These Rocky Road cupcakes are a perfect example of my tug-of-war with my family over good taste. My daughter and I had to make two versions of these lovely cupcakes to please both sides of the food spectrum at my house. You know that old song, “You say tomato (to-may-to) and I say tomato (to-maw-to), You say, Po “tay” to and I say Po “taw” to…Let’s Call the whole thing off?” Well that is sort of the story of my food life at our house. Here is version two of the Rocky Road cupcake with Coconut and Peanuts.
I like dark chocolate, my husband likes milk….I like nuts in just about everything and my husband, not so much. Coconut? Yes for me, no for him. Most vegetables, yes for me and no for him. Sashimi, yes for HIM and no for ME. You didn’t see that one coming did you? Me neither. I think you get the gist of this problem. We have VERY DIFFERENT taste buds. Then we spawned children, and most of their taste bud genes came from him. Bummer! Although my daughter, 12, is fast becoming a foodie as time goes by. YAY! One more for my team.
My dad could have predicted this food fiasco about 20 years ago when my husband and I were only dating, and he sat my husband down for one of those serious, “You are dating my daughter,” talks that fathers have. You know the ones…where he is supposed to be mildly threatening my date not to lay a hand on me, to drive safely…yada yada, yada. This conversation went a little bit differently than other dad/date talks that were happening in homes across the country I am to assume.
This conversation did NOT revolve around ME, but revolved solely around FOOD! My dad was quizzing him on his food preferences! Yes, you heard that correctly. There was a yellow pad of lined paper involved, a messily drawn line down the middle and the words, “BAD” and “GOOD” scribbled across the top.
OK, question number one for my date was, “Do you prefer steak or chocolate?”. My date answered Steak. My dad marked a big, red check on the bad side. Then he asked, “Do you like nuts in your chocolate chip cookies?”. My date answered, “No.” BIG, HUGE CHECK on the bad side. It went on like this for a a few frustrating minutes for my then date now hubby. I was mortified when I entered the room to discover what was going on in our kitchen.
Can you imagine being an 18-year-old girl and finding this fiasco of a situation in your kitchen? Just thinking about it some 20 years later, makes me cringe (and giggle!). Ah well, my date survived, and I married him a few years later, but our taste buds never did converge…just as my dad suspected. My husband has since had to have pretty thick skin to survive the sarcasm, nuttiness and general Type-A, we are always right, mentality of my family so maybe the checklist wasn’t such a bad idea after all. If he could survive being a teenager in my kitchen that day, maybe he could survive the joy ride of marrying into my family.
I hope these Rocky Road cupcakes can be made in one version at your house, but if not, that’s OK…to each his own!
Rocky Road Cupcakes
Adapted from Cupcakes by Pamela Clark
2 sticks butter softened
1 t. vanilla extract
1 1/3 c. granulated sugar
2/3 cup milk (I substitute with 1/3 c. sour crm. and 1/3 c. milk)
2 1/4 c. flour
1 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
3 T. cocoa powder
4 t. milk, extra
Rocky Road Topping
1 c. roasted unsalted peanuts
1 c. flaked coconut, toasted
1 c. mini marshmallows
1 bag of chocolate chips melted
Preheat oven to 35o degrees. Line muffin pan with paper baking cups. This recipe should make 2 dozen.
Beat butter, vanilla and sugar together in a bowl of an electric mixer with paddle attachment. Add eggs, one at a time, beating in between. Sift the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl. Pour 1/2 of the dry ingredients into the butter mixture and add 1/2 the milk and 1/2 the sour cream. Combine on low speed of the mixer and then add the rest of the dry ingredients, milk and sour cream, beating on medium until smooth.
Pour half of the batter into a separate bowl. Add the cocoa powder and extra teaspoons of milk to this bowl, stirring until smooth. Dollop one large spoonful of vanilla batter and one large spoonful of the chocolate batter side by side (ish) in each paper muffin cup. Use a butter knife or skewer to make a zigzag patter through the batters to marbelize. Mine did not look marbelized at ALL before baking and then voila, they came out beautifully anyhow. Let the cupcakes cool completely before topping.
For the rocky road topping, combine the coconut, peanuts and marshmallows on a plate. Spread the top of one cupcake with about 1 teaspoon of the melted chocolate. Dip the cupcake upside down on top of the plate with the topping. Stick more marshmallow and peanuts on top by hand to look pretty and then drizzle with chocolate using a zigzag motion. I just use my butter knife to dip in the chocolate and then drizzle over the cupcakes back and forth. You need to complete one cupcake at a time for the topping to stick properly together and to stick to the cupcake.