Death by Butterbeer Cupcakes w/Treacle Butter Frosting + Chocolate Covered Pretzels.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup brown sugar
3 large eggs
½ cup canola oil
1 teaspoon butter extract
Seeds from one vanilla bean, divided
½ cup buttermilk
½ cup pumpkin beer (or cream soda)
1 cup toffee bits (optional)
1 (11 ounce) bag butterscotch chips
½ cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon honey
Treacle Butter Frosting + Chocolate Pretzels
30-40 mini pretzel twists
9 ounces semi-sweet or milk chocolate, melted
8 tablespoons salted butter, softened
2 teaspoons unsulphured molasses
1 ¾ cup powdered sugar (or more if desired)
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon butter extract
1/3 cup Butterbeer sauce (directions above)
2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
Broom stick cookies, for decorating (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 standard cupcake pans with 18 liners.
In a medium size mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and brown sugar.
In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs, canola oil, butter extract, seeds from half a vanilla bean and the buttermilk. Beat until smooth.
Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients with the mixer on low until there are no longer any clumps of flour. Add the beer and mix until combined. Batter should be pourable, but not super thin. Stir in the toffee bits - if using.
Fill baking cups three-fourths full. Bake for about 18-22 minutes. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
Meanwhile, make the Butterbeer sauce. Add the butterscotch chips, cream and honey to a small sauce pot. Set over low heat, stirring often until melted and smooth. Remove from the heat.
To make the frosting, melt chocolate in the microwave on 30 second intervals, stirring between each, until smooth. You may also use a double broiler. Dip each pretzel in chocolate, allowing excess to drip off. Place on wax paper lined cookie sheets and chill in the freezer until firm, about 10 minutes.
Add the butter, molasses and powdered sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer (or use a hand held mixer). Beat the butter and powdered sugar together until the butter is light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add the cocoa powder, vanilla and butter extract. Beat, scrapping down the sides as needed another 2 minutes or until there are no streaks of white. Beat in 1/3 cup butterbeer sauce + the seeds from ½ of the remaining vanilla bean until smooth and creamy. Add 2 tablespoons of the heavy cream and whip the frosting for 2-4 minutes or until light and fluffy. Taste the frosting and add more powdered sugar if you like a sweeter or thicker frosting.
Now take about 1/3 to ½ the chocolate covered pretzels and finely chop them. Stir the pretzels into the frosting. Skip this step if you like a smooth frosting.
To assemble the cupcakes, pipe frosting onto each cupcakes (or just smooth it on with a knife). Garnish each cupcake with a chocolate covered pretzel. If needed, warm the butterbeer sauce until just smooth enough to drizzle. Drizzle each cupcake with butterbeer sauce just before serving. Sink your teeth in!