toffee cupcakes

I have so many things to tell you about dessert.

The first one being the most important: I HAD PRETZEL JELL-O. After several posts (by both Erin and myself) mentioning my strong, hypothetical distaste for pretzel Jello, I can now say I have converted. I am a pretzel Jello believer.

I still haven’t made it yet, though. See, Joe’s mom, Jackie, surprised me with it as a side dish at dinner on Friday night. It was quite suspenseful as she walked into the kitchen holding a casserole dish over her head and saying that I couldn’t look because it was a surprise for me. And while everyone else laughed knowingly, I stood there terrified of what it could possibly be. And it was pretzel Jello (she’s a blog reader)!

I begrudgingly took a slice and had it as my first bite at dinner. I immediately loved it and wanted to tell Erin about my recent conversion. It’s sweet, buttery, crunchy, and fresh all in one. I will most certainly be making it soon. And thank you Jackie for making me take the leap into the weird, magical land of pretzel Jello.

Now that you’ve had three paragraphs about my first experience with a Jello side dish, perhaps we should move onto the cupcakes.

I call these toffee cupcakes because they are a mishmash of flavors, but when you take a bite they taste just like a giant Heath bar. 

The cupcake itself has more of a muffin consistency, which in my opinion is a plus because they taste just as fresh the next day. The cake is a real winner, so even if you don’t like the toppings I chose I’d imagine it would be delicious with any frosting you love.

Toffee Cupcakes

*makes 12 cupcakes

For the cake (adapted from How Sweet Eats):

- 1 c light brown sugar, packed

- 1 egg

- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

- 1/2 c salted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature

- 3/4 c milk

- 3/4 c all-purpose flour or cake flour

- 3/4 c whole wheat flor

- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a bowl, whisk together butter, egg, and brown sugar. Add vanilla and milk and whisk until smooth.

In a separate bowl, combine flours and baking soda. Slowly add dry ingredients to wet mixture until completely combined using a hand mixer or whisk.

Pour batter into a muffin tin lined with cupcake papers using an ice cream scoop or 1/4 cup measure. Bake for 16 minutes or until cake bounces back to the touch.

For the frosting:

- 1/4 c butter, softened to room temperature

- 1/2 c creamy peanut butter

- 1-2 Tbs milk, as needed

- 1 c confectioners’ sugar

Beat butter and peanut butter together in a medium bowl with a hand mixer until fluffy. Gradually mix in sugar using 1/2 increments and add milk to thin the mixture as needed. Frost cupcakes only once completely cooled.

For the toppings:

- sliced almonds, lightly toasted

- 1/2 c semisweet chocolate chips

- 1/4 c heavy cream or milk

Put chocolate chips and milk in a microwave-safe bowl. Melt chips in microwave at 30 second increments until mixture is smooth. Drizzle on top of frosted cupcakes and top with almonds.

Enjoy!

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