Sunday, March 15, 2009

my new favorite cupcake

This one's for you Tannya (aka cake-batter-lady). I knew it was a good sign when I was making these cupcakes Saturday and I couldn't get enough of the batter. Normally it doesn't tempt me too much- I'd rather have more of the finished product. But I'm such a sucker for anything with a deep caramel taste. Brown Sugar Poundcake Cupcakes. Yum. Then came the frosting. That was even worse (I mean, better). I actually kept the mixing bowl to myself after I'd frosted them. It is made of butter you cook until it has turned golden brown and then you carefully pour the liquid butter, leaving the browned solids behind, and mix with the standard sugar, vanilla and milk (truth be told- I actually used a touch of cream because I had some).

I brought them to be the "grown-up" cupcakes for Alex's end-of-the-season basketball party that night. The kids got the cupcakes from a box, but at least I frosted with homemade 7-minute frosting. These are a definite keeper! Yum!!

Brown-Sugar Pound Cupcakes with Browned-Butter Glaze

from Martha Stewart Living, February 2009

Makes 29 (I got more like 24)

3 cups sifted all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

2 1/4 cups packed light-brown sugar (I think dark would be really good too)

4 large eggs, room temperature

3/4 cup buttermilk

Brown-Butter Glaze (recipe follows)

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk dry ingredients in a large bowl. Cream butter and brown sugar with a mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.

2. Reduce speed to low. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture in 3 additions, alternating with buttermilk and ending with dry mixture. Scrape sides of bowl. Divide batter among muffin cups, filling each 3/4 full. I used a spring loaded ice cream scoop to make sure all cups had the same amount.

3. Bake cupcakes until toothpick inserted into centers come out clean, about 22-25 minutes. Let cool in tins on wire racks.

4. Set rack with cupcakes over a parchment-lined baking sheet. Spoon glaze over tops, and let stand until set. Serve glazed cupcakes immediately. (but they do still taste very good for a few days- if they last that long!)

Brown-Butter Glaze

Makes 1 cup

4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter

2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

2 to 4 tablespoons whole milk (I used 2 T of cream, and a little milk to get the proper consistency)

1. Heat butter in a saucepan over medium heat until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Carefully pour butter into a bowl, leaving sediment behind (because the butter was foamy and it was a little difficult to see the solids, I poured the butter through a fine mesh strainer).

2. Add sugar, vanilla, and 2 tablespoons milk to butter, and stir until smooth. If glaze is too thick, add more milk. Use immediately.