Monday, November 26, 2012

Butterfinger Cupcakes

This is a special post for Karen! 
Karen is the awesome lady who takes care of my children while I work. So what do I call her: nanny, babysitter? Those words just don't fit all that she does. She has taken care of my daughter since she was about 3 months old (she is 3 now!), and my son since he was 2 months old. She watches them from the moment I drop them off before work until after all the patients and charts are done (which is sometimes a lot later than I would want). Rain or shine, healthy or sick (either her or the kids!), she is there for us. She has even taken care of me when I smashed my finger on my car door, or fed me when I didn't have time to grab lunch... She is so much more than just a babysitter because she is an integral part in my children's life. She has taught them so much, so many good life values like patience, kindness, prayer and friendship... 
I think that any mother would understand this (and fathers too): it is a very stressful thing to choose who/where should take care of your children. There are so many different options around, so which one best fits your family needs? We met Karen through one of the gals I work with (Karen takes care of her son too), and she was exactly what we needed. From day one, I felt comfortable in leaving my first born in the hands of a "stranger". Having her there for us gives me the peace of mind that my children are in good hands while I work. It's a good sign when you pick up your children and they don't want to leave (either that or I'm just a boring parent...)!
Anyways, thanks for everything Karen, and happy birthday!!! :)
PS: a little birdie named Sarah told me your like Butterfingers!
About the cupcakes: the base is my favorite chocolate cake recipe, and the frosting is a mixture of butter, peanut butter, and... wait for it... melted candy corn!!! Weird? Yes! But amazing flavor, totally tastes like the inside of a Butterfinger. I got the recipe from The Baking Robot.  They did have an additional step, which I didn't do for lack of time, but would have totally made it since it sounds so good! You can freeze the cupcakes and coat the outside of the frosting with chocolate to really mimic a Butterfinger candy bar. Yum!! Head on over to her blog to see that part of the recipe and also a tutorial link.
Chocolate Cupcakes
Makes ~2 dozen cupcakes

-2 cups white sugar
-1 3/4 cups AP flour
-3/4 cup cocoa powder
-1 1/2 tsp baking powder
-1 1/2 tsp baking soda
-1 tsp salt
-2 eggs
-1 cup milk
-1/2 cup canola oil
-1 cup boiling water (yes boiling!)

1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line two 12-count muffin tins with paper liners.
2. In a large bowl, sift together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
3. In a large bowl of a stand up mixer set with the paddle attachment, beat eggs, milk, and canola oil until well combined. Add the dry ingredients in 3 increments, mixing well after each addition. Carefully stir in boiling water, mixing until combined and batter has thinned.
4. Fill paper liners 2/3 of the way full. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Transfer cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
"Butterfinger" Frosting
-1/2 cup milk
-1 1/2 cups candy corn
-1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
-1/2 cup peanut butter, smooth
-3-4 cups powdered sugar

1. In a saucepan over low heat, combine candy corn and milk. Melt the candy corn, stirring occasionally, until it is completely dissolved and the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Let cool to room temperature. This will yield 1 cup.
2. In a large bowl, cream together butter and peanut butter. Add 2-3 cups of powdered sugar. Gradually add candy corn mixture until desired consistency is achieved. Add more powdered sugar if necessary. If too thick, add some milk or heavy cream and beat well.
3. Frost cupcake as you desire. I added a baking version of Butterfingers to the top for garnish :)

Recipe adapted from The Baking Robot

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