Well right now, RIGHT NOW there is a special issue of Taste of the South on newsstands, but you gotta go grab it quick, called SOUTHERN CAKES, Classic Cakes for Every Occasion – and boy is it a doozie! This is one of those magazines you’ll find yourself thumbing through fifty years from now.
As with all Taste of the South publications, there are recipes for every level of cook, but they’re all simply written so that even beginners can have success with each one. Today I want to share with you one that jumped out at me and after I tasted it, it’s one that I’ll be making for the grandkids someday.
Dark chocolate cupcakes, with a Rolo baked inside, topped with browned butter icing and toasted pecans…
Have you ever had browned butter icing? I hadn’t ever had it until I made it for these.
WOOOOWEEEE is that stuff good! It taste like butter that has been slightly turned into butterscotch, then with more butter added in and some sugar to top it off.
Just on the off chance that description and this photo doesn’t get you revved up, let me show you one that my dear friends at Taste of the South Magazine gave me permission to use….
Hello! See that little puddle of caramel oozing out of the center of a dark chocolate cupcake topped with buttercream frosting and toasted pecans?
Exactly. So below is the recipe, please don’t trip over yourself getting to the grocery store. Remember, I know we’re all excited, but I need you to walk – don’t run – because when we all walk we all get there safely. My innner kindergarten teacher is talking here again. I’m afraid she’s just telling y’all to walk so she can get to the Rolo aisle first…
Because Inner Kindergarten teachers are sneaky like that…
You’ll need: Devil’s Food Cake Mix, Vegetable Oil, Vanilla, Eggs, Cupcake Papers, and Rolos. This is for the cupcake part.
Having a black lab mix squirrel hunting through a window is optional.
For the brown butter frosting you’re gonna need two sticks of unsalted butter and some confectioner’s sugar.
If you only have salted butter, just go ahead and use it. The salt will be a delightful accompaniment to the sweet!
Place your cake mix, eggs, vanilla, and oil in a mixing bowl.
I have three eggs in here but one is hiding. Sometimes we just have to trust the unseen…
Put papers in muffin tin.
For fun, go get a piece of paper and write “TO DO LIST” at the top. Add this step as the number one thing, then cross it off.
~exhale~ See? Life is terribly easy if you know how to properly make a to do list. Make sure you leave off things like “create world peace” or “figure out who is abducting the missing socks”.
Goals like that only complicate things.
Divide your batter among the paper lined muffin cups.
Umm, you’re gonna need two muffin pans for this. Did I mention that? No? Well I just did.
I’m all informative like that.
Unwrap Rolos. Because biting down on gold foil paper is seldom fun for anyone…
If you haven’t had a Rolo lately, you should have one now because Rolos are the bum diggity in the world of chocolate.
My Katy Rose always wants to help out whenever I’m cooking so she stepped in to add the Rolos to the cupcakes.
Place one rolo in the center of each cupcake.
Then push it down a little with your finger.
Now the recipe says to make sure the Rolo’s are covered with cake batter so I got a butter knife and just kinda swished some batter over each one. It was easy and just took a few seconds.
Like this. Do that with all of them.
Bake your cupcakes at 350 for 15-20 minutes.
Okay, I admit, I thought this cook time was a little short, so I baked mine a few minutes longer and that caused the Rolo to melt a bit much, so please follow the actual instructions on this and read about the toothpick test for doneness in the recipe below – because they were right.
Take a weird angled photo so people think you’re into food photography and all that, even though you’ve never considered “enjoying your food” to be anything beyond eating it.
Let those cool about ten minutes in the muffin pan and then remove them (keep them in the liners though!) and let them cool completely.
Now it’s time for the magic to happen! I know, I know, putting a rolo in a cupcake qualifies as pretty magical already to me, but this is even better!
Place a stick of butter in a small skillet over medium heat.
It’s gonna melt. (Just call me Captain Obvious)
Stir it every now and then and let it cook until it is browned, about ten minutes.
It’ll look like this and there will be browned bits in the bottom of it. It’s all good!
Pour that into a cup or bowl or whatever you grab first that is heat proof and refrigerate it for thirty minutes.
Take your deliciously browned butter and put it in a bowl with your other 1/2 cup of softened butter.
Add your confectioner’s sugar.
Beat the living mess out of it, scraping down sides as needed, until it is all smoothified. New word just for you. Try to work it into your vocabulary today so you can impress folks – I challenge you to use it in regards to yourself.
“Son, did you see how smoothified your Mama was in the kitchen today?”
“Baby, did you hear how smoothified my singing was in the car on the way home?”
Etc. Knock yourself out.
Southern Plate, it’s so much more than recipes. It’s cutting edge grammatical challenges!
Okay, about the toasted pecans… I had every intention of skipping this step. I mean there is no law that says you have to follow every recipe to the letter, you know? But after I made the frosting, it got the better of me so I dipped a pecan half into it and had a taste.
SWEET BABY MULE PULLING A STEAMBOAT THAT WAS GOOD!
So I got a good cup or so of pecan pieces, scattered them on a baking sheet, and placed them in the oven at 350 for about 5 minutes or so, until lightly toasted.
Ice the cupcakes with your delicious brown butter frosting and top with a few pieces of toasted pecans.
Then get ready for a cupcake unlike any you’ve ever had before!
You wanna see that other pic again? Sure ya do!
- 1 Package Devil's Food Cake Mix, such as Duncan Hines
- 1+1/3 cups water
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 24 chocolate covered caramel filled candies, such as Rolo
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened and divided
- 6 cups confectioner's sugar
- 1 cup finely chopped toasted pecans, optional (instructions for this are in this post)
- Preheat oven to 350. Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine cake mix, water, oil, eggs, and vanilla. Beat at low speed with an electric mixer until moistened, approximately 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes, scraping down sides as needed.
- Divide mixture among prepared muffin cups. Press 1 candy into batter of each cupcake, letting batter cover candy.
- Bake until a wooden toothpick inserted in center of cupcake comes out clean, 15-20 minutes (be careful to avoid caramel at center). Let cupcakes cool in pans for ten minutes before removing from pans and allowing to cool completely.
- In medium saucepan, melt ½ cup butter over medium heat. Cook until butter turns brown,approximately ten minutes. Remove from heat, and let cool. Refrigerate for thirty minutes.
- In large bowl, combine brown butter and remaining ½ cup butter. Beat at high speed with an electric mixer until smooth, about a minute. Add confectioner's sugar, and beat until smooth and creamy, scraping down sides as needed, approximately five minutes. Ice cupcakes and top with toasted pecans.
Recipe printed with permission from Taste of the South Magazine.
Look for this magazine on newsstands now (hurry and get it while it lasts!) or skip the crowds and order it online at the Hoffman Media Store by clicking here
“Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.”
~ Desmond Tutu
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