to attempt to stop by on opening day (I missed Chef Symon, of course) but barely managed to navigate the labyrinthine store for more than 10 minutes. Seriously though; the crowd was crazier than the pit at Ozzfest, and a lot hungrier.

So today, my mother and I decided that after 3 days enough time had elapsed since the grand opening to tackle Market District again. It was still busy, but at least we were able to enjoy ourselves. They had enough food samples, wine samples, and cooking demonstrations to keep us occupied for over an hour. It was basically a side-show at a culinary circus.

Finally as we were about to leave, we headed over to the dairy section and stocked up on our favorite Chobani greek yogurt. There are these things called Chobani Flips that we are both totally obsessed with; flavors like Key Lime Crumble, Almond Coco Loco, and Peachy Pistachio, which served as an inspiration (knock off?) for the cupcakes I made today.

bri2Today we celebrated my little sister’s 22nd birthday, so I thought it was a perfect occasion to try out a new cupcake flavor. They were a big success! The sweet/tartness of the peach went very nicely with the saltiness of the pistachios and the rich dark chocolate. I paired these with a crisp sauvignon blanc to offset the sweetness of the dessert.

usMy sister blows out her candles, while I try not to drop the glass layer tray full of flaming, peachy goodness. Notice how the last-minute baker is still totally scrubbing it in her bum clothes? That’s what I get for procrastinating.

cupcake1Peach Cupcakes with Peach Cream Cheese Frosting, Pistachios and Dark Chocolate

For the cupcakes (yields 18 standard cupcakes)

-2 cups AP flour
-1 1/2 tsp baking powder
-1/2 tsp baking soda
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/2 stick unsalted butter
-1 cup granulated sugar
-2 large eggs
-1/4 cup vegetable oil
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-1/2 cup buttermilk
-1/2 – 3/4 cup peach purée (recipe follows)

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and prepare your cupcake trays with paper liners. In a mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

2. In a large mixing bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer, cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs, oil, and vanilla extract and beat to combine. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture and beat until just combined, followed by the buttermilk. Add another 1/3 of the flour, followed by 1/2 cup of the peach purée. Add the final 1/3 of the flour mixture and beat to combine. Taste (yum!) and add more of the purée if you like a stronger peach flavor (like me).

3. Spoon batter into the prepared liners about 2/3 of the way full. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean, but with soft crumbs. Allow cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.

For the peach purée

-1 1/2 – 2 peaches, peeled and chopped, with pits removed
-1 tbsp of lemon juice
-1 tsp granulated sugar

1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender and process until smooth.

For the frosting and toppings

-1 8-oz package cream cheese
-1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
-3-4 cups powdered sugar
-3-4 tbsp peach purée
-1/4 cup chopping pistachios (salted or unsalted, but I used salted)
-1 oz dark or semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped

1. Beat the cream cheese and butter on medium high until fluffy. Added powdered sugar, one cup at a time, and beat until fluffy and you reach a good piping texture. Add peach purée and additional powdered sugar, if needed.

2. Fill a piping bag with your desired tip, and pipe a delicious peachy swirl onto each cupcake. Sprinkle with chopped pistachios and dark chocolate. Take a bite of your cupcake, take a sip of your wine, sit back and savor.

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