Saturday, March 26, 2011

March's Cupcake Of The Month - Samoa Cupcakes

As you might have noticed from my last post, I sort of have a thing for Thin Mints (as well as Lemonades... and Tagalongs...), but I never really liked Samoas (now better known as Caramel deLites), with the reason being that I don't like coconut (it's because of the texture, not the flavor!). By request from a friend though, I came up with my own version of this cookie-turned-cupcake.

And I must admit, it's a pretty damn good cupcake. Even for someone who doesn't like coconut. And I'm so very glad I decided to make this because it gave me a reason to learn how to make homemade caramel!

By the way, I'm never buying caramel sauce from the store ever again. Never. Ever. Again.

I'll admit, it's a bit intimidating the first time you go over the recipe, especially after reading that the sauce can go from cooked to burnt in an instant. But don't be discouraged! Once you've got it down, you'll never go back to those preservative-filled squeeze bottles ever again! Of course, if you do end up going with a store-bought sauce for this, I obviously won't know and I definitely won't judge.

*Unlike my past posts, this one will not feature any baking-process pictures. I was pressed for time and couldn't stop or spend the time I wanted and needed to take the proper pictures.*

The Ingredients (makes 2 dozen):
For the caramel sauce (from Ina Garten's recipe; optional):
-1 1/2 cups sugar
-1/3 cup water
-1 1/4 cups heavy cream
-1 tsp vanilla extract
For the cupcakes:
-3 cups all-purpose flour
-1 1/2 tsp baking powder
-3/4 tsp salt
-1 1/2 cups butter, room temperature
-1 1/2 cups sugar
-4 large eggs
-2 tsp vanilla extract
-1 1/4 cups milk

For the frosting:
-1 cup unsalted butter, softened
-1 cup vegetable shortening
-1 1/2 cups caramel sauce
For the topping:
-2 cups coconut shavings, toasted
-1/4 cup chocolate chips, melted for drizzling
-1/4 cup caramel sauce

The Directions:
Optional: Mix the water and sugar together in a saucepan and cook over low heat until the sugar is dissolved. Then increase the heat to medium and let it boil uncovered until it becomes a warm chestnut brown color (or until it reaches 350 degrees). Then remove from heat and slowly add the heavy cream and vanilla. Return to low heat and allow to simmer, stirring constantly, until the caramel has dissolved into the cream and the sauce is smooth. Allow to cool and thicken before adding to the buttercream (note: this can take up to 4 hours).
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line your muffin pan(s) with cupcake papers.
2. Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl and set aside.
3. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
4. Add eggs one at a time, making sure to mix well after each. Then mix in the vanilla.
5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet in increments. Scrape after each addition to make sure nothing settles at the bottom.
6. Once the batter is smooth, fill cupcake papers about halfway and bake for 15 to 17 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean, rotating the pan(s) halfway through to ensure even baking. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
7. Beat butter and shortening together until combined and fluffy and then stir in the caramel sauce. Make sure to really scrape the bottom of the bowl for excess caramel that might have settled there.
8. Frost your cupcakes once they've completely cooled.
9. Top with the toasted coconut shavings and then drizzle caramel and chocolate over the top.
10. Consume and enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. Awesome! :D

    I think Caramel deLite is the best of all the GS cookies, but that's just me. Hahaha.