Maple Pralined Pecans; I made this recipe a dozen times without fail except for once, this past Christmas. You’re supposed to put 1 cup of maple syrup in a saucepan with one cup of pecans, bring to a boil and stir for about 15 minutes until the syrup crystallizes onto the pecans. I stirred for like a half hour and nothing happened. The whole thing was a burnt, mapley mess. But, I decided to try again, telling myself I must have measured wrong or something last time. So I measure and mix and boil and stir and sure enough after 15 minutes nothing was happening, again. So before the whole thing burned again, I threw 2 tablespoons of butter into the mix, stirred and dumped everything onto my baking sheet. Lo and behold, a few minutes later after it had cooled, I had the most wonderful fudge-like maple pecan brittle I had ever tasted! Well, now I had my topping! Not wanting to overwhelm the cupcakes with maple, I made an apple-pecan cupcake with a maple frosting.
The maple taste is not very strong in the frosting alone but add the chopped up brittle and we’re in business! The cupcakes themselves, without frosting are really moist and fluffy, and the brittle, well, it’s a wonder I still had any to garnish the cupcakes! I had so much fun with this event and I learned a few things about myself : I can come back from a failed recipe with a back-up plan, which is always a good thing, and I can decorate cupcakes! Thanks for hosting such a great event Arfi!
Apple Pecan Cupcakes
Adapted from Allrecipes.com
I made 58 mini-cupcakes with this recipe, but I assume it would make 12 large cupcakes.
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour
1 3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk
2 cups finely chopped apples
3/4 cup finely chopped, roasted pecans
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Line cupcake molds of choice with paper liners.
In a medium bowl, cream together the sugar and butter. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Combine flour, baking powder and salt, add to the creamed mixture, alternating with the milk, stirring until batter is smooth. Fold in the apples and pecans. Spoon batter into the cupcake molds.
Bake for about 20 minutes in the preheated oven. Cupcakes are done when they spring back to the touch.
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cups of confectioner’s sugar, sifted
6 tbsp maple syrup
Cream butter with an electric mixer, add confectioner’s sugar and maple syrup. Beat well. You can add more confectioner’s sugar for a thicker frosting. Also this recipe doubles easily.
Maple Pecan Brittle
Adapted from Ricardo Volume 3, Number 3
1 cup maple syrup
1 cup pecans
2 tbsp butter
In a medium saucepan, combine maple syrup and pecans. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and stir for 15 minutes. Add butter, stir to combine and quickly spread onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Let cool and break into pieces. Enjoy as is or chop up to decorate cupcakes.
Note: if after only 15 minutes the syrup crystallizes onto the pecans: Congratulations! You’ve made pralined pecans, something I’m apparently not able to do anymore. Just omit the butter and quickly spread onto a parchment lined baking sheet. They can also be eaten as is or chopped up to decorate the cupcakes.