Butterscotch Cupcakes Supreme

Hello, hello!

It was a crazy cupcake kind of week, let me tell you. Well, not so much crazy cupcakes, as a crazy week o’ cupcakes. I’ve been working about 12 hours per day in the kitchen, testing recipes for my book, and it just so happened to be a truly cupcake-y scene around here the past while. While I don’t make a ton of cupcakes for the blog (not sure why — it just works out that way), it seemed like something I needed to do this post. Although these are very different than what I’m working on for the book, my brain was in wee cake mode. I started to think about what would make the most decadent cupcake around, and I knew butterscotch was key.

Butterscotch Cupcakes Supreme by Sweetapolita

I think it’s also because butterscotch reminds me so much of summer — butterscotch sundaes have my heart, even though I’m not really an ice cream kind of gal. What is butterscotch exactly? Well, it seems to me that it’s a term used loosely for the combination of brown sugar, butter and cream. Adding vanilla and salt is a common way to make it even more divine. Scotch as we know it, however, isn’t part of the equation (sorry, Ron). Although, I’ve taken to adding a tablespoon of dark rum to mine, and it’s rather delightful.

When it comes to butterscotch sauce, it’s really similar to a caramel sauce, but it’s not quite as technical to make (we don’t need to worry about a candy thermometer) and, again, we use brown sugar over white sugar. That’s not to say that caramel can’t have brown sugar and butterscotch can’t have white sugar, because that would make my explanation way too easy to follow.

So aside from being the most decadently caloric cupcake I’ve ever made, what is a Butterscotch Cupcake Supreme? It’s a super-moist, tender brown sugar cupcake brushed with a rum syrup, injected with homemade butterscotch sauce and topped with whipped mascarpone frosting drizzled with more butterscotch sauce and toffee bits. Kind of butterscotch heaven, in my mind. The cupcakes themselves aren’t super-sweet, but rather tender and subtly vanilla and brown sugary. The whipped mascarpone frosting is very minimally sweet, but oh-so-creamy.

The tang from the mascarpone goes so well with the super-sweet, buttery richness of the butterscotch. I’m not going to lie — you could pour this butterscotch sauce over a week-old mediocre donut and it’d suddenly be a life-altering dessert sensation. It’s that good. Try pouring it over vanilla ice cream or pretty much anything else you have in your kitchen — it’s amazing.

Butterscotchy love. ♥

And while we’re talking love, I want to tell you that I love you for being so patient with me and my lengthy between-posts gaps. Just know that all sorts of confectionery madness is happening from morning to night in my kitchen right now, and I can’t wait to share it all with you in book form.

That being said, I can’t wait to share my next blog post with you!

Butterscotch Cupcakes Supreme

Yield: 18 standard cupcakes

Moist brown sugar cupcakes brushed with rum syrup, injected with homemade butterscotch sauce, topped with whipped mascarpone frosting and drizzled with more butterscotch sauce and toffee bits.

Ingredients

    For the Rum Syrup:
  • 1/4 cup (57 g) dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (59 ml) water
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) white or dark rum
  • For the Butterscotch Sauce:
  • 1/4 cup (57 g) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup (228 g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup (180 ml) whipping cream (35%)
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon (4 g) sea salt or fleur de sel
  • For the Brown Sugar Cupcakes:
  • 1-3/4 cups (236 g) all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1/2 cup (57 g) cake flour, sifted
  • 1 cup (230 g) packed dark brown sugar
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons (13 g) baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon (4 g) salt
  • 1 cup (227 g) unsalted butter, cold and cut into small even pieces
  • 2/3 cup (160 ml) milk, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) lemon juice
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature
  • For the Whipped Mascarpone Frosting:
  • 1 cup (240 ml) whipping cream (35%), cold
  • 3/4 cup (94 g) confectioners' sugar
  • 1 cup (240 ml) mascarpone cheese, softened
  • Toffee bits for sprinkling

Instructions

    For the Rum Syrup:
  1. In a small saucepan, bring the sugar and water to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove from heat and stir in rum. Let cool. Keep in an airtight container for up to one week.
  2. For the Butterscotch Sauce:
  3. In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add brown sugar and swirl to combine. Whisk in cream then let mixture bubble and thicken, about 5 minutes -- don't stir. Whisk in vanilla and sea salt. Let cool. Keep in an airtight jar in refrigerator for up to one week.
  4. For the Brown Sugar Cupcakes:
  5. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line two muffin tins with 18 standard cupcake liners.
  6. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whisk together the flours, sugar, baking powder and salt. With the mixer set to low speed, add the cold butter one piece at a time, about 10 seconds apart. Continue mixing on low speed until all of the butter has been blended and there are no clumps, about 5 minutes. Mixture should have a fine crumbly, cornmeal-like texture.
  7. Combine the milk and lemon juice and gradually add mixture on medium speed for 4 minutes. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure all of the ingredients are well incorporated. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the egg mixture; once the mixture has been added, increase speed to medium and beat for 1 minute, but no more. Gently fold batter once or twice (but no more) to ensure the egg mixture has all been incorporated.
  8. Divide batter evenly among the cupcake liners (a little more than 2/3 full) and bake until a cake tester or wooden toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few crumbs but no batter, about 13 minutes. Turn baked cupcakes onto wire cooling racks (face up) and brush with rum syrup while hot, then let cool completely.
  9. For the Whipped Mascarpone Frosting:
  10. Chill a stainless steel bowl and whisk attachment (from electric mixer) in the freezer for 10 minutes. Return bowl and whisk to mixer and whip heavy cream and confectioners' sugar on medium-high speed until medium-firm peaks form. Fold in softened mascarpone cheese. Use immediately.
  11. Assembly of the Butterscotch Cupcakes:
  12. Fill a plastic squeeze bottle with butterscotch sauce and push tip of bottle into top of each cupcake, applying enough pressure to fill each cupcake with sauce (don't over-fill or sauce will ooze too much from top). Using an ice cream scoop or spoon, cover each cupcake with mascarpone frosting. Drizzle more butterscotch sauce over frosting and sprinkle with toffee bits.
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Flavour combination inspiraiton: Tartelette

Cupcake recipe adapted from parenting.com

Butterscotch Sauce recipe adapted from LifeStyle FOOD

Sweetapolita’s Notes:

  • You can make the rum syrup and butterscotch sauce up to a week ahead and keep airtight in the refrigerator (cool completely before refrigerating). 
  • The butterscotch sauce is beyond delicious on its own, over ice cream, cake, bread pudding, cookies, etc. You can even add a tablespoon of dark rum to it with the vanilla and salt. Divine.
  • You can make the cupcakes 1 day ahead.
  • To fill the cupcakes liners, I used a heaping 50mm Stainless Steel Scoop full for each and used Ateco brand gold foil liners.
  • You should make the whipped mascarpone frosting right before you assemble the cupcakes. Once on the cupcakes, they’re best served within a few hours, but I noticed that once I refrigerated mine for photos the next day, the frosting held together just fine.
Good luck & enjoy!

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Butterscotch Peanut Butter Marshmallow Hearts

Peanut Butter Marshmallow Hearts

Happy Wednesday, everyone! I hope you’re all having a great week. Has Valentine’s Day enamored you the way it has me this year? I just can’t get enough of it. I thought it would be fun to chat about a ridiculously yummy-yet-simple recipe. These Butterscotch Peanut Butter Marshmallow Hearts (usually “bars”) are as easy as it gets to make: 4 ingredients and 4 steps. No mixer, no bake, no candy thermometers. Does it get any better than this?

You know I’m the first girl to promote breaking out the confection-tool arsenal for highly decorated sweets, but sometimes, or possibly most times, we don’t have that much time on our hands. These highly-addictive treats (that you likely ate as a kid!) are so yummy and I love making them. The process is also super kid-friendly, which is always great around our house.

Peanut Butter Marshmallow Hearts via Sweetapolita

Although I have fond memories of this type of a treat at my school bake-sales in the 80′s, I had completely forgotten about them until Grant’s cousin, Leah, started bringing them to the family cottage. I couldn’t believe how addictive they were, truly. I know everyone says that about their favourite desserts, but I promise (and possibly warn) you that these are so much so, that I informed Leah that I would include them in my “what I would eat if I could only have one last meal” menu, and I meant it. I’m pretty certain that there is a highly scientific reaction that occurs between the peanut butter and butterscotch chips, that results in a flavour that humans are not meant to resist. Now, you do have to be ready for s-w-e-e-t; they are super-duper sweet, for certain. 

So here are the 4 ingredients responsible for this delicious treat: peanut butter, butterscotch chips (I use high quality, such as Guittard, because they are just a bit less sweet, use real vanilla, and make them just that much better!), butter, and mini flavoured multi-coloured marshmallows. That’s it! I’m so drawn to how reminscent they are of church socials and retro potlucks & bake sales.

Peanut Butter Marshmallow Hearts via Sweetapolita

Like I mentioned, I usually make them in bar form, but I thought it would be fun to use a heart cookie cutter and create a Valentine’s version, especially for the kids. Basically, you melt the buttery trio (peanut butter, butterscotch chips, and butter) over a double boiler until smooth, then toss in the marshmallows, stir, and spread across a baking sheet lined with parchment, using an offset palette knife (or anything that works for you). After they have set in refrigerator, you can use a heart cutter to cut the shapes out . . . voila!  Now, I know I mentioned that these are super easy and fun for kids to make, and that they are, but truth is, my little cakelets were preoccupied this weekend while I was making this batch.

You see, our littlest girl, Neve, is just learning to walk, and so there was a lot of excitement going on while I whipped these up. I puttered in the kitchen while Reese and Grant (daddy) helped Neve learn to practice her walk. She got so good at walking while holding her push toy, that I knew it would be just a few days until she took her first steps, and just a few hours ago she did! Three big steps into mommy’s arms! Here are some photos from the weekend:

Sweetapolita

Here’s Neve getting a feel for pushing the toy on her own. She looks pretty relaxed.

Sweetapolita

Big sister Reese, ready to help her baby sister walk. This is huge deal for Reese: she’ll finally have someone to run around with. Up until now, she would run up to an ever-sitting Neve, tap her on the shoulder, and yell “TAG–you’re it!” and run away.

Sweetapolita

Here’s Daddy giving Neve a little pep-talk & cuddle before she gives it a try.

Sweetapolita

A little warm-up with Daddy, and now she’s ready for walking with her toy on her own . . .

Sweetapolita

Oh yes, proud as punch, with a full cheering section (that’d be us . . . including Pasha, the cat, who didn’t want to miss any excitement). Neve (aka Lovie) was so proud of herself, as were we. How amazing tonight to have her walk to me — I forgot how utterly wonderful that feels! Now that you’ve let me gush about my sweethearts, let’s make some sweet-hearts. 

Butterscotch Peanut Butter Marshmallow Hearts

Yield: Approximately 2 dozen 3-inch hearts

Ingredients

  • 4 cups (680 g) premium butterscotch chips
  • 1 cup (227 g)(2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup (175 g) smooth peanut butter (I use Skippy or Kraft)
  • 6 cups mini flavoured multi-coloured marshmallows (you can use all white if you need to)

Instructions

  1. Line a baking sheet with enough parchment paper to have overhang on the sides.
  2. Melt everything, except the marshmallows, in a stainless steel bowl on top of simmering water, until smooth. Take off heat and stir in marshmallows.
  3. Pour and spread mixture onto prepared baking sheet with an offset spatula. You can sprinkle and press some loose marshmallows over top, if desired. Chill until firm.
  4. For hearts you out heart shapes by using a sturdy heart cookie cutter. For best results, push heart treat through cutter from bottom upwards. You may need to clean the cutter after every few cuts. If you rotate heart cut-outs side by side (one up, one down), you will end up with minimal bits leftover.
  5. You can also take the scraps and throw them into a icing-sugar based frosting, mix with electric mixer until incorporated and fluffy. I have a feeling, though, that you may see those leftover bits disappear before you get that far!

Notes

*This recipe can be divided in half if you are making squares. Use an 8" square pan and cut into bars.

**Best kept refrigerated. Freeze well in a freezer bag or plastic storage container.

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Good luck & enjoy!



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