Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Spekuloos Cupcakes

A dear friend and fellow blogger, Kristy, gave me a jar of Spekuloos cookie spread for Christmas. One spoonful was enough to know I was in trouble. Belgian cinnamon cookies ground into a spreadable paste? Impossibly delicious.

I had never actually had the cookie in its natural form before, so no comparison, but the consistency of the spread is akin to peanut butter, and it occurred to me moments after taking my first spoonful that it would work perfectly as a cupcake frosting flavor. So, I did just that.

I took a basic vanilla cupcake and added a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg, then topped them with a spekuloos infused buttercream. Simple. Delicious. I dare you to try it and not find yourself face first in a dozen of them before you figure out how to actually pronounce Spekuloos.

Slightly Spiced Cupcake 

- 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temp
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 3 large eggs (variation that's more like a yellow cake)
- 3/4 cup milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Set rack at the middle level in the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.
Prep 20-24 cupcake tins.
In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar for about 5 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add in eggs one at a time (scraping the bowl in between) and then add vanilla. Whisk together flour, baking powder, spices and salt. Set aside. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the butter mixture then add half the milk. Continue to alternate beginning and ending with flour mixture. Scape the bowl and beater often.
Pour the batter into prepared tins (about 1/4 cup per cupcake liner). Bake 20 minutes, or until the top of the cupcake springs back slightly when touched.
Cool completely.

Spekuloos Buttercream Frosting
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/4 cup Spekuloos spread, give or take
- 3-4 cups powdered sugar, give or take
- 2 tsp milk, give or take

Beat butter and Spekuloos together until combined. Add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time until mixture is light and fluffy (I tend to put less sugar, but you can adjust as you like it). Add milk to smooth out the texture.

Pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes. I came up short of having a cute cupcake topper that worked well with the theme, but I suppose a nice Spekuloos cookie would work well, if you can find them. I have no doubt they will be gobbled up even if you don't find a cute decoration for them though.

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