i tip my hat

Hi-hats. They are a cupcake that I think most with an affinity for sweets lay their eyes upon with both awe and fear. When I decided to make these for a family Easter gathering, I mentally prepared for a night of melting down (pardon the pun) and do-overs as many delicacies involving chocolate have seemed to lead me to. But fear not! They were surprisingly simple, as long as you have gotten past the stage of burning through 2 bags of chocolate for every one well melted batch. They are far worth the effort, and though these tall towers make it hard to decide where to take the first bite, trust me when I say that people will figure it out.


peanut butter hi-hats

cupcake: (from A Cup Full of Cake who adapted it from Cupcakes! by Elinor Klivans)

3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped *note: UNsweetened, not semisweet!
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup sour cream
½ cup milk
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Put chocolate in a heatproof bowl or the top of a double boiler placed over, but not touching, barely simmering water.  Stir until the chocolate is melted and smooth.  Remove from the water and set aside to cool slightly.
  • Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter and sugar until smoothly blended and creamy.  On low speed, mix in the melted chocolate.  On medium speed, add the eggs one at a time, mixing until each is blended into the batter.  Add the vanilla and beat until the mixture looks creamy and the color has lightened slightly, about 1 minute.  Mix in the sour cream until no white streaks remain.
  • On low speed, add half of the flour mixture, mixing just to incorporate it.  Mix in the milk.  Mix in the remaining flour mixture until it is incorporated and the batter looks smooth.
  • Line cupcake pan with liners, filling each about half full.  Bake about 15 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Yields 18 cupcakes.

the best peanut butter icing ever:

½ cup softened unsalted butter
1 cup creamy peanut butter (don’t use natural pb)
2 cups powdered sugar
¼ or so heavy cream
  • Combine butter with peanut butter and cream. Add the powdered sugar ( mixture will be stiff) then add the heavy cream a little at a time until you get the consistency you like for spreading or piping.
  • After piping the icing on nice and tall, I recommend freezing or refrigerating them while you melt the chocolate so they are nice and solid and the chocolate will set faster after dipping.

chocolate coating:

2 cups (12 ounces) semi sweet chocolate chips
2-3 teaspoons canola oil
  • Melt chocolate in a double boiler or in a heat proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water ( but not touching). Stir frequently. Once the chocolate is smooth mix in the canola oil and transfer to a smaller, deeper bowl–one that will be better for dipping. Dip each cold cupcake into the chocolate and let set. Drizzle any left over chocolate on top for a nice finish.

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