Friday, September 24, 2010

Shortbread Caramel Cupcakes

If any of you have bought girl scout cookies or you were in girl scouts, you know what Samosas are.  They are a shortbread cookie covered in caramel with toasted coconut and covered with chocolate stripes.  If you enjoy those cookies, then this cupcake recipe is for you.  It does not make a "big batch" of cupcakes, only a little over 1 dozen.  If you have several in your family, you will want to at least double the recipe.

Shortbread Caramel Cupcakes
adapted from

1 cup milk
1/2 cup butter (room temperature)
3 eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup flour
1 box of shortbread cookies (I used Walker's brand)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Then prepare muffin/cupcake tin with liners. 

In a large bowl, cream your butter with an electric mixer until there are no lumps.  The key to getting these light is the time spent with the mixer, prior to adding the flour mixture.  Add both sugars to creamed butter and
beat at medium speed for 3 minutes until fluffy.  Then add eggs one by one and beat 30 seconds after each addition. Then set aside.

Take some of the shortbread cookies and place in food processor.  Grind to a fine powder.  Continue until you have 1 1/2 cups of crumbs.  The 7oz box of Walker's shortbread cookies had 9 and it took 8 to get to the 1 1/2 cups.  This number will vary, depending on your cookie size/brand.

In another bowl, sift the baking powder, baking soda, salt and flour.  Once evenly distributed, mix in the cookie crumbs.  You will add 1/3 of this dry mix to the butter/sugar and stir with a wooden spoon until blended, being careful not to over mix.  Then fold in 1/2 cup of milk. Continue with this process ending with flour mixture. 

Take batter and fill cupcake liners 3/4 full. Bake in oven for 15-18 minutes or until done, turning pan in oven at the halfway point.  You can test doneness by using a toothpick or cake tester.  Remove pan from oven and take out cupcakes, placing on a cooling rack.

Caramel Filling

7 oz unwrapped caramels (this is 1/2 bag or 22-24 caramels)
1/4 cup milk

Place caramels in small saucepan and start to melt on low heat.  Stir constantly.  After 2 minutes (caramels should start to melt) add some (not all) of the milk. Continue to stir and melt caramel.  You want your caramel to be the consistency of honey, so continue to slowly add milk and mix until you arrive at that stage.  Once you reach the right consistency and all caramels are melted, set aside to cool.

While that cools, you will need to go back to your cooled cupcakes.  Use a paring knife and cut out a cone shape in the top of your cupcake and remove (see above picture). You will take and cut off a small piece of the cone to make a lid for your cupcake hole.  Continue this method for all cupcakes, reserving each lid.

Then take your cooled caramel filling and spoon into cupcake hole until full.  Then place reserved lid on top. Once that is completed, you are ready for the topping.

1 cup chocolate chips (either milk or dark, your preference)
1/2 cup sweetened coconut

Note that this topping produces a coating on your cupcakes.  This is because the Samosas cookies are coated with chocolate.  It is hard right out of the fridge, but room temperature is not so hard (especially here in Texas). Should you want something a little softer, you can use a chocolate ganache. 

First the coconut has to be toasted. You will need to microwave in three 15 second intervals (for a total of 45 seconds), stirring after each.  You will need to watch closely. Coconut can burn in only a few seconds. Your coconut may take more or less time, depending on your microwave. Once toasted, set aside to cool.

In a double boiler, melt your chocolate chips.  When melted, mix in toasted coconut.  While this mixture is still hot, spread onto your cupcakes. Once cooled they are ready to serve.

Who says you have to wait for a Girl Scout cookie sale to get the same flavor?  These are so good, Paige deserves a girl scout badge just for creating these!