These cupcakes are awesome!!! I make them every Christmas along with my other S.L. desserts. I would love to make them more often but I would find myself wanting to eat all 18!!! YUM!!!!! They are no doubt one of our family favorites over the holiday!! I use almond paste instead of vanilla paste because I can't find vanilla paste anywhere. They still taste outstanding!! I do recommend making 2 batches because they will not last.
Brown Sugar-Pecan Cupcakes
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- 3/4 cup chopped pecans
- 1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
- 1/4 cup shortening
- 1 cup granulated sugar, divided
- 3 large eggs, separated
- 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- Browned Butter Frosting
- Bake pecans in a shallow pan at 350°, stirring occasionally, 8 minutes or until toasted. Cool completely. Process 1/4 cup pecans in a food processor until finely chopped. Set aside.
- Beat butter and shortening at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy; gradually add 3/4 cup granulated sugar, beating well. Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition. Stir in vanilla bean paste.
- Combine flour and baking soda; add to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour. Beat at low speed until blended after each addition.
- Beat egg whites at medium speed until soft peaks form; add remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff peaks form. Fold one-third of egg whites into batter; fold in remaining egg whites and 1/2 cup toasted pecans. Spoon batter into paper-lined muffin cups, filling two-thirds full.
- Bake at 350° for 22 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 5 minutes on a wire rack. Remove from pans, and cool completely.
- Combine reserved 1/4 cup finely chopped pecans and brown sugar in a small bowl. Spread a generous 2 tablespoons Browned Butter Frosting onto each cupcake. Sprinkle tops of cupcakes with pecan-sugar mixture.
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