Monday, October 10, 2016

Apple Butter Cupcakes {with Browned Butter Cinnamon Frosting}

You know we are big college football fans around here.  If it's a home game, we tailgate and if we don't go to the away games there are usually watch parties to attend.  Occasionally we have no plans and Mr. Devilish Dish and I like to use that opportunity to try out new recipe ideas for future game days.  The annual OU/Texas Game (aka The Red River Rivalry) is a big deal.  It's played in the Cotton Bowl at the Texas State Fair.  Almost the perfect mid point between Norman, OK and Austin, TX.  Normally we make the trip down to Dallas but this year we decided to watch from the comfort of our couch.  The game is almost always at 11:00 am, so all week I imagined a "tailgate brunch menu."  When I saw these Apple Butter Muffins from Dan and Scott over at Platter Talk: Food, Wine and Friends, I just knew the would be the ideal fall treat for our football menu.  My husband loves apple butter, and when we lived in Nebraska, we used to pick our own apples at a nearby orchard and I would can my own apple butter as holiday gifts.  Then Mr. Devilish gave my brunch idea the ax because quote, "I don't want to graze on breakfast food all day."  So what do you do when you already have the apple butter to make Apple Butter Muffins?  You add a butter cream frosting and call them Apple Butter Cupcakes.  These are perfectly marvelous, packed full of fall flavor.  The muffins are sprinkled with a streusel topping before baking.  I saved my streusel for garnish.  These are some of the prettiest and tastiest cupcakes I've made in a long time, and I'm really happy with the way they turned out.  Thank you Dan and Scott for the fabulous inspiration!

A Taste of Fall...
These are divine!
Oodles of Browned Butter Cinnamon Frosting
and a streusel topping...
You can't beat Apple Butter as a
flavor for an Autumn Cupcake.

Apple Butter Cupcakes with Browned Butter Cinnamon Frosting

inspired by: Platter Talk: Food, Wine and FriendsFor the Cupcakes:

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons cinnamon (I always use a Vietnamese Cinnamon, so much flavor!)
1 teaspoon cloves
1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup apple butter

For the Frosting:

1 stick unsalted butter
2 cups (or more) powdered sugar
2 tablespoons apple butter
2 tablespoons cinnamon (or to taste)
1-3 tablespoons milk

For the Streusel Topping:

1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup whole oats
1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 tablespoons cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a 12-cup standard muffin tin with paper liners and set aside.  In a bowl combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and cloves and set aside.  With an electric mixer cream together the unsalted butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar until smooth.  Add the eggs and vanilla.  Alternately add the flour mixture and the milk a little at a time, beginning and ending with flour.  Stir in the apple butter.  Place the batter in the lined muffin tin.  (I filled these pretty full, actually more full than I do a regular cupcake.  They rose up beautifully, but not too high to frost.)  Bake in a preheated oven for approximately 25-30 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the middle of the cupcake comes out clean.  Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.

While the cupcakes are cooking, in a small pot over medium-low heat, melt the butter.  Once the butter is melted, continue to cook until the butter starts to brown.  The butter will turn a golden brown color and develop a nutty aroma.  Watch carefully so it does not burn.  Stir up any browned bits and pour into a bowl.  Place in the refrigerator and allow the butter to set back up.  After the butter is solid again, with an electric mixture whip it until soft and fluffy.  Add in the powdered sugar a little bit at a time.  It's okay if it appears dry and crumbly, it will become more frosting-like in texture when you add the wet ingredients.  My jar of apple butter was approximately 10 ounces, so there was just a small amount left.  I added it to the frosting for extra flavor, but still needed some milk to further moisten the mixture.  Add in the cinnamon.  And beat until fluffy.  At this point it's really a matter of taste and the consistency of frosting you desire.  I don't have any set measurements, when I make frosting, I just keep adding powdered sugar or milk until I get the consistency I need to put in a piping bag.  That part is up to you!

Combine the ingredients for the streusel topping in a small bowl.  Use a pastry cutter (or even better: your fingers) to combine the mixture until it is crumbly and grainy.  Since I did not use the streusel on the actual batter before baking, and only for garnish I had quite a bit left.  You can either cut back on the amount you make, sprinkle some on top of the batter before baking or save the remaining streusel topping for another use.  (Mine is in the refrigerator, I'm planning on making a coffee cake or something this week.)

When the cupcakes have cooled completely, frost them with the Browned Butter Cinnamon Frosting and garnish with the streusel topping.  Enjoy a taste of fall!

Makes 12 standard-sized cupcakes

Prep Time:  Approximately 1 hour total                Cook Time:  Approximately 30 minutes

Monday, October 3, 2016

Cilantro Chicken Curry

We love curry dishes around here.  Anything with a lot of spice and flavor.  I make Butter Chicken a lot, and I've been experimenting with some Korma dishes using the sous vide technique.  I'm not a huge fan of coconut milk, or curries with a sweeter flavor so I tend to lean more toward Indian cuisine rather than Indonesian or Thai recipes (although Mr. DD and the Little Devil LOVE Thai food!)  I saw this recipe for Cilantro Chicken on Divya's Culinary Journey and I knew right away it was a recipe the entire family could agree on.  Divya shares recipes from a variety of cuisines on her blog, but my favorite are the ones with authentic Indian flavor.  Of course when I started making this recipe I realized I was out of a couple of the ingredients, so as usual I just started adapting things my way.  My result may not be truly authentic but the flavor was amazing.  Shout out to Divya for the inspiration!
Cilantro Chicken Curry
Very easy and so much flavor.
Serve over Basmati Rice, with fresh cooked Naan Bread
and garnish with yogurt and fresh cilantro.

Cilantro Chicken Curry

Inspired by Divya's Culinary Journey

1 pound chicken breasts, cubed
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon chili powder, divided
1 teaspoon cumin powder, divided
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 large onion, chopped and divided
1 large tomato, diced
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger (or the kind in the squeeze bottle is soooo handy!)

In a small food processor combine the cilantro, 1/4 cup of the chopped onion, 1/2 teaspoon chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder, garlic and ginger.  Process until you have a fragrant paste.  Set aside.

In a pan over medium-high heat add the vegetable oil and let it get hot.  Saute the remaining chopped onion until it is translucent.  Season with 1/2 teaspoon chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper and 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder and add the chopped tomato.  Cook for 2-3 minutes.  Add in the cilantro paste and cook, stirring constantly until the raw smell is gone. It will be very fragrant and smell delicious at this point.  Season the chicken cubes generously with salt and pepper and add to the pan.  Let simmer approximately 15-20 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.  Serve over Basmati Rice with freshly toasted Naan Bread and garnish with fresh yogurt and cilantro if desired.

Prep Time:  Approximately 10 minutes     Cook Time:  Approximately 25 minutes
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