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Friday, April 3, 2009

Food: Brown Sugar Pound Cupcakes with Brown-Butter Glaze

I was asked to bring a dessert for E's family Easter get-together, and while browsing the web for some new recipe to try, I looked through Martha Stewart's website, and found the Our Best Cupcakes section.

Since cupcakes are always a favorite with everyone (including myself!), I clicked through the recipes and my hungry, cupcake-craving eye was caught by this recipe.

I haven't tried it yet, but it sounds so delicious, I can't wait to make them!

Brown-Sugar Pound Cupcakes:
Makes 29
3 cups sifted all purpose flour
8 oz unsalted butter, softened
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/4 c. light brown sugar, firmly packed
4 large eggs
3/4 c. buttermilk

Set oven to 325 degrees. Baking time is about 25 minutes.
Sift dry ingredients together and set aside.
In an electric mixer on medium speed, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs and blend well. Reduce mixer speed to low. Add dry ingredients in gradually, following each addition of dry ingredients with the buttermilk until well blended.
Line muffin tins with standard paper liners.Fill cups at about 1/2 full. Bake 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Invert finished cupcakes onto wire cooling racks, flip over and let cool.  Place a sheet of parchment paper under the wire racks. Spoon the brown-butter glaze over tops and let stand until set. 

Brown-Butter Glaze:
makes 1 cup

4 oz unsalted butter (1 stick)
2 c. sifted confectioner's sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2-4 tbl. whole milk

Heat butter in a saucepan over medium heat until golden brown (about 10 min)
Carefully pour butter into a bowl, leaving the sediment behind.
Add sugar, vanilla, and 2 tbl milk and stir until smooth. If glaze is too thick, add more milk until the consistency is right. 

** From the comments section on the website regarding this recipe, some tasters preferred a more light and airy cupcake, rather than a heavier, more dry "pound cake-like" cupcake. To make it lighter, use cake flour rather than all-purpose flour. For a more dense pound-cake like cupcake, use a little more buttermilk. Others also said the glaze was better when the cupcakes were served immediately, when the glaze was still warm, although other people said they still tasted great the next day, if they were kept in a sealed, airtight container.  Other variations that were listed: dark brown sugar instead of light brown sugar, topping each cupcake with a fresh, roasted whole pecan and placing a split vanilla bean in the pan with the butter. (Discard the bean after browning the butter of course.)

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