Here’s something you can do with all that Halloween candy that’s sitting around the house—bake it into a cupcake! These are Almond Joy candy bars baked into a vanilla cupcake, topped with vanilla buttercream, almonds, and chocolate ganache. (Add a little coconut extract to the frosting if you want a more intense coconut experience!)
For the cupcakes you’ll need:
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
1 1/2 c. granulated sugar
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
2 t. vanilla
2 1/2 c. flour
1 1/3 c. whole milk
18 Fun Size Almond Joy candy bars
For the buttercream you’ll need:
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
2 c. powdered sugar
2 t. vanilla extract (or coconut would also be delicious!)
For the chocolate ganache you’ll need:
4 oz. semi-sweet chocolate
2 T. whole milk
1 T. unsalted butter
about 1/2 cup whole almonds
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees (F).
Cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and stir until combined. Then add the baking soda, baking powder, vanilla, and salt. Mix for about a minute, until creamy (be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl once or twice, to ensure everything is getting worked in). Then add the milk and flour, alternating between the two ingredients (to avoid lumps) until the batter is smooth and everything is well combined.
Scoop a heaping tablespoon into paper-lined cupcake tins, then plop one Almond Joy piece into each cup and gently press it into the batter. Spoon another tablespoon of batter over the top, covering the candy bar and filling the cupcake tin until it’s about 3/4 of the way full.
Bake for about 22-25 minutes, until the cake is golden brown and set (it will bounce back when you gently press your finger into a cupcake).
Allow the cupcakes to cool, while you make the chocolate ganache and buttercream.
For the ganache, put the chocolate and milk into a small microwave-safe bowl and cook in the microwave for 20 seconds on high. Stir, and repeat until the chocolate is completely melted (it will take about a minute). Then stir in the butter until it’s melted and combined. Set aside.
For the buttercream, whip up the butter to get it good and creamy. Then add the powdered sugar a cup at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl between additions (to make sure everything is getting incorporated). Drizzle in some vanilla, mix some more, and give it a taste to make sure you have enough vanilla and sugar. Once you have the desired texture and taste, pipe a mound onto all the cupcakes and top with a few almonds.
When the chocolate ganache has cooled (the butter and cream will keep it from completely hardening), drizzle it over the tops of the cupcakes.
My cookbook, Bake It in a Cupcake: 50 Treats With a Surprise Inside, is available now at: Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, and Indiebound.com!