Friday, April 20, 2012

Crunchy Rooftop Cupcakes

This particular recipe is a creation of a craving I had for a certain combo of flavors.  I wanted something that had the rich taste of graham and cinnamon with a pop of tart lemon.

The graham/cinnamon combo was easily found in the biscoff spread and the cookies.  To add the lemon, I poked holes in the cakes and soaked them with a lemon syrup.  Then the topping is made even better when it is dipped in the sugary cinnamon.  Lastly a touch of whipped cream holds half of a Biscoff cookie on top

As you bite into one of these, you will have the crunch of the cinnamon topping, the tartness of the lemon and then the deep graham flavor of the cake. The syrup is an exact mimic of the flavor your get in a lemon drop. Needless to say, this recipe hit the mark in what I wanted in flavor as well as texture.

Also, I had to quickly pack them away so I would have enough for the pot luck.  It seems that I am building a reputation at the monthly event , for upon arrival it is "what did you bring this time?".  There is a lot of curiosity around the creations I bring, mainly due to the fact the attendees are people that stick with making the tried and true classic recipes.  A small country town does not have that much exposure to the big variety that exists beyond the classics.

Crunchy Rooftop Cupcakes (makes 16-18 standard cupcakes)
by flourtrader

1/4 cup butter, room temperature
1/4 cup Biscoff spread
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
2/3 cup of sour cream
1/2 cup ground Biscoff cookies (do not pack)
1 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

Ingredients/Topping & Syrup
juice from 2 lemons
zest from 1 lemon
1/2 cup sugar (for syrup)
1 tbs cinnamon
1/2 cup sugar
whipped cream
8-9 cookies broken in half

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease the top edge of muffin cavities and line with cupcake papers

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon.  Then stir in the ground Biscoff cookies. Set aside.

 In a mixing bowl, cream together sugar, butter and Biscoff spread. Then beat in one egg and vanilla extract for 30 seconds.  Add the additional egg and beat for another 30 seconds.  Take a wooden spoon and fold in 1/3 of the sifted ingredients.  Take 1/3 cup of the sour cream and fold into batter.  Continue with the process of adding and mixing, ending with the last 1/3 of the sifted ingredients.

Using an ice cream scoop or a spoon, fill cupcake liners 2/3 full with batter.  Place in oven and bake for 12-15 minutes or until tester indicates cupcakes are done.

While the cupcakes are baking, make the simple syrup.  Place the lemon, lemon zest and 1/2 of sugar in a sauce pan and place over medium high heat.  Let the mixture come to a boil.  Turn down heat and stir until mixture turns to a syrup type consistency.  Remove from heat.

Remove cupcakes from the oven and let rest for 2 minutes then transfer to a rack.  Let cool for about 5 minutes.  Using a wooden skewer, poke holes in the top of the cupcake about 1 1/2 inches in depth.  Then take a pastry brush and brush syrup on cupcakes.  Brush twice and then let set for another 5 minutes.  During this time the syrup will get thicker.  Then brush the tops again. All cupcake tops should be coated.

In a small bowl mix together the cinnamon and 1/2 cup of sugar.  Take each cupcake and dip the top in the mixture, making sure it is well coated.  Place cupcake back on cooling rack.  Continue until all cupcakes are topped with cinnamon.

Then take 1/2 cup of whipped cream and pipe or drop a dollop on the center of each cupcake.  Stick 1/2 a cookie upright into the whipped cream.

Cupcakes do need a day for flavors to meld, so do the whipped cream and cookie the following day prior to serving.
Keep a careful eye on the syrup while cooking as well as cooling, the consistency can become too thick very quickly.
The baking powder and baking soda do react quickly, so it is wise to only prepare what you can bake at one time.
I was not pleased at the taste of these warm from the oven, so reserve your taste testing for the next day when all the flavors have melded.