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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Cashew Nut Brittle Cupcakes

Cashew Nut Brittle Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting
and Homemade Cashew Nut Brittle!

 I am that girl.

As soon as I get a box of chocolates. Its over! I take a bite out of almost every single one hunting for those yummy nutty pieces!

I love the combination of   salty walnuts, cashews, pecans,  and sweet caramel and sweet chocolate.  Simply divine.

I wanted to bring those same flavors into a beautiful cupcake and heres what I came up with:



candied cashews! do they look like unicorns or is it just me... : j


The lovely homemade cashew nut brittle was especially easy to make!  I even experimented with making candied cashews with a beautiful loooonnnng tail! So elegant and super easy to make. Heres where you can learn how to do it yourself! 

The flavors are unique and work wonderfully together.

Heres how I made them!

Cupcake –  adapted from food network’s Ana Olson’s recipe.

This recipe is for cashew butter cupcakes. I added 1/2c of Cocoa Powder and 2 tablespoons of freshly brewed espresso to add more depth of flavor. The espresso heightens the cocoa flavor without lending the coffee flavor. If you would like more of a chocolate flavor, I suggest using a basic chocolate cupcake recipe to start with and then add the cashew butter into that.  


Ingredients:

1/2 cup cashew butter (you can grind your own in a blender or food processor)

1/3 cup unsalted butter at room temperature

1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, packed

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups all purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup 2 % milk at room temperature

½ cup of cocoa powder

3 tablespoons – fresh brewed coffee


Steps:

  1. For cupcakes, preheat oven to 375 °F and grease muffin tins or line with large paper cups
  2. Stir cashew butter before measuring to re-incorporate nut oils.
  3. Beat cashew butter and butter together until light and fluffy. Beat in brown sugar, then add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in vanilla.
  4. In a separate bowl ,sift flour, baking powder and salt (add cocoa if using).
  5. Add flour alternately with milk (add espresso to the milk before adding to butter/cashew mixture), stirring after each addition just until incorporated.
  6. Spoon batter into paper cups and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, when a tester inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean. Allow to cool before frosting.

 Frosting -  adapted from www.chow.com


Salted Caramel seems to be everywhere these days! I happen to love sweet and salty together and I figured this would be a perfect pairing for my Cashew cupcakes! This was by far the best, lightest, fluffiest frostings Ive made. Tasted like it was from a bakery! I creamed the butter for a while to incorporate A LOT of air : j   
    
Ingredients:

 1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), at room temperature
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup powdered sugar

Steps:

1. Briefly stir together granulated sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Continue cooking, without stirring, until mixture turns dark amber in color, about 6 to 7 minutes.

2. Remove from heat and slowly add in cream and vanilla, stirring with a wooden spoon until completely smooth. Set aside until cool to the touch, about 25 minutes.

3. Combine butter and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium-high speed until light in color and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low, add powdered sugar, and mix until completely incorporated.

4. Turn mixer off and scrape down the sides of the bowl, then add caramel. Beat frosting on medium-high speed until airy and thoroughly mixed, about 2 minutes. Cover and refrigerate until stiff, about 45 minutes, before using.                                                                                                                                                                                 

Cashew Nut Brittle – adapted from www.allrecipes.com


I did not have corn syrup on hand and I read you can use maple syrup instead. I chose neither and the results were super light and crisp and delicious! The only thing I would have change is to not have cooked the sugar as much – It ended up with a slightly bitter taste – but still yum!


Ingredients:

1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup water
1 cup chopped cashews
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon baking soda

Steps:

1. Grease a large cookie sheet. Set aside.

2. In a heavy 2 quart saucepan, over medium heat, bring to a boil sugar, corn syrup, salt, and water. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Stir in peanuts. Set candy thermometer in place, and continue cooking. Stir frequently until temperature reaches 300 degrees F (150 degrees C), or until a small amount of mixture dropped into very cold water separates into hard and brittle threads.

3. Remove from heat; immediately stir in butter and baking soda; pour at once onto cookie sheet.

4. With 2 forks, lift and pull peanut mixture into rectangle

5. Cool. Snap candy into pieces.



the end.



39 comments:

  1. Those cupcakes look so gorgeous! I want some now! :)

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  2. I love cashew butter! And these cupcakes look so good, wish I could try one... =)

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  3. some art that was! really ..looked super cool.. and delicious too:)
    www.kankanasaxena.net

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  4. PS: are you in twitter ? I just got in twitter and I think that's one best way to stay connected :)
    www.kankanasaxena.net

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  5. thank you all! yes, kankana I am on twitter as @oureyeseatfirst - see you there : j

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  6. They look beautiful and very delicious and pictures are so good.. :)

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  7. I think that you hit right to the spot from that web that you linked..looks fantastic and so beautiful!

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  8. They look absolutely gorgeous! And so tempting right now :)

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  9. Oooooh!! these look good and it's not helping the diet I am about to start ( have been trying to for the past few weeks ).

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  10. Beautiful cupcake! And they sound amazing too. I'd love for you to submit this to the M&T Spotlight at http://www.makeandtakes.com/spotlight

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  11. These cupcakes look beautiful. They've got the perfect frosting to cupcake ratio :) Salty + sweet = my vice too!

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  12. Great photos and a really lovely recipe. Cashew brittle is so much nicer than the traditional (at least around here!) peanut.

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  13. These look like something you'd pay a pretty penny for at a fancy bakery. So beautiful and creative. And you have me craving them even at breakfast time now.

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  14. LOL - well said! THAT girl lives within all of us :)

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  15. WOW, the candied cashews look stunning and impressive!

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  16. Ah-mazing!!! Lovely photos, recipe, and post :)

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  17. oh my gosh! These look so amazing! Love the unicorm cashews.

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  18. What a recipe you have here! I wish I could have one (well... actually a FEW) of these right now! They look gorgeous and your pictures are great! :-)
    Manu (Manu's Menu)

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  19. I love cashews and I love unicorns! So yes, I do think the candied cashew looks like a unicorn. :) Fantastic recipe, and beautiful photos!

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  20. Oh and look at that, I left the previous comment before I even saw we were both in top 9 today together! Congrats neighbor! :)

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  21. Please! YES PLEASE!!!! I just want to take a swim in all of that fluffy frosting! WOW! ♥- Katrina

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  22. YUM! and cashews! my favorite! congrats on making the top 9 (#1) Nice!!!!!!!!

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  23. Yummy Yummy Yummy! Can't wait to make this recipe. Thanks so much for sharing.

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  24. Fantastic cupcakes, lovely idea of making candied cashews, will surely try this recipe !

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  25. What beautiful cupcakes! Such a unique flavor, I love it!

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  26. Thank to each one of you for all your wonderful comments! Im very proud of top 9 as well but I am in wonderful company. Congrats to everyone! : j

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  27. I love sweet and salty! Your presentation is beautiful, they should be in a magazine. :)

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  28. These look absolutely amazing! Congrats on the Top 9 today!! Well deserved!

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  29. Delicious cupcakes. Thanks for sharing!

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  30. These cupcakes are gorgeous...loved to have dropped at your space.

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  31. Beautiful cupcakes...and your garnishes are fantastic!

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  32. I want to make those no later then now !!
    they look amazing :D

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  33. Can't wait to try these! They are beautiful, thanks for sharing.

    Bernadette Niebuhr

    http://BernadettesDesserts-Catering.blogspot.com

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  34. I'm the girl who bites into every chocolate just because she loves them all equally and wants no one to feel left out. Although I do love a good sweet/salty mix. And these cupcakes look fantastic.

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  35. Now, THIS, is a wonderful cupcake!

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  36. These cupcakes look awesome and they scream foodie! I totally want one!

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