This week I had a guest baker in the kitchen. To be perfectly honest, I am terrible at sharing my kitchen. Most of my friends that come over to “help” me usually end up sitting at the bar with a glass of wine. Which is really a win for everybody. But my friend Jax really wanted to learn how to pipe frosting, and also redeem herself from her last attempt. Being the overly nice person that I am, I had to say yes (she offered to bring wine- that’s the real reason I allowed it). I also dragged her to my running group beforehand. I am SUCH a good friend.
I had decided to do Snickers cupcakes this week and I cannot tell you how excited I was to try them. Caramel, peanuts, and chocolate. Salty sweet. Best combination ever. And Snickers were on sale, so it was like fate. Although I used my own recipes for the cake and frosting, I did get the idea of how to build the cupcake from Annie’s Eats. I love her cupcake ideas and her recipes have yet to fail me.
First step- make chocolate cupcakes. I used my tried and true chocolate cupcake recipe, one because I love it and two because it uses coarse salt and I knew that would pair well with the sweet caramel and candy pieces.
Next, chop up fun sized Snickers bars. I think I ended up chopping about 30 bars, but I also made about 4 dozen cupcakes. You are going to fill the cupcakes with these chopped pieces. BUT before you do that, you have to make some caramel to cover the chopped Snickers pieces. Oh yeah.
Jax had somehow made it this far in life without ever trying homemade caramel. Which in my opinion is a crime. I mean caramel is always good, but homemade caramel is worlds away from store bought. Like I had to hold Jax back from eating the entire batch we made. Okay maybe I didn’t, but she was really close to just eating it with a spoon. I did use Annie’s Eats recipe for the caramel.
- 8 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ¼ tsp. vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add the sugar and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar begins to foam a bit. Remove from the heat and add the heavy cream. Stir until the sauce is smooth (you may need to return it to the heat to smooth it out), then mix in the vanilla and salt. Let cool.
Coat the Snickers pieces with 1/3-1/2 cup of the caramel sauce. I might have jumped the gun here and didn’t let the caramel cool all of the way, so the Snickers may have melted a tad. But who’s going to complain about melted caramel Snickers goodness in the middle of their cupcake.
Remove the core of the cupcake (is that the right way to say it? Make a hole in the middle of your cupcakes). Fill the cupcakes with the caramel Snickers goodness.
I made my regular buttercream, but instead of salt I used coarse salt, and I added the rest of the caramel sauce to the frosting. Mmmmmm salted caramel. Pipe on to the cupcakes and then garnish with chopped Snickers. Sit back, admire your work, and then enjoy the masterpiece of a cupcake you have just created. Because it is so. good.