Late Night Snack Cupcakes
As a senior in college, I can pretty much say that I’m a connoisseur in the art of late night snacks and Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, which can be a late night snack in itself. Well, I’ve been dying to make a Ben & Jerry’s flavor into a cupcake 4-like-ever now. So guess which flavor I chose?
Hint: a vanilla bean cupcake with salted caramel filling and chocolate frosting with a salty potato chip crammed inside.
In other words . . .
Late Night Snack!
Start by mixing together a stick of butter, a cup and a half of sugar, 3 eggs, 2 teaspoons vanilla, and the seeds of a vanilla bean. Why do those little black specks instantly make everything way cooler?
Bake at 350 for 18 minutes until starting to turn golden and a toothpick comes out clean. Pop them out of the pan and let cool on a wire rack while you prepare the (no big deal) salted caramel filling. Just kidding. It’s a pretty big deal.
I mean look at it!! Make it by melting half a cup of sugar over medium-high heat until it turns a dark amber color, whisking the whole time. Then, toss in 3 tablespoons of SALTED butter, let it sizzle and melt in completely, then pour in just over a quarter cup of heavy cream. Whisk it as it foams and bubbles until it’s smooth and settles down a bit. Remove it from heat and let it cool just slightly. Wasn’t that fun?
Take a cupcake and carve out the middle with a small, sharp knife. Spoon in about a teaspoon of the caramel, then trim the cake piece to make a “lid” and put it back on top to cover the hole. How often do you hear that term when making cupcakes?
VERY hard to beat. I mean sooooooo good!
Late Night Snack Cupcakes
Source: salted caramel filling from Sprinklebakes
Yield: 18-20 cupcakes
Vanilla Bean Cupcakes
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugar. Stir in the eggs, one at a time, then mix in the vanilla. With a sharp knife, slice the vanilla bean in half lengthwise then scrape out the seeds inside. Add the seeds to the wet ingredients and mix to combine. In a seperate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the dry ingredients alternately to the wet ingredients along with the milk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.
Fill the cupcake liners about 2/3 full with the cupcake batter. Bake for 18-20 minutes until golden and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove from the pan and let cool on a wire rack.
Salted Caramel Filling:
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons salted butter, cubed, at room temperature
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon heavy cream
Melt the sugar in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, whisking the whole time, until it turns deep amber in color. Whisk in the butter until completely melted then pour in the heavy cream (mixture will foam) and whisk until smooth. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
Carve out the center of each cupcake, being careful not to cut all the way to the bottom. Spoon in about a teaspoon of the caramel. Trim the carved-out cake piece to form a “lid” and place it back on top of the cupcake.
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
Ruffled potato chips, for topping
Microwave the chocolate chips in a bowl in 30 second intervals until completely melted and smooth. Let cool to warm.
Cream the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer. Pour in the melted chocolate and beat on medium speed for about a minute until fluffy. Add the vanilla, mix once more, then add the powdered sugar and beat again on medium speed until creamy and smooth.
Frost the cupcakes with the chocolate frosting then top each cupcake with a potato chip.