Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Butterbeer Cupcakes

I hope you guys enjoyed all of the blog swapping that happened yesterday! I thought it was a great idea and it was a ton of fun!! If you want to recap all the great guest posts, check out Alicia's list of blog swappers!

This weekend was a great weekend to just relax and start mentally prepping for the craziness that is the upcoming holidays. That, and go see a Dave Matthews cover band, the Trippin Billies. It was also a good weekend to try out some new holiday recipes.

Enter Butterbeer Cupcakes.

If you don't know what butterbeer is, pick up a Harry Potter box set, STAT.

A few years ago I found a recipe for Butterbeer that I've always wanted to try, but never got around to it. So when I came across this beauty, it literally took me 0.5 seconds to drive to the store for ingredients and get home to make them. Ok, that's a lie, Brandon went to the store for me and went on an hour and a half long wild goose chase for butter flavoring (in the spice aisle, by the extracts). I bet he's thankful he did though, because this is probably the best cupcake I've ever eaten.

Butterbeer Cupcakes adapted from The Curvy Carrot
Servings: 12 regular and 12 mini cupcakes

For the cupcakes:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup Earth Balance vegan butter
  • 1 cup turbinado sugar
  • 2 egg whites + 1 egg
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon butter flavoring
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • ½ cup cream soda

For the buttercream frosting:
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ⅓ cup butterscotch ganache (see below)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon butter flavoring
  • Pinch salt
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • a few drops of milk or cream

For the butterscotch ganache:
  • 1 bag of butterscotch chips, save a few for garnish (or buy two bags, like I did)
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream

For the cupcakes:  
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degreesand prepare a cupcake pan with cupcake liners
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, use a hand mixer to cream the butter for about 2 minutes.
  4. Add the sugar to the butter and continue to mix at medium-high speed until light and fluffy.
  5. Add in the eggs whites, mix well then add the last egg and continue mixing.
  6. Add the vanilla and butter flavorings until combined.
  7. Add about one-third of your buttermilk, followed by one-third of the cream soda, and then one-third of the flour mixture. Continue adding the buttermilk, cream soda, and flour in thirds until well-combined.
  8. If you want to, throw a couple of butterscotch chips into each cupcake before baking.
  9. Evenly distribute the cupcake batter among your prepared cupcake pans and bake until a toothpick  inserted in the center comes out clean, about 15 minutes. Remember if you are doing mini cupcakes that they will take less time to cook (I know this because I burnt mine). Cool the cupcakes completely before frosting.

For the butterscotch ganache:
  1. In a heat-proof bowl over a pan of simmering water, mix the butterscotch chips and heavy cream, stirring until smooth.  Let cool.

For the butterscotch frosting:
  1. Cream the butter with your handheld mixer in a medium bowl, for about 2 minutes.
  2. Add the cooled butterscotch ganache to the butter and mix well
  3. Add the vanilla, butter flavoring, and salt to the frosting and mix well to combine.
  4. With the mixer on low speed, add in the powdered sugar slowly, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.  If you need to (and I did) add milk or cream, about a teaspoon at a time, until the desired frosting consistency is reached.
  5. Pipe the frosting on the cupcakes as desired, drizzle with the butterscotch ganache, and top with a few leftover butterscotch chips.

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