week 40: stephanie’s pick – Chocolate Cupcakes with Caramel Frosting, Chocolate Drizzle, and Chocolate Chips

what a long name for a cupcake! i made these last week for the first seekers meeting at THHS this year. chocolate cupcakes are always good, but the best part of these was definitely the caramel frosting. making caramel is pretty scary – trying not to burn the sugar and bringing the mixture to the right temperature. i stress out a lot when i have to do anything involving the stove. (i love baking but cooking is certainly not my forte). it was worth it though; this was some of the best frosting i’ve made! i ate so much of it by the spoonful before it even made it to the cupcakes. oops.

stephanie

Samoas Cupcakes

YIELD: 24 cupcakes

Ingredients:

For the Cupcakes:
2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup natural cocoa powder
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) butter, room temperature
1 3/4 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 cups whole milk

For the Caramel Frosting:
16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup whole milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 cups powdered sugar
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1/4 cup milk chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line muffin pan with paper liners.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and cocoa powder. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, sugar, salt, baking soda, vanilla, and coconut extract until fluffy and light, at least 3-4 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. With the mixer on low speed add in the dry ingredients in three batches, alternating with the milk beating just until combined.

Fill the cupcake papers 1/2 full, making sure that the batter is divided evenly. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean, 20-22 minutes. Tilt each cupcake in the muffin pan so it sits at an angle. Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan at this angle for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

To toast the coconut, spread the coconut onto a rimmed sheet pan. Toast in a 350°F oven, stirring frequently, until the coconut is an even brown color, about 10 minutes. To make the frosting, melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the salt and brown sugar and heat the mixture to boiling, stirring constantly. Cook over low heat for 2 minutes, until the sugar is dissolved. Stir in the milk and return to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in vanilla. Cool to lukewarm, about 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally.Once the caramel frosting mixture is lukewarm, transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the powdered sugar and beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Adjust consistency with a little more milk or powdered sugar, if necessary.

Heat chocolate chips in microwave for about 30 seconds or until drizzling consistency. Transfer the frosting to a pastry bag fitted with a decorative tip. Pipe a spiral of frosting, beginning at the outer edge and working inward. Drizzle the frosted cupcakes with melted chocolate and garnish with toasted coconut.

source: adapted from Sweet Pea’s Kitchen
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