Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Snickers Cupcakes

You may have noticed that the majority of the recipes on this blog are savory. This is not because I don't like sweets. In fact, I have a huge sweet tooth! My fondest memories from college are not of classes or parties but of opening the mailbox to discover a 48 count box of full-sized Snickers candy bars sent from home. Now don’t go thinking I had no life and holed up in my dorm room with candy bars. The candy was great but the biggest joy was sharing all that sugary goodness with the amazing dorm residents, some of whom are still my closest friends today. When I saw a recipe for Snickers Cupcakes on Annie's Eats, I knew it would be the perfect dessert to share at our welcome to the neighborhood house warming party.

These cupcakes are not difficult to make but they are a little time intensive. I made the chocolate cupcakes, caramel sauce, and cupcake filling the night before the party. Allow the cupcakes to cool before storing at room temperature in an airtight container. Allow the caramel sauce to cool before storing in an airtight container in the refrigerator (do the same with the filling). Remove the sauce and filling from the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature before proceeding with recipe. 

Snickers Cupcakes were a great way to introduce our family to the neighbors and hopefully our friends for many years to come.  

Snickers Cupcakes
as seen on Annie's Eats: cupcakes from Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes, caramel sauce from Ready for Dessert, frosting adapted from My Baking Addiction

Chocolate Cupcakes
½ cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
½ cup hot water
2 cups all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon coarse salt
2 sticks unsalted butter
1½ cups sugar
2 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2/3 cup sour cream, at room temperature

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line standard cupcake pans with paper liners. In a small bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder and hot water until smooth. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

In a medium saucepan, combine the butter and the sugar over medium heat. Heat, stirring occasionally to combine, until the butter is melted. Remove the mixture from the heat and transfer to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat on medium-low speed, 4-5 minutes, until the mixture is cooled. Mix in the eggs and egg yolk, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed and beating well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla and then the cocoa mixture and beat until incorporated. With the mixer on low speed add in the dry ingredients in two batches, alternating with the sour cream, beating just until combined.

Divide the batter between the prepared cupcake liners, filling them about ¾ of the way full. Bake 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, rotating the pans halfway through baking. Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Caramel Sauce
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 cup sugar
1 cup heavy cream
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add the sugar and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar begins to foam. It will look and smell like it’s on the verge of burning. Remove from the heat and add the heavy cream. Stir until the sauce is smooth (you may need to return it to the heat to smooth it out), then mix in the vanilla and salt. Let cool. (This can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.)

For the filling:
24 fun-size Snickers bars, chopped
1/3 cup Caramel Sauce

To fill the cupcakes, cut a cone out of the center of each cupcake with a paring knife. To make the filling, combine the chopped Snickers bars in a bowl with 1/3 cup of the caramel sauce, and mix to coat. Drop a spoonful of the filling mixture into each cupcake.

Caramel Frosting
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 pound box confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/3 cup caramel sauce
Pinch of coarse salt
2 tablespoons heavy cream
8 fun-size Snickers bars, chopped for garnish

To make the frosting, add the butter to the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on medium-high speed 1 minute until smooth. Blend in the confectioners’ sugar until smooth, 1-2 minutes. Mix in the vanilla, caramel sauce and salt until incorporated. (Note: the caramel sauce should be just warm enough that it is workable, but not warm enough to melt the butter in the frosting.) Add the heavy cream and whip on high speed until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes.

Transfer the frosting to a pastry bag fitted with a decorative tip. Drizzle the frosted cupcakes with additional caramel sauce and garnish with chopped Snickers bars.

Yield: 20 cupcakes

Only picture I have was taken with my cell phone