January 6, 2014

Butter Pecan Cupcakes

My sister-in-law said butter pecan is among her favorite flavors, so I accepted that as a challenge to create butter pecan cupcakes for her baby shower. Unfortunately, she didn't get to attend her own baby shower due to bed rest complications, but at least she got plenty of these cupcakes delivered to her in the hospital.

These cupcakes are good. Seriously good. The cupcake recipe comes from Confessions of a Cookbook Queen. I almost prefer them to the chocolate ones I made, which says a lot for me. I think it's the browned butter frosting from I Am Baker. So freaking delicious. That and actual roasted butter pecans are amazing.

Butter Pecan Cupcakes
2 cups chopped pecans
1 1/4 cups butter
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 Tbsp. butter vanilla emulsion
3 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 cup whole milk
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature, divided
4 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
3 to 6 Tbsp. milk

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line 29 cupcake tins with liners. Set aside. Place 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter and pecans on a baking sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes, stirring frequently, until toasted. Remove from oven, and let cool.

In a large bowl, combine flour and baking powder. Combine milk and emulsion in a measuring glass. Set aside.

Beat 1 cup butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each. With the mixer on medium low, add flour and milk mixtures alternately, starting and ending with flour. Fold in 1 1/2 cups toasted pecans.

Fill cupcake tins 2/3 full, and bake for about 15 minutes or until tops spring back when lightly touched in the center. Remove to cooling rack to cool.

To prepare frosting, melt 1/2 cup butter over medium heat. Gently stir occasionally. Cook until the butter is browned and smells nutty (about 5 to 10 minutes). Remove the butter from heat, and cool. Once butter is room temperature, pour into a small bowl lined with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until solid.

Remove from refrigerator, and allow it to come to room temperature. Combine browned butter with remaining butter using an electric mixer. Slowly add in sugar and vanilla. Slowly add milk until desired consistency is reached. Whip on high until fluffy. Frost cupcakes as desired. Top with remaining roasted pecans. Makes about 29 cupcakes.

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