Ooooo...this is a yummy one! From the August/September 2010 issue of Taste of the South.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners and set aside. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, beat the brown sugar and butter at medium-high speed with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, approximately 5 minutes. Reduce speed to low and add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
Add flour mixture, alternating with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Fold in the pecans and vanilla. divide batter evenly among the muffin cups. Tap pan against the counter to release air bubbles. Bake until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 18-20 minutes. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes; remove from pan and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Place Brown Sugar Buttercream Frosting in a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip. Pipe cupcakes with frosting or spread evenly on cupcakes. Spoon melted chocolate into a heavy-duty resealable plastic bag. Snip a small hole in a corner of the bag and drizzle on cupcakes.
Just before serving, top each cupcake with a Pecan-Topped Pastry Round. Makes 12 cupcakes.
Brown Sugar Buttercream Frosting
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 T. water
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup plus 2 T. butter, softened and divided
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2-3 T. whole milk
In a small saucepan, combine the brown sugar, water and salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook until the sugar is dissolved, approximately 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in the 2 T. butter. Let cool completely.
In a large bowl, beat the cooled brown-sugar mixture and the remaining 1/2 cup butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Add powdered sugar and enough milk to achieve a spreadable consistency.
Pecan-Topped Pastry Rounds
1/2 of a refrigerated pie dough package
1 T. dark corn syrup
1 T butter, melted
1/8 tsp. salt
12 pecan halves
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Place dough on a lightly floured surface. Cut 12 rounds using a 1 1/4 inch fluted cutter. Reserve scraps for another use.
In a small bowl, combine the syrup, melted butter and salt; lightly brush over the dough rounds. Gently press 1 pecan half onto each dough round. Lightly brush tops of pecans with the butter mixture. Bake until dough is golden brown, about 6-8 minutes. Let cool completely.
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup whole milk, at room temperature
2/3 cup toasted chopped pecans
1 tsp. vanilla
1 recipe Brown Sugar Buttercream Frosting
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate morsels, melted
1 recipe Pecan-topped Pastry Rounds