Butterscotch Cupcakes

Butterscotch Cupcakes

20180503_090204
Butterscotch Cupcakes…sweetenuf.ca

The butterscotch flavour comes from the brown sugar and butter in these moist sweet cupcakes.  Did you know both butterscotch and toffee are part of the caramel family.  Butterscotch tastes similar to caramel but is sweeter and more butterty in taste which is most likely why I thought they were fantastic.

It is amazing the baking books I discover when I go on the hunt for a particular recipe!  I start looking for one thing and suddenly come across a recipe book or magazine tucked away (usually under several other baking related books or papers) and most often several pages are flagged with post-it notes awaiting a ‘bake-up’.

I’ve probably had this particular book “Caramel” by Carole Bloom for about 5 years and I guess this week it was time for Butterscotch Cupcakes so here you go!

Oh, a couple of things….this recipe calls for Cake & Pastry Flour which I didn’t have on hand.  You can substitite all-purpose flour BUT for every cup of all-purpose flour you use REMOVE 2 tbsp.  Alternately, if you had a recipe calling for all-purpose flour and you only had cake and pastry flour you would need to ADD 2 tbsp for each cup used.  For the batch I made I got 21 cupcakes not 16.  And I used my regular icing recipe and added some already prepared butterscotch sauce to it.  You could add some Dulce de Leche or use a plain vanilla icing.  These are definitely sweet treats but I bet you’ll be adding this to your recipe file.  Happy baking!

Butterscotch Cupcakes

Preheat oven to 350F.  Paper line or grease 2 12-cup muffin tins.  Yield: approx. 16

Ingredients:

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

1 1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar

2 large eggs

2 large egg yolks

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

2 1/4 cups cake flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp kosher or fine-grained sea salt

2/3 cup sour cream

Method:

In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat butter, until fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Gradually add the brown sugar and beat until creamy.

In a small bowl, using a fork, lightly beat the eggs, egg yolks and vanilla together.  Add to the butter mixture in 2 stages, beating well after each addition. Stop and scrap down sides and bottom of bowl with a rubber spatula to make sure well mixed.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the cake flour, baking powder and salt to blend.  Add half of this dry mixture to the butter/sugar/egg mixure and combine thoroughly.  Add the sour cream and blend until smooth and then add the remaining dry ingredients and blend thoroughly.

Fill prepared cups 2/3 full and bake about 22 minutes, until toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean.  Cool on wire rack for about 5-10 minutes then remove cupcakes to cool completely before icing.  Now share!!

IMG_20180502_201306_833
Fill muffin cups
IMG_20180503_210238_282
Sprinkle topped Butterscotch Cupcakes…recipe on sweetenuf.ca

Butterscotch Toasted Walnut Pound Cake

Butterscotch Toasted Walnut Pound Cake

A little sunshine for you!
A little sunshine for you!

No, this pic has no bearing on tonight’s recipe.  It just reminds me of the warm weather and sunny skies I left behind in Mexico this past weekend.  Since the last time I looked out the window the snow was falling, again, and the temperature was dropping, again, I thought sharing a little sunshine would be nice.

Caramel by Carole Bloom
Caramel by Carole Bloom

Now on to our Butterscotch Toasted Walnut Pound Cake.  This recipe is from one of Carole Bloom’s great books, ‘Caramel’.  I resisted as long as I could before ordering this baking book since I still need to bake my way through the other 75 or more books I have.  But anyone that knows me well knows I hung on as long as I could before the overwhelming urge for delicious, new baking ideas presented on shiny pages with colourful photos became to much to bear! Let’s get started on this beautiful, moist, pound cake with toasted walnuts and some toffee bits. Just follow the photos below for step by step instructions.

Beautiful!  Nicely risen and studded with walnuts and toffee pieces. Butterscotch Toasted Walnut Pound (2) Butterscotch Toasted Walnut Pound

Butterscotch toasted walnut pound cake
Butterscotch toasted walnut pound cake

Butterscotch Toasted Walnut Pound Cake with my modifications Preheat oven to 325F.  Parchment line and spray a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan. 1/2 cup toasted walnuts 1/2 cup toffee pieces 2 cups cake flour 1 tsp baking powder 1/4 tsp salt 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature 1 cup packed brown sugar 4 eggs 3 tablespoons milk or cream 2 tsp vanilla Using an electric or stand mixer cream butter well.  Add in brown sugar and beat together until well creamed, scraping down sides of mixing bowl.  Add in eggs 1 at a time, mixing well after each and scraping down the sides of the bowl before adding each egg. In a medium bowl, whisk together the cake flour, baking powder and salt.  In a small bowl combine milk with vanilla. Add flour mixture and milk/vanilla to creamed mixture alternately, starting and finishing with flour in 3 additions, and mix together.  Fold in your walnuts and toffee bits. Fill loaf pan with batter and smooth top.  Bake approximately 50-65 minutes until a toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean. Cool completely and slice into 10-12 slices.  Enjoy!

White Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

White Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

White Chocolate P.B. Bars
White Chocolate P.B. Bars

Hmmm, I seem to be on a bit of a peanut butter chocolate bend these last few posts.  So I will make sure to switch it up for the next one.  These 3 layer bars are definitely not for the faint of heart as it is a combination of all things sweet.  Although upon sampling a few I must say I didn’t get that ‘OMG my teeth hurt from all the sugar’ I was sort of expecting.  These treats are layered with chocolate crumbs, toffee bits, white chocolate chips, butterscotch chips and chocolate melted with whipping cream.

Entertainment Tonight was on while I was prepping for these bars and I am not sure about you but isn’t this Kim & Kanye stuff just a little too much.  I mean how much money do you have to spend to convince the world you are in love.  If you are really in love do you spend all your energy convincing everyone else you are?  Seems to me you are so busy being in the lovey dovey stage everyone knows you are over the moon in love.  I know the media gets blamed for snapping photos, etc. but did photographers sneak into the venue or were they allowed in to make sure this event was splashed all over the world. It is so out of proportion with what they actually do.  It’s not as if they are out saving the world or finding a cure for rare childhood diseases or even bringing attention to the plight of the homeless (although to be fair I’m sure they do give to charity).

For a man who is supposed to be so private Kanye certainly knew what he was doing when he released the photo of Kim in that shockingly horrible white swimsuit…if a photo of my butt looking that huge got out I’d be mortified.  I think the point of the photo and his comments were to convince us that he really is heterosexual.  His voice is a little high pitched for my liking, but hey, that’s just my opinion. It all seems way to staged and showy.  What a waste of time and money especially when we all know the odds of this union standing the test of time are slim to none.  ( Yes, I do realize we all need our entertainment and something to watch but I prefer the Real Housewife sagas.)  Do you honestly think 3 times will be the charm for Kimmy.   Perhaps this show of commitment and love takes the spotlight off the 2 disintegrating marriages in the Kardashian/Jenner family and keeps the revenue pouring in.  But to look at their extravagant spending in a ‘the jar is half full’  frame of mind they sure did have to spend a lot of money on all the little people to make their magic moments happen. And I suppose those thousands and milliions in turn fuel the economy, right.  So I guess really it is a win win.  I get to complain about them, you can be entertained by them and the U.S. economy gets a little kick start.

Well, it is time for my extravagant evening to begin with my sweet treat and a cup of tea.

Step 1-Chocolate crumbs, melted butter, egg, sugar, toffee bits
Step 1-Chocolate crumbs, melted butter, egg, sugar, toffee bits

For Base:

1/2 cup butter melted

1 tablespoon sugar

1 egg

1 1/2 cups chocolate cookie crumbs

1 cup toffee bits

9 x 9 square pan lined with parchment

Combine all of the ingredients except the toffee chips and spread into prepared pan.  Bake in 350F oven for about 12 minutes and remove from oven.  Sprinkle toffee chips over top and let cool.

Base layer topped with toffee bits. Ready to chill.
Base layer topped with toffee bits. Ready to chill.
Step 2 - combine and melt these 4 ingredients for filling
Step 2 – combine and melt these 4 ingredients for filling

Filling:

Combine 2 tablespoons of custard powder, 1/2 cup of butterscotch chips, 1 cup of white chocolate chips and 1 cup of peanut butter.  Combine and melt together, either in microwave or over double boiler.

Spread over chilled base and smooth.  Return to fridge to firm up.

Filling spread over base awaiting ganache
Filling spread over base awaiting ganache
Step 3-Chocolate Ganache spread over chilled bars
Step 3-Chocolate Ganache spread over chilled bars

Topping:

1/2 cup whipping cream

1 1/2 cups chocolate chips (I used dark chocolate chips)

Heat whipping cream to almost boiling and pour over chocolate.  Let sit a couple of minutes then stir until smooth.  Spread over bars.

Chill.  Cut into squares and enjoy.

Peanut Butter S’mores Cookie Bars and What’s with the knee socks?

Peanut Butter S’mores Cookie Bars and What’s with the knee socks?

Everywhere I look I see recipes and pics of cookie bars (and those horrible knee socks but I will get to that).  What’s a cookie bar…well in my opinion, its just an easier way to make a cookie.  Less labour intense.  Instead of going to the bother to drop your cookie dough onto the pan in individual amounts, scooping as you go, you just pat your dough into a pan and bake.  Then you get to cut a ‘cookie’ as big or small as you want.

Peanut Butter S'mores Cookie Bars
Peanut Butter S’mores Cookie Bars

While most of the recipes I see are for S’mores (Americans have an obsession with these) or chocolate chip bars I was craving a peanut butter butterscotch hit so I modified a recipe I found in SweetGifts magazine from 2012.

Ingredients for cookie bars
Ingredients all lined up and ready to mix.

So before I share tonights recipe I need to comment… what’s with those knee socks I see adults and kids alike wearing with their shorts, sandals and exercise gear.  If your doctor told you to purchase and wear support hose you would never do it but that is what these unstylish socks look like to me. You know the socks I mean, right. Remember Linda Ronstandt wearing knee socks with her shorts and roller skates in the 80’s.  Are they back in style?  I must have missed the memo.

O.K. I know fashion comes and goes and I have for sure been a victim!  If anyone had told me shiny dance leotards with matching shiny tights and leg warmers where in no shape or form flattering or the least bit cool (both in style and temperature) to wear while doing high impact aerobics I and all my friends would have scoffed.

Haven’t you been telling your dad and husband for years not to go out of the house with socks in his sandals.  It is soooo embarrasing.  Yet all over I see runners, walkers, and not so sporty people wearing these support style looking white knee socks with their shorts and, heaven forbid, with their sloppily fitting shower sandals.  If you are a 12-14 year old girl you can carry it off but otherwise just let this fad go.  Sooner rather than later, please. Ahh, as always I feel better with my thoughts off my chest.  So on to the recipe.

This is a very sweet treat so adjust your add-ins to make it how you like it.  Use chocolate chips with the butterscotch chips and eliminate the pb cups if you wish.

Butter, brown & white sugar, eggs, vanilla mixed
Butter, sugars, eggs, vanilla mixed together

Peanut Butter Butterscotch S’mores Cookie Bars

Preheat oven to 375F.  Lightly grease a 13 x 9 pan.

10 tablespoons butter, room temperature

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup white sugar

2 eggs

2 teaspoons pure vanilla

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs

1 cup mini marshmallows

1-2 cups peanut butter cups (rough chopped)

1 cup butterscotch chips

Butterscotch chips, peanut butter mini cups added in and ready to fold in
Butterscotch chips, peanut butter mini cups ready to fold in.

Cream the butter and sugars together with an electric mixer in a large bowl.  Add eggs and vanilla and mix until combined.  In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, salt and baking soda.  Add the flour mixture to creamed mixture and blend.  Fold in graham crackers, butterscotch chips and 1 cup peanut butter cups.

Press dough into prepared pan and bake for approximately 10 minutes.  Now sprinkle marshmallows and remaining peanut butter cups onto top and bake for an additional 5-7 minutes.

Cool completely and cut into generous pieces and enjoy.

Banana Butterscotch Cupcakes

Banana Butterscotch Cupcakes

Today’s recipe is Fluffy Banana Cake baked into cupcake liners and topped with a basic buttery icing to which I added a few tablespoons of brown sugar and after icing topped with some toffee bits for a little more of the butterscotch/caramel flavour and to add a little pizzaz.

This wonderful recipe is delicious baked in 8-inch cake pans but works well and bakes up great as cupcakes.  Fold in toffee bits, chocolate chips, white chocolate, even walnuts to the batter to add a little crunch or flavour.  These treats are moist and definitely sweet even without icing.

In today’s recipe I used butter instead of the shortening called for in the original Sunbeam Mixmaster Recipe book from 1951/1952.  Seriously, we have been using this recipe forever and it was included in the recipe book accompanying my mom’s Sunbeam Mixmaster which she received as a wedding gift way back when.  The recipe is great and has never failed us.  I have taken the liberty to paraphrase some of the instructions!

Fluffy Banana Cake (or Cupcakes)

Preheat oven to 350F.  Prepare muffin tins or cake tins.

2 large or 3 small ripe bananas, peeled and mashed

Sift together:

2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour

1/2 tsp. baking powder

3/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

Into large bowl of mixer put:

1/2 cup shortening (room temperature)  I used butter

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

Beat on medium-high speed for 1 1/2 minutes.  Scrap down sides of bowl.

Now add 1/4 cup buttermilk or sour milk into bowl of mixer and mix in quickly.

Add the sifted flour mixture alternately with the mashed banana while beating on a low speed. Scrape down sides of bowl and beat in flour in 3 additions and banana in 2 additions.  Mix only until flour has blended in.

Fold in any optional ingredients you may be using such as nuts, chocolate chips, etc.

Divide evenly into prepared pans and bake for approximately 25-30 minutes in preheated oven. Cake is done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool completely before icing.