. Another year gone by brings another birthday in our happy little "family". But this time around, the special day belongs to my little baby, Tilly. No, we don't just have two dogs, we actually have three! But we'll get to him when his birthday rolls around. That cute little button face below is my Tilly girl and on Saturday, Feb. 20, 2011, she turned 1 year old! She is, of course, one of the other loves of my life and I basically can't get enough of her tiny stature and precious face. We celebrated with a relaxing night and treated the three pups (yes, we refer to them all as the 'pups', so you'll see this reference quite a bit) to Peanut Butter Puppy Pops. They must have enjoyed them because before I could even throw the wrappers away the 'pop' had disappeared!
|Tilly, the birthday girl!|
But in order for my boyfriend and I to properly celebrate, well you know what that means...baked goodies! I came across a recipe for Samoa Cupcakes while I was browsing the wonderful blogging world, particularly Bakers Royale. First of all, who doesn't LOVE the Samoa Cookies sold by those darling Girl Scouts? Those things are outright addicting and someone wants to slap that combination into a cupcake? Yes, please! These cupcakes are simply fabulous: a moist, chocolate cake topped with a salted caramel buttercream frosting (that sweet and salty combo I can never get enough of!), toasted coconut, and that signature Somoa chocolate drizzle. MmMmmM yum! They represent my Tilly in such a perfect way, too: tiny, adorable, and a big burst of flavor in one bite (well probably not that last one). So of course I felt an obligation to make these for Tilly's birthday since she pretty much begged for them. Kind of.
So to all of the Girl Scouts out there selling these cookies from year to year (even though there was a slight miscommunication between my boyfriend and I and we didn't end up getting any ordered!), I give thanks with this adapted recipe of Somoa Cupcakes. Oh, and the other bonus of this recipe? You can eat around 3 to 4 of these little guys and not feel guilty, because that's basically one regular cupcake! ...Right....? .
Mini Samoa Cupcakes
1 c. sour cream
1 tsp. baking soda
2 c. flour
1/2 c. Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 c. unsalted butter, softened
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. light brown sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 egg yolks
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
Salted Caramel Buttercream:
1/2 c. sugar
2 tbsp. water
2 tbsp. butter
6 tbsp. heavy whipping cream
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. unsalted butter, softened
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
1-1/2 c. powdered sugar
1/2 c. sweetened flaked coconut
1/4 c. milk chocolate
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Line mini muffin cups with liners. In a small bowl, mix sour cream and baking soda; set aside. In medium bowl, sift together flour and cocoa powder; set aside. In mixer, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add in salt and beat until combined. Add in eggs, beat until combined. Add in egg yolks and vanilla extract and beat until combined.
2. Using a wooden spoon, stir in sour cream and flour mixtures, beginning with sour cream mixture and ending with the flour mixture. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake 12 to 14 minutes. Remove from pan and let cool on wire rack completely.
3. For buttercream, add sugar and water in medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir until sugar has dissolved. Once dissolved, increase heat to high. Now and then, using the handle, swirl the pot to keep the mixture moving (do not stir directly). As the mixture darkens to a medium amber color, add butter and heavy whipping cream to saucepan (*warning: this transition happened very quickly and I actually had to do this twice because I burned the first batch. Watch the mixture carefully and if needed, remove the pan from the heat while you add in the butter and cream and return the saucepan to the heat when you're done). Whisk to combine. Add salt and whisk to combine. Remove from heat.
4. Place butter and vanilla extract in bowl and beat on high until pale and fluffy (about 3 to 4 minutes). Turn mixer to low and add powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time. Beat until combined. Add in caramel sauce and beat until combined.
5. To toast the coconut, spread evenly on baking sheet and bake at 350°F for 5 to 7 minutes or until coconut turns light brown. Remove from oven and let cool.
6. Spread the salted caramel buttercream on top of each cupcake, bringing the buttercream just to the edge of the wrapper. Then gently roll the cupcake tops in the toasted coconut.
|Please note my NEW Ateco Icing Spatula from Sur La Table, I've always wanted one of these and voila, here it is in action!|
7. Heat milk chocolate in microwave, at 30-second intervals, until melted or at drizzling consistency. Drizzle lines along tops of cupcakes.
Yield: 48 mini cupcakes
* My Notes:
- Again, I have to reiterate how quickly the sugar turns from white to the amber color that you're looking for when making the caramel. I really did burn my first batch and we quickly had to open all of the windows! Luckily the fire alarms never went off. Oops...
- As I also mentioned above, I recommend bringing the frosting to the edge of the cupcake to where it's touching the wrapper. This helps to keep the moisture in the cupcake longer.
- I altered this recipe to make mini cupcakes. I ended up with 48 mini cupcakes but had plenty of batter left that could have probably made another batch or so. I really don't know what we would have done with 70+ cupcakes (besides eating them all and I have to stop myself somewhere!). So if you don't want all of the leftover, I would recommend cutting the recipe in half and you'll still get a fair amount of these little gems.
- Don't melt the milk chocolate until you have iced and coated the cupcakes with the coconut. Otherwise the chocolate hardens while it sits and you'll end up having to reheat it several times (yes, you get to benefit from my mistakes ☺).
- I personally prefer these cupcakes chilled in the refrigerator for a while. This hardens the frosting a bit and I think that the flavors are brought out much more this way. But this is completely up to you, either way they're be-yond yummy!
- As you can probably tell, these cupcakes are a tad bit time consuming. But believe me, they are worth the effort and you get a lotta bang for your buck (as in you get a large quantity of these tasty bites for your snacking pleasure!).