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09 August 2012

Samoas Cupcakes



Through our program, I am taking part as a student therapist, conducting a six week parent management group for parents with children who are diagnosed with Asperger's. This is the first time in a long while that our program has done a parent group and since it's been so long- I literally had to create the modules being provided to the parents- creating lessons, worksheets, handout, etc. It was a lot of work but I loved it! I really enjoy working with parents and the group was full of some wonderful people. Well today was the last day of the six week group- and so I wanted to make them cupcakes as my "farewell."

I searched through my Pinterest and found some awesome recipes for the Girl Scouts Samoas Cookie- turned into a cupacke. I thought they looked wonerful and had to try it. Also, it has a really interesting recipe for caramel buttercream. I have not really gotten to make different types of buttercream other than vanilla and chocolate- though recently for Beau's Lemon Birthdy Cake- I got to try to make Lemon Buttercream.

It always fun trying new things and especially from scratch. Sadly as I started baking I made one fatal error :( It was so tragic. I did not put enough milk. I only used a half of a cup instead of a cup and a half. I just read it wrong and realized my mistake too late! The cupcakes were already baking. But fun fact: milk in cupcakes add to the "fluffiness (aka the round top) of the cupcakes as well as the moistness. The result: my cupcakes were on the dry side! My baker's worst nightmare :/  I was soooooo bummed. But it was too late to start again. [To my blog readers: do not forget to add the milk!] So I took them to my parents group and forewarned them about the tad bit dryness as well as the other student therapists. Luckily, everyone seemed to enjoy it, including the hubster, though they did slightly notice the lack of moisture. But hopefully they forgive me. The hubster really loved the caramel buttercream. So try it out- I mean who does not love Somoas?!



The Texas heat started re-melting the chocolate. That is how hot
it was! Oh Texas and your summers.



SAMOAS CUPCAKES

INGREDIENTS

Preheat Oven to 350F degrees

FOR THE CUPCAKES:
2 cups flour
3/4 cup natural cocoa powder
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) butter, room temperature
1 3/4 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 cups milk

FOR THE CARAMEL BUTTERCREAM:
16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups packed brown sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
5 cups powdered sugar
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1/4 chocolate candymelts

DIRECTIONS:

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and cocoa powder. In another bowl cream together the butter, sugar, salt, baking soda, vanilla, and coconut extract until fluffy and light, at least 3-4 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. With the mixer on low speed add in the dry ingredients in three batches, alternating with the milk beating just until combined. Fill the cupcake papers 1/2 full, making sure that the batter is divided evenly. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean, 20-22 minutes.

To toast the coconut, spread the coconut onto a rimmed sheet pan. Toast in a 350°F oven, stirring frequently, until the coconut is an even brown color, about 10 minutes.

To make the frosting, melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the salt and brown sugar and heat the mixture to boiling, stirring constantly. Cook over low heat for 2 minutes, until the sugar is dissolved. Stir in the milk and return to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in vanilla. Cool to lukewarm, about 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally.Once the caramel frosting mixture is lukewarm, transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the powdered sugar and beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Adjust consistency with a little more milk or powdered sugar, if necessary.

Heat candymelts in microwave for about 30 seconds or until drizzling consistency. Transfer the frosting to a pastry bag fitted with a decorative tip. Pipe a spiral of frosting, beginning at the outer edge and working inward. Drizzle the frosted cupcakes with melted chocolate and garnish with toasted coconut.

Enjoy and sorry for the missed milk!
Chika

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