Saturday, March 15, 2008

Cupcake Hero: Marshmallow Almond Butter Cupcakes

This month's Cupcake Hero challenge proved to be a fun one! I wasn't sure how things would go when I found out that the ingredient of the month was marshmallow. I mean, I love S'mores, but beyond that, I really don't eat the sticky, gooey, sugary confection. I was definitely up for the challenge though, since I had a half-used jar of marshmallow creme sitting in my cupboard. I began to think of all the things I could do with marshmallow. I quickly crossed the idea of a S'more cupcake off my list, since I figure ANYONE could come up with that, and I was sure it would be done by at least a few of my fellow cupcake-ers.

As I was making my grocery list and perusing the ad for Trader Joe's, I came across an ad for creamy, smooth almond butter. I suddenly had a thought. Would almond and marshmallow go well together? I thought they might...better than almond and peanut butter, I thought. I bought my first jar ever of almond butter, and started devising a plan. My first thought was to make almond butter cupcakes with marshmallow frosting, but I'm not really a fan of the idea of just using the ingredient of the month in my frosting - I really wanted to incorporate it through and through into my recipe.

After reading Tempered Woman's recipe for Peanut Butter cupcakes, I decided to adapt it for my needs. Thanks, girl, you're the best! :) (wink, wink)

I only made some minor changes to the recipe, such as changing the peanut butter to almond butter. I also did some other minor experimentation, which I'll get into later.

Like I said, I didn't want to exclude marshmallow from the cupcakes themselves, so I decided I would try to give them a marshmallow filling. I wasn't sure if I wanted to try to pipe thick, gooey marshmallow cream into the finished cuppys, or just put a marshmallow in them before baking. Since I was unsure, I decided to give making my own marshmallow cream a try, and decide from that point. Until researching for these cupcakes, I had no idea you could make your own marshmallows! How fun is that?
Sweet, sticky goodness.

I let this sit in the refrigerator overnight. Turns out this pretty much blew my chance of piping it in the next morning! It was set nice and a very sticky marshmallow. Oh well. That made up my mind for me...I would be plopping a drop of this ooey gooey stickiness into the middle of my cupcakes.

Just like TW, I did my first batch by swirling the nut butter into the batter, already in the tin.
I then attempted to drop a dollop of marshmallow into the cupcake and press down. It didn't want to go. Who would have thought that something so light and full of air would want to float on top of the batter? Sheesh. So, I baked them anyway.
OMG...don't they look yummy?
For round two, I decided to swirl the almond butter directly into the batter before placing it into the tins, since it was rather difficult the first time around.

I also decided to put the marshmallow in the cup first, and put the batter over the top. Not sure that was such a great idea.

They still look yummy, but they didn't rise nearly as much, and the stickiness in the bottom made them pretty near impossible to get out of the wrapper.
See, CB, I scraped my bowl out very well...just for you!

I think that next time I would combine my two experiments, and mix the almond butter in with the batter before placing it in the cupcake liners, but I would still put the marshmallow on top of the batter.

I made Fluffernutter frosting to top the cuppys with. Again, it includes both marshmallow and almond butter! My whole intent for these cupcakes was to use my jar of marshmallow creme, but since I had so much of my homemade marshmallow left, I decided to use it for my frosting as well.

See how cute these babies are? yummy. They are good naked too...but more like a muffin. The frosting definitely upgrades their status!!! The husband couldn't wait to sink his teeth into one. His words? "These are bad ass." He rated them as some of my better cupcakes. :) I have to say, I am pretty prouf of them myself. :) They are going to a party tonight....let's see if any of them survive!

Now....for the recipes!

Almond Butter Cupcakes

Made 22 cupcakes
3/4 cup (12 T) Butter
3/4 cup Sugar
4 Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla
1/3 cup Buttermilk
1 3/4 cups sifted AP Flour
1/4 tsp Salt
2 tsp Baking Powder
16 oz. Almond Butter (some for cupcakes and some for frosting)

Cream together butter and sugar until light, 2 minutes. Add in eggs one at a time, until fully incorporated. Add buttermilk. Add vanilla. Stir in flour, salt and baking powder on low just until flour is incorporated. Fill cupcake liner with batter about 2/3 full.
Scoop 1 T of almond butter onto cupcake batter and gently swirl in to marble somewhat. Drop marshmallow cream into center of cupcake and gently push down. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Marshmallows for filling:
3 packages unflavored gelatin
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
Confectioners' sugar for dusting

Combine the gelatin and 1/2 cup of cold water in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and allow to sit while you make the syrup.

Meanwhile, combine the sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Raise the heat to high and cook until the syrup reaches 240 degrees on a candy thermometer. Remove from the heat. With the mixer on low speed slowly pour the sugar syrup into the dissolved gelatin. Put the mixer on high speed and whip until the mixture is very thick, about 15 minutes. Add the
vanilla and mix thoroughly.

Fluffernutter Frosting
1 cup marshmallow creme
1/2 cup almond butter
1/3 cup butter or margarine -- softened
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons milk


In small bowl with mixer at low speed, combine marshmallow creme, almond butter and butter until blended. Increase speed to medium. Beat in salt and confectioners' sugar alternately with milk, adding just enough milk to make frosting smooth and spreadable. Beat in vanilla.


zebe912 said...

Haha, I love the bowl scraping photo! Very nicely done, I might add. These sound yummy & unique!

Alanna said...

Thanks! They were a lot of fun to make. I <3 experimenting in the kitchen!

CH said...

OMG they look like heaven in a cupcake paper. Amazing! Thanks so much Alanna!

Gretchen Noelle said...

What a fun cupcake! The almond butter and marshmellow sounds like a great combo!

CB said...

Props on the bowl scraping skillz! haha. Cupcakes look fab. Great job!

noble pig said...

Wow, those. look. amazing. How creative you are. I love gooey marshmallow everything.

Rachel said...

You amaze me with your cupcaking skills.

Tempered Woman said...

Almond butter~ very creative! These cupcakes sound incredibly good. Not that I'm biased or feeling buttered up or anything, heheh. Great entry~ thanks!