Caramel Corn Miso Cupcakes

Last year I made some cupcakes with the Japanese snack cookie called  “Mushroom Mountain” (or “Kinoko No Yama”).  Today I present to you another cupcake design that pays homage to a favorite Japanese convenience store snack-aisle staple!

Tohato Caramel Corn is SO good.  It’s similar to Cracker Jacks and comes with peanuts, but has a better crunch that conventional caramel corn.  I bought it three times over the last month with the intention of making this recipe, and all three times I ended up eating the entire bag before I made it to cupcake production.  Pro tip: if you try this recipe, buy lots of back-up bags.

These caramel cupcakes are topped off with fluffy miso caramel buttercream frosting and a few crunchy pieces of the Tohato caramel corn mix.  Miso in a cupcake sounds weird, you say?  I promise, this ultra-umami masterpiece will have you salivating for more in no time.

I love to bring conventionally savory Japanese flavors into my pastry recipes.  Miso is perfect for amping up the nuance of an otherwise too-sweet dessert.  I also love to use sesame, kinako powder, sweet potato, and spicy yuzu kosho in my desserts.  Stay tuned for more umami action in the Hadley Go Lucky kitchen.

Scroll down for the recipe!

For the Cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 12-cup cupcake pan with paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugars together at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla. Mix until combined.
  4. Slowly mix in the dry ingredients, alternating with the buttermilk. Do not overmix the batter.
  5. Fill each cupcake liner 3/4 full with batter. Bake cupcakes for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean.
  6. Let the cupcakes cool before frosting.  Don’t melt the frosting with a warm cupcake!

For the Miso Caramel Sauce

(Makes 1 pint; you’ll have some left over for decorating.  From Food52.)

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • tablespoons white miso

Instructions:

  1. In a heavy saucepan set over medium-high heat, stir together sugar and water. Without additional stirring, bring mixture to a boil.
  2. When sugar becomes a deep golden brown and wisps of smoke just start to form, remove pan from heat.
  3. Once off the heat, carefully pour in the cream, which will cause the caramel to bubble. Stir to combine.
  4. If the caramel seizes up and hardens with the addition of the cold cream, then put the pan back over low heat and stir until the caramel is liquid again. Whisk in the miso. Allow to cool before using as ingredient in the Caramel Miso Buttercream frosting.

For the Buttercream

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 and 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup miso caramel sauce

Instructions:

  1. Whip butter in a stand mixer until lightly fluffy.
  2. Gradually incorporate all of the powdered sugar.
  3. Add the miso caramel sauce.  Mix until combined.

 

Caramel Cream Cookies

Hit the mark with these Goetze Caramel Cream cookies!  These bullseye-shaped caramels were my candy of choice as a kid.  Whenever we were on the road stopping to fill the car with gas, I’d pick out a package of these…  Back then, I would always poke the cream center out and give the “inferior” caramel ring to my dad to eat.  Now, I have a better appreciation for the entire caramel treat.  I’m growing up, guys!

What better way to pay homage to a childhood memory than with a cookie recipe in its honor?  This recipe concept came to me late on a Sunday night, when I knew that something was missing from my life… something chewy and salty-sweet.  The obvious next step was to dabble in the kitchen with what I had on hand.  Sometimes the best inspiration comes when you’re rummaging through the cupboard.

This cookie dough is full of brown sugar, which makes the cookies softer and chewier than a recipe that calls for white granulated sugar.  I also used brown butter instead of fresh butter so that the cookies would have a slightly nutty flavor.  The recipe calls for one egg and one egg yolk; by adding an extra egg yolk instead of an entire egg, you can create a cookie that’s more dense with a fudge-y consistency.

What do you think?  Are you a chewy cookie or crunchy cookie person?  Be sure to tag your caramel creations at @hadleygolucky on Instagram, I’d love to see what you create!

Scroll down for the recipe.

Caramel Cream Cookies

Makes about 1 dozen cookies

Ingredients:

  • 14 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons AP flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 3/4 cups packed brown sugar, medium or dark
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • sea salt for topping
  • 1 package Goetze Caramel Creams

Instructions:

  1. Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Continue to cook and stir constantly until butter is a dark golden brown. Take the butter off the heat and let cool.  
  2. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or non-stick mats. Set aside.
  3. Whisk flour, baking soda, and baking powder together in medium bowl, and set aside.
  4. Add brown sugar and salt to bowl with cooled butter and mix until combined. Add egg and yolk and vanilla and mix until combined. Add flour mixture and mix just until completely combined.
  5. Form dough into balls, about 1 to 2 tablespoons each.  Press down a cream caramel into the center of each dough ball.  Sprinkle a pinch of sea salt on top of each cookie.
  6. Place cookies on prepared baking sheets 3 inches apart and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake at 350 degrees F 10-12 minutes until barely golden.  If they seem under-baked, that’s okay!  You want a soft cookie.  If the cream caramels aren’t melting enough, feel free to press them down into the cookie with a heatproof spatula halfway through the baking process.
  7. Let cool and enjoy!