Saturday, April 25, 2009

Cinnamon Brown Sugar Cupcakes with Blueberry Cream Cheese Frosting

A few weeks ago I promised two of my co-workers cupcakes if they help me finish the New York Times Crossword Puzzle. I was working days and they were here much later into the night, so it was something to when things got slow. I had left about 10 answers blank and they were able to get all but one. I figured that was pretty good for the Times Puzzle and set about to come up with a fun and special cupcake. I got some requests, but ultimately went with something I was excited about. Although I'm still thinking about a candy bar inspired cupcake, I went with my most recent inspiration. I'm not sure where this one came from, but I was at my desk the other day and the idea of a cinnamon brown sugar cupcake came to me and rather than do just a basic cream cheese frosting I thought blueberries would make it just a bit more special and a bit more springlike.

Cinnamon Brown Sugar Cupcakes
makes 16-18 cupcakes or 32-34 minis

2 cups flour
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup room temperature butter
1 room temperature egg
1 cinnamon stick
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp ground cinnamon

1. Place milk and cinnamon stick in a small saucepan. Bring milk just to a boil and remove from heat cover and let cinnamon stick steep in milk for 3o minutes.
2. Preheat oven to 350F. In a large bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar until well combined and fluffy. Mix in egg and vanilla.
3. Mix together flour, baking powder salt and cinnamon. Add flour and milk alternately to the butter and sugar mixture, beginning and ending with the flour.
4. For mini cupcakes, place 1 Tbsp of mix into paper-lined cupcake tin. For regular cupcakes, place 2-3 Tbsp of mix into paper lined cupcake tin. Note: due to the baking powder the cupcakes rise, so fill each cup 1/2-2/3 full. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove to a cooling rack and cool completely before frosting.

Blueberry Cream Cheese Frosting

1 4.4 oz container of blueberries
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp water
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 8 oz package of cream cheese - room temperature
1 stick butter - room temperature
2 lbs icing sugar

1. Place blueberries, lemon juice, water and cinnamon in a small saucepan and cook over medium low heat until blueberries start to break down to form a sauce. Cook until liquid reduces to a syrupy consistency. Set aside to cool completely.
2. In a large bowl, beat together cream cheese and butter. Add icing sugar 2 Tbsp at a time until extremely stiff (more stiff that you'd normally like since the blueberries will thin out the icing a bit) you may not need all the icing sugar.
3. Gently fold in the blueberry mixture. If the icing have loosed up too much, beat in a few more Tbsp of icing sugar. Ice cupcakes with an offset spatula or piping bag and tip.

I have to say these are my most favorite cupcakes that I've made to date. Just the right amount of cinnamon flavor with the fresh burst of blueberries and cream cheese. Yum! My co-workers agreed and really seemed to like them. Although they like when I bring anything in so I am beginning to wonder if they would tell me if something was bad. The litmus test was the boy, a professed hater of cream cheese frosting and something that was nearly our demise a few months ago due to my love of cream cheese frosting, but he LOVED these. When I was leaving for work, he asked that I just leave him one mini cupcake to taste and ended up being bummed I didn't leave more. These will definitely be my new go-to cupcake, until of I come up with something else of course. Enjoy!

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