Thursday, March 8, 2012

Snickers Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Cup Variation

Snickers Cupcakes with caramel buttercream 
My favorite flavor combination is sweet and salty, so salted caramel with sweet chocolate is always a welcome flavor combo.  When I came across a Snickers cupcake on Pinterest, I knew I had to try it.  This is kind of like my marijuana (I'm proud to say that it took me 4 tries to spell that word because I'm not very familiar with drugs) cupcake.  This is the cupcake that started my cupcake addiction.  I made these for Steve's office for Valentine's Day and his boss liked them so much he ordered two dozen from me for a bake sale (yes, if you are in the Northwest Arkansas area, I do cupcake catering at very reasonable rates, just email me for more information)!

When I first made these, I thought the amount of fat was unnecessarily high.  Yes, even I have a limit on the amount of fat and calories I want to consume.  I decided to make them again in the Reese's Peanut Butter Cup version and swapped out the sour cream for Greek yogurt (again) and half of the oil for unsweetened applesauce.  These were delicious and you would never know I cut over 150 grams of fat and nearly 1400 calories in the batch!

I'm looking forward to all the Easter candy going on clearance and seeing what other candy bar creations I can make.

Step 1:
Preheat oven to 350 and line muffin tin with cupcake liners.

Step 2:
Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, dump in all cake ingredients except candy.  Mix it on low for 10 seconds.  Turn up the speed to medium and beat for another 2 minutes.  This is a great time to pour yourself a drink or do a quick diaper change.

This is what the batter should look like after step 2.

Step 3:
Using a 2 oz scoop ( I love these scoops.  I use restaurant quality ones because they don't jam and break like the other ones I've used.  They cost a little more, but are worth every penny) that isn't quite full of batter, scoop it into prepared pans.  Give pan a little shake and drop it gently on the counter to release any trapped air bubbles.  This will give you a more consistent texture in the cupcakes.

Step 4:
Put a frozen candy bar in the center of each cupcake and use a butter knife to spread enough batter to cover it.

Step 5:
Bake for 16-18 minutes or until done.  Remove from pan and cool completely on a wire rack.  Fo real....if you try to frost these early, you will get the new "nailed it" photo on Pinterest.

Step 6:
While the cupcakes are cooking, start on your frosting.  Using room temperature butter, whip it, whip it good, for 1 minute until it's light and fluffy.

Step 7:
Add the caramel, vanilla and salt and beat it for 30 seconds on high speed.

This is what it should look like after step 7.

Step 8:
Add the sugar a cup at a time mixing on low speed until all the sugar is mixed in.  If it looks really thick, add a tablespoon or two of milk.  Beat on high speed for 2 minutes.  This is a great time to wash some of the dishes you have accumulated.  If you have ever watched me cook, it's really funny that I talk about cleaning as you go because I am famous for making a holy mess in the kitchen and letting it sit there for days...I mean hours.

This light and fluffy bowl of awesomeness is what the finished frosting should look like.

Step 9:
Fill a pastry bag with frosting.  Karen from Karen's Cookies made a video showing an awesome technique for filling a pastry bag with no mess and super easy clean up.  View it here.

Here are a few piping techniques I tried, all using the 1m tip. Five small flowers, squiggle, rosette and swirl.

Step 10:
Cut candy bars in half on the diagonal using a really sharp knife.  You want these cuts to be clean and the candy to look pretty.  In general, you should always use the best knives you can afford.  This is one kitchen tool that is worth a splurge.  For those of you who are thinking "I'll just freeze them and cut them" I don't recommend it.  You risk them breaking off in weird places and that will not look good.  

Step 11:
Use a squeeze bottle (old ketchup and mustard bottles work well for this too) filled with the caramel topping and drizzle it over each cupcake.  You could use a spoon, but the bottle will give you better control with no big blobs of caramel.

Here is your beautiful cupcake creation.  Mmmmmmm, I can almost taste it .

The peanut butter cup variation.  I thought both of these were amazingly good.  The cake by itself was also delicious.  Very moist and tender.

Recipe card
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  1. Thats my daughter. The master baker.

  2. These cupcakes are "change-your-drawers, rub them all over your body" good!

  3. This is a pretty expensive recipe.. how much would a person charge for a batch? How many does this make?

  4. I haven't sat down and really calculated the cost yet, but I have been selling them for $24 for 2 dozen (that's how many the recipe makes). I buy the snickers in bulk and just keep them in the freezer, that cuts down on the cost quite a bit. You could make them with sour cream instead of the Greek yogurt to save a buck and substitute one stick of margarine for one stick of butter to save another dollar. To me, it's a nominal savings and not worth sacrificing the quality. If you try them, let me know what you think!