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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Maple Pecan Cupcakes

How delicious do these look?  And, they would be great for Thanksgiving or Christmas.
Bake Sale: Maple Pecan Cupcakes
Diving into these maple pecan cupcakes from the top, you’ll be met with butter pecan buttercream frosting that tastes exactly like butter pecan ice cream – so much so that you may be tempted to put it in a bowl and eat it with a spoon.  That wouldn’t be a bad choice, but then you would miss out on discovering how well the butter pecan pairs with the pecan-packed maple cupcakes made with a half cup of pure maple syrup.  Together, frosting and cupcake are pecan perfection!
Maple Pecan Cupcakes
Yield: 16 cupcakes
Cupcake Ingredients:
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup finely crushed pecans
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup sugar
½ cup pure maple syrup
½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs, room temperature
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup whole milk
1 cup roughly chopped pecans
Cupcake Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 F.
In a medium-sized mixing bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, mix together flour, crushed pecans, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Mix in the sugar and maple syrup until fully combined.
Add the butter and mix on medium-low speed for three minutes. 
Mix in the eggs and vanilla until just combined.
Mix in the milk until just combined.
Fold in the chopped pecans.
Bake for 20 minutes or until cupcakes bounce back when lightly touched.
Frosting Ingredients:
1 cup + 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup roughly chopped pecans
Pinch salt
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Frosting Directions:
To prepare the butter pecans, melt two tablespoons of butter in a small skillet over medium low heat.
Add pecans and salt to the skillet.  Cook for six to eight minutes, stirring periodically, until almost all of the butter is absorbed.  Remove from heat, but leave in the skillet.
To prepare the frosting, in a medium-sized mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, mix remaining one cup of butter on medium-low speed for three minutes or until light and fluffy.
Slowly mix in powdered sugar until fully combined.
Mix in vanilla until fully combined.
Scrape the cooled pecans and any butter left in the skillet into the frosting and fold in.
Spread onto cooled cupcakes.
Stefani Pollack is the author of the popular cupcake blog, Cupcake Project. While she loves simple chocolate cupcakes, Stefani prefers creative cupcakes inspired by her favorite flavor combinations. She encourages her readers to branch out and experiment in the kitchen. Why cupcakes? They bring out the kid in us! Visit Stefani at www.cupcakeproject.com.

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