Cookie Butter Cupcakes

Even stronger than the lure of eating Nutella with a spoon is my gravitational pull towards cookie butter.  Despite the odds, if you have the patience to wait it out and bake some cookie butter cupcakes, you won’t be disappointed.

The cookie butter you know and love is made from European Speculoos, or holiday spice cookies.  Apparently we have the airline Delta to thank for first introducing the cookie to U.S. markets.  And as for the genesis of cookie butter, apparently back in the day it was common in Belgium to create butter sandwiches with cookie crumbles inside, until the handy invention that is cookie butter came to be.

In the future, I want to experiment by making different flavors of homemade cookie butter.  If it isn’t made with Speculoos cookies, will it still be cookie butter?  I intend to find out.  Chocolate chip oatmeal cookie butter on your pancakes, anyone?

This cupcake project rekindled my somewhat dormant cake-for-breakfast habits.

Scroll down for the recipe!

Cookie Butter Cupcakes

(Borrowed from Tastemade. Makes about two dozen cupcakes.)

Ingredients:

  • 429 grams all-purpose flour

  • 265 grams sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 3 teaspoons baking powder

  • 375 milliliters of milk

  • 125 milliliters vegetable oil

  • 125 grams unsalted butter, softened

  • 2 tablespoons sour cream

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 2 large eggs

  • 250 grams melted (not hot) cookie butter

Instructions:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the flour, baking powder, caster sugar and salt. Sift ingredients together. Add the softened butter and let it mix until it resembles a fine sand like texture.

  2. Next, add milk, eggs, sour cream, oil and vanilla extract in a large bowl and whisk well.

  3. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients in a slow and steady stream until no dry ingredients are visible. Scrape down the bowl, add 1/2 cup cookie butter and mix until just combined.

  4. Fill each cupcake liner 3/4 of the way. Bake for 20-25 min or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow them to cool completely on a wire cooling rack before frosting.

    Post-baking thoughts: In the original Tastemade recipe, these cupcakes are cored and then filled with cookie butter frosting.  I tried the recipe without coring each cupcake, and found the result to be on the drier, crumbly side.  I liked them this way, but I suggest the coring approach if you’re hankering after a moister cupcake.

Cookie Butter Frosting

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup cookie butter, plus extra for decoration
  • 1-2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk

Instructions:

  1. Beat butter on high with a stand mixer until light and fluffy.
  2. Add cookie butter and milk and continue to mix.
  3. Add powdered sugar in stages and continue beating until you reach your desired frosting consistency.
  4. Pipe frosting onto cool cupcakes.  If desired, put extra cookie butter into a small piping or ziplock bag, and decorate.

Evil Queen’s Caramel Apples

As soon as October hits, I start hankering for a hypercrisp caramel apple. While sometimes the store-bought variety is enough to satiate the need for that first crisp bite (can you already taste the tanginess in your mouth just thinking about it?), I wanted to craft some this year that make the Affy Tapple brand look sterile and stale by comparison.

The secret to the perfect caramel apple is a just-right amount of tartness.  For this shoot, I paired Granny Smith apples with micro-sized mini chocolate chips and covered Gala apples with a mix of moody black walnut pieces in addition to some brighter-tasting California walnuts. Black walnut is not a lighthearted nut… it has a dark, wine-y flavor in comparison to the normal variety.  You should experiment with both to taste the difference.

These caramel apples are wild and unruly in both looks and flavor profile.  I think that even the evil queen in Snow White would approve.  Though I don’t intend to cast a spell of eternal sleep with these, they give an ominous, halloween-y vibe with their scraggly too-long apple branches.

If you’re making your own caramel apples this year, it helps to chill the apples before dipping them in the hot caramel.  It’s also the tendency for the toppings to slide down the apples as they’re drying, so use smaller pieces so that gravity doesn’t speed the process.  Then again, you’ll probably want to be eating them while the caramel’s still hot!