Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Almond Cupcakes Chocolate Buttercream and Brown Sugar Toasted Almonds

If it weren't for the internet I am pretty sure that I would be eating spaghetti, tacos, enchiladas, and white rice every week. Haha, total dramatization, but sometimes I don't want to even try to be creative and I go back to "cooking autopilot" mode.

I now have also expanded my baking, which used to consist of box cake/cupcake mixes and cookies were the only thing I would make from scratch. Well, no more box mixes for this lady!! And I am pretty sure I found the BEST cupcake/frosting recipe EVER.IN.LIFE. seriously I wanted to take a spoon to this frosting.....and I think I actually did :)

I got this recipe from How Sweet It Is blog I really need to start making my own recipes, but it will probably happen on a long holiday weekend...we have a couple of those coming up and I see a lot of baking in my future.

I changed only one thing from the original recipe, I did not melt the butter, I know it would have changed the texture a bit, and I wasn't ready for am used to doing all my baking with room temp butter, so I just did that.

2 large eggs
1 large egg white
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup milk

3/4 cup (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1-2 tablespoons milk, if needed

Sugared Toasted Almonds
1/2 cup sliced almonds
2 tablespoons brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners. In a bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, egg white and sugar until smooth and combine. Gradually add melted butter while whisking constantly, then add in extracts. Stir in dry ingredients until well combined, then add in milk and stir until a smooth batter forms. Using a 1/4 cup measure or ice cream scoop, fill liners 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until cupcakes are set. Let cool completely.

In the bowl of your electric mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy. Gradually add in sugar and cocoa powder with the mixer on low, speeding up once combined. Add in extract and beat on medium, scraping down the sides if necessary, for 2-3 minutes. If frosting is too thick (I like mine thick), add milk 1 tablespoon at a time, beating for another minute or two to smooth it out. Repeat if necessary. If frosting isn't thick enough to be spreadable, add a few spoonfuls of powdered sugar while beating until it thickens. Frost and top with sugared almonds below.

Sugared Toasted Almonds
Heat a small skillet over medium heat and add almonds. Tossing and stirring constantly, toast for 1-2 minutes, just until almonds start to brown. Reduce heat to low and toss in sugar, stirring to coat. Stir constantly and cook for another minute, then remove and place almonds in a bowl. After a few minutes of cooling they will harden and you can break them apart and place on frosting.


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