Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting – The Special Dark Effect and Cupcakes

Dark Chocolate Cupcake with Crunchy Peanut Butter Frosting and Chocolate Drizzle<
All through my delicious life, I have observed an interesting and regular phenomenon. I call it the Special Dark Effect. It has to do with Hershey’s Miniatures chocolates.

A bag of Hershey’s Miniatures probably has a fairly even ratio of the four different types of chocolate. In alphabetical order, to show no bias toward any single one, they are Krackel, Milk Chocolate, Mr. Goodbar, and Special Dark. The bag that holds these four chocolates in an even ratio is clear plastic.

What if, hypothetically, the bag that holds the Hershey’s Miniatures were not clear plastic, but were actually opaque?

What if, for the sake of argument, people had to blindly put their hand into the opaque bag holding the Hershey’s Miniatures? What if, theoretically, people had to randomly pick a piece out of the bag like a bingo number and they were not allowed to put G-27 back in the bag and pick again until they came out with Krackel? Then, of course, we could surmise that the fairly even ratio of each of the different types of chocolates with which we started this little experiment would stay the same until the bag was empty, and you’d have some very pissed off senior citizens at the nursing home on Sunday night. The ratio’s consistency has something to do with chance and randomness in a theoretically perfect world of probability, statistics and opaque bags.

But that is theoretical, and in the real world, the bag is, as we have already stated and know just because we’ve seen it a bazillion times in aisle 11, is clear.

And who the hell picks Hershey’s Miniatures randomly?

When you open a bag of Hershey’s Miniatures, these four different types of chocolate get eaten at all different rates so that one type is always long gone before the others, and one type lingers in the bag until someone opens one up, recoils from its full bloom and throws them all away.

Don’t pretend like you don’t know.

Don’t pretend like you don’t hold the bag up to the light and shove your hand down through all the other chocolates to get to the last two Krackels left in the bag. That’s right, Krackel always goes first. Sometimes, Mr. Goodbar edges out Krackel, but very rarely, like when some invisible cosmic force aligns the moon and Lohan actually eats something. Milk Chocolate is third, and dead last all the time, it’s the seven or eight Special Darks that, as mentioned earlier, will bloom pristine white into next Easter until someone finally decides to throw them away, bag and all.

This is the Special Dark Effect. It is undeniable evidence that not too many people like dark chocolate. It is also undeniable evidence that after elimination, I have too much time to think.

dark chocolate cupcakes with crunchy peanut butter frosting and chocolate drizzle
princesses don’t do peanut butter

I am one of those “not too many people” who likes dark chocolate. I love dark chocolate. I am the antidote to the Special Dark Effect. In fact, I love dark chocolate so much that when the responsibility of providing dessert was imparted to me by the BS committee (that’s the new BS committee for Baby Shower, not bridal, though not necessarily not bull s – — oh never mind), I was more than happy to act like it would be an enormous burden to get to Sprinkles, but secretly rejoice at the prospect of baking itty bitty dark chocolate babycakes myself.

These are dark chocolate babycakes with crunchy peanut butter frosting and chocolate drizzle. They are – I can’t feign modesty here – they are awesome. Unfortunately, they don’t quite match with the already planned strawberries and cream that are perfectly pink for the little princess to be. *sigh* I’ll have to save this Reese’s combination for a bake sale or Halloween party or something I guess. We’re going to lose the peanut butter and re-accessorize with fluffy, prissy, white chocolate frosting. We all know how I feel about fluffy prissy pristine gag white and if you didn’t, now you do.

Oh, alright, it’s still frosting.

Baby shower cupcake practice also happened to coincide with Sugar High Friday. The cupcakes are a little late for the no. 13 Dark Chocolate edition, but this is LA, so I don’t know how to be anything but fashionably late. ;)

Next month, next baby, better planning, I swear. And maybe a short lesson on the extension of the Special Dark Effect that I call…the Fritos Phenomenon. I bet you can’t figure out what that’s all about.

Dark Chocolate Cupcake Recipes Around the World(wide web):
~ Straight from the source! Hershey’s Dark Chocolate Cake recipe that actually uses Special Dark Cocoa Powder!
~ Food & Wine’s Double Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Filling has 232 5-star ratings
~ Dark Chocolate Cake recipe at AllRecipes.com has over 600 reviews, with an avergae 4½ stars (out of 5) rating

** this post originally published on 10.22.05 **

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  • Anonymous

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  • abraxis

    Heh. At my place, the Mr. Goodbar minis are always the last. They go in this order:

    Krackle
    Special Dark
    Milk Choc (that old standby)
    and Mr. Goodbar.

    Goodbar may not disappear as quickly as the rest, but they disappear before they turn white…

    Now if you want dark chocky, how about some Scharfen Berger? They make it good.

    Or that Angelina’s cafe in Paris that does the liquid chocky that Starchuck’s does the version of now. I know it’s not dark, but boy oh boy!

  • grace

    sarah, i LOVE dark chocolate too. i make sure to eat some dark chocolate every single day. (;

    oh, and since i was so disappointed with leda’s and surely will be disappointed by all other cupcake bakeries.. should i just put in a special order to you? LOL. i’m only half joking. =P

  • grace

    sarah, i LOVE dark chocolate too. i make sure to eat some dark chocolate every single day. (;

    oh, and since i was so disappointed with leda’s and surely will be disappointed by all other cupcake bakeries.. should i just put in a special order to you? LOL. i’m only half joking. =P

  • Stephanie

    That’s frighteningly accurate, actually!

    When I was kid and my grandparents would get a bag of mini’s for the candy dish, we’d all pick through, until it was mostly milk and dark chocolate left. And we’d all say “we’re saving the Special Dark’s for (Aunt) Kathy; she loves them”.

    I’m convinced it’s an age thing, because 25 years later, I’m the one who gets the dark chocolate now!

  • sarah

    anonymous: thanks for the compliment :)

    abraxis: mr. goodbar comes in last?! no way. i wonder – is it the peanuts?!

    grace: let’s talk bidnezz. i’m only half joking, too ;)

    the happy sorceress! hi stephanie! here’s the funny thinkg – i like special darks even when i was little. i swear i think it’s the word “special” on there. sometimes i am so easy. LOL!

  • Lindsay

    oh my goodness sarah those cupcakes look stupendous.

    and i, too, am the antidote to the special dark problem. i am madly in love with dark chocolate–although having had far better chocolate in my life leaves poor old hershey’s ranking waaaay at the bottom for me. mmm special dark!

  • Lindsay

    oh my goodness sarah those cupcakes look stupendous.

    and i, too, am the antidote to the special dark problem. i am madly in love with dark chocolate–although having had far better chocolate in my life leaves poor old hershey’s ranking waaaay at the bottom for me. mmm special dark!

  • sarah

    why thank you, miss punkin! :)

    and yes, that is exactly why i just WILL NOT allow myself to have those fancy chocolates.

    LOL!

    just kidding.

    there’s this one that i find at a lot of the organic markets that is so dark it’s kind of evil. LOL!

  • Anonymous

    I agree completely about the order, except that for me, milk chocolate goes last (special dark is third). Interesting phenomenon you’ve chosen to write about!
    I think the Whole Foods brand dark chocolate bars are surprisingly good, especially at $1.50 each, which is cheap for Whole Foods.

  • Anonymous

    I agree completely about the order, except that for me, milk chocolate goes last (special dark is third). Interesting phenomenon you’ve chosen to write about!
    I think the Whole Foods brand dark chocolate bars are surprisingly good, especially at $1.50 each, which is cheap for Whole Foods.

  • sarah

    i’ve written about the usual order, but i guess i never mentioned mine…

    if the bag were open around JUST me, i’d eat:
    1. all the special darks
    2. then mr. goodbar
    3. then krackel
    4. if i HAVE to, then milk chocolate.

    milk chocolate is so plain. and for some reason, hershey’s milk chocolate is sort of chalky. LOL!

  • marianne

    Milk chocolate is last for me, too! My suspicion is that the Fritos effect has to do with dregs of the variety pack always yielding Fritos and Plain Lays. Who in their right mind would pick one of those over Doritos or Cheetos?

  • sarah

    marianne: you are right – fritos are always last. but funny, in my life, the plain lay’s go first, then ruffles second, then it’s toss-up between the two flavors of doritos. cheetos and fritos are always last, and usually, it’s fritos. weird. LOL!

  • abraxis

    Yup, I think it’s the peanuts.

    After all, it’s a bag o’ chocolate, not a bag o’ chocolate with nuts!

    And regarding the Frito’s Effect, it’s usually:

    Cheetos
    Doritos
    Fritos
    Lay’s

    Did I mention that I looooooove cheese too? I think that explains this…

  • hermz

    My mom and I fight over the Special Darks. How neat you wrote about something I love on my birthday. :) This year you can make me those cupcakes.

  • Anonymous

    I love chocolate! I love reading different chocolate facts and recipes!

  • Chris H.

    Growing up, and now in my married “grown-up” life, I’m still the go-to guy for eating the Special Darks. However after this comment thread I have this image of Special Dark coated Fritos…

  • Christine

    ” …you’d have some very pissed off senior citizens at the nursing home on Sunday night” LOL You’re too funny! I admit that I go for the Krackels first. I always hated the Special Dark chocolates, cause they tasted bad. The only way I could think of describing it’s taste is.. smelly. But that’s just be.

  • Christine

    ” …you’d have some very pissed off senior citizens at the nursing home on Sunday night” LOL You’re too funny! I admit that I go for the Krackels first. I always hated the Special Dark chocolates, cause they tasted bad. The only way I could think of describing it’s taste is.. smelly. But that’s just be.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve been eating the Special Dark and Krackle my whole entire life. Keep those peanutty Mr. Goodbar and the Milk chocolate. Ugh. What’s great though is now 20 or 30 years later everyone else has caught onto my obsession and I can get really good quality dark chocolate everywhere. The days of keeping my house and purse filled with Special Dark are now rare because of that abundance but I use their Special Dark chocolate in cookies. Yum, yum, yum.

  • Robin Marie

    Hmm, in my family the Special Dark is ALWAYS gone first. Then Krackel, and the rest get left behind (although they end up at my boyfriends, where no chocolate is safe!) I wish they’d just eat the Krackels and leave the SD to meeee!

    Mmm chocolate…

  • Robin Marie

    Hmm, in my family the Special Dark is ALWAYS gone first. Then Krackel, and the rest get left behind (although they end up at my boyfriends, where no chocolate is safe!) I wish they’d just eat the Krackels and leave the SD to meeee!

    Mmm chocolate…

  • chuck

    OMG, how delicious looking is that cupcake! I think it’s the frosting that really catches the eye. Love it!

  • Angry Brit

    OK. You win. I don’t usually care much for peanut butter (I don’t know if it’s a British thing), but that cupcake might be the most delectable thing I’ve ever seen. Must. Not. Drool. On. Keyboard…

  • RecipeGirl

    That’s one droolworthy cupcake. Love it!

  • SimplyHappyMe

    just love everything that you have here! makes me crave for them =)

    by the way, just tagged you in a post coz i find your site interesting. :) http://simplyhappyme.blogspot.com/2009/02/honest-scrap.html

  • StuffCooksWant

    Just found your site for the first time (I guess I’m a virgin) after seeing you on Twitter. Very cute.

    Love your writing style and I too, love the dark chocolate. Just picked up an enormous bag of dark chocolate covered pomegranates from costco. For my heart.

    I think Hershey’s has changed it’s milk choc formula, b/c they all taste a bit more like wax to me these days. But in the past, my dad and I fought over the Special Dark in the bag of miniatures. I also ate the rest, just to be fair.

  • Anonymous

    That cupcake is so beautiful I may cry.

  • Anonymous

    That looks absolutely delicious! But I would like to know how you made the frosting and the drizzle. I couldn’t find that anywhere.

  • The Duo Dishes

    The cupcakes are a big OH YEAH!

  • Anonymous

    oh just the title and the picture drew me into your article.. they look like true delights!
    A friend of mine just had a beautiful baby girl and I was looking for good recipes to make and send over to them.
    This looks great.

    I also love dark chocolate. It just has such an interesting character like a great cup of real strong coffee. I always start with the mr.goodbars , krackel, dark chocolate and the milk chocolate goes in the work candy dish..

    my husband bought me a bag of those individually wrapped Ghiradelli special dark chocolates for Valentines day.. I think some roses would have been better, but these will last a lot longer.. to be individually seduced.

    I agree with your chip list, fritos are always the last stuck in the back of the snack cupboard.

    Thanks for your great recipes, especially for the way you share you and your creativity. It’s refreshing to read your words.

  • http://www.thedeliciouslife.com Sarah J. Gim

    anonymous: the thing with fritos is that they are the perfect thing for a Straw Hat, which I have NEVER seen in LA, but ate all the time as an elementary schooler in San Antonio – fritos, chili, cheese.

  • Michelle

    Whats your recipe? I cant seem to find it but love all things chocolate peanut butter.. yum!

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