Play Date

Yesterday I had the day off and I embarked on a journey that I have never embarked on before - baking cupcakes. From scratch. It was my friend Aja's birthday, we were having a girl's night and my sister and I wanted a project. So, perfect.

This month's Food Network magazine had a whole feature on candy bar cupcakes: York Peppermint Patties, Nestle Crunch Bars, Almond Joys, Reeses Peanut Butter Cups, Butterfingers and Snickers. I let Aja choose and her fave was Snickers.

Let it be known, the picture below was definitely taken with the help of a food stager.

But before we could start we had to make a trip to Target. (And let's be honest, every day off deserves a trip to Target.) They had a whole little collection of cupcake accessores, including these cute toppers.

Did I mention these cupcakes took us about 7 hours from start to finish? We had a couple of distractions. ; )
I was going to try to be all Pioneer Womanesque and take step-by-step pictures. But there is a reason why only about 100 of you guys read this blog everyday and thousands read hers.
Since I know you guys all come here for recipes, here is everything you need:

For the Cupcakes:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup whole milk
2 cups chopped salted roasted peanuts, plus more for garnish

For the Nougat Frosting:
2 13-ounce jars marshmallow creme (about 4 cups)
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
Pinch of salt

For the Chocolate Frosting:
6 ounces milk chocolate, chopped
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup whole milk
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt

Make the cupcakes: Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Line two 12-cup muffin pans with paper liners. Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.

In another bowl, beat the eggs and both sugars with a mixer until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Gradually beat in the melted butter and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, add half of the flour mixture, the milk and then the remaining flour. Fold in the peanuts but don't overmix.

Divide the batter evenly among the prepared cups, filling each about halfway. Bake until a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean, 20 to 22 minutes. Let cool in the pans 10 minutes, then transfer to racks to cool completely.

Make the nougat frosting: Beat the marshmallow creme, peanut butter and salt with a mixer until smooth; set aside. Make the chocolate frosting: Put both chocolates in a large microwave-safe bowl and microwave on 50 percent power until soft, about 1 minute. Stir, then continue to microwave until melted, 1 to 2 more minutes. Add the confectioners' sugar, milk, butter, vanilla and salt and beat with a mixer until smooth and creamy.

Spread nougat frosting over each cupcake, then top with chocolate frosting, leaving some of the nougat exposed. Garnish with peanuts.

And then we had to play again.

And we had a change of clothes. (Note the new shirt.)

Oh, and we changed locations. We got to see Uncle Tommy.

3 hours was time to ice. This is the "nougat" topping.

Notice how these look NOTHING like the picture. It was my first time, though.

The verdict: I think they were a little too dense and maybe needed to be a little more moist and sweet. And they were SUPER sticky. I did find a blog today, Pardon my Crumbs and here were the notes she made on her blog.

1- Use slightly fewer peanuts than the recipe calls for. Maybe 1 1/2 cups instead of 2 full cups. She said the actual cupcakes had a few too many peanuts in them for her taste.

2- She could only find 7oz. Marshmallow Creme jars at her local grocery store, while the recipe calls for two 13oz. jars. She bought four to equal the amount called for in the recipe, and realized that two jars was more than enough. So keep those notes in mind when you make these beauties.

3- The nougat was a bit hard to work with and the chocolate glaze ended up sliding off the top of the nougat. My thought? Top the cupcakes with the nougat, refrigerate them until the nougat sets, and then top with the chocolate glaze. The chocolate should stay that way.

I 100% concur. But I will take a cupcake making day with my sister and Finley any day!


  1. They were DELISH!!! Thanks so much for making them- you are too sweet!

    And I totally agree on the magazine/food staging. I'm not entirely convinced that what they photograph is even real!

  2. I'm sorry, what? This post was about cupcakes? Huh, I didn't get that. All I saw was precious baby Finley. Have I mentioned recently that her cuteness is just NOT right? No? Well, it isn't.

    It is also saying something that I have "whispy-cute" hair envy from a 4 month old.


  3. Hi, Katie,
    Since I was in Dallas for the last three days, I am catching up on your blog. I think you did a great job on your cupcakes. I loved everything I read, and I especially love the pictures of Finley. I hope I get to see her in person someday soon!!!
    Love, Aunt Angie


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