I want Autumn! I want Autumn! I want Autumn!! *Falls on the floor in a raging temper tantrum, kicking and screaming*
Sorry. I’m fine now. But I really am about done with Summer. I’m tired of trying to keep up with the weeds in the yard. Ok, I got tired of it a few weeks ago and my flower area now looks like a mini forest. I’m pretty sure there are fairies and elves hiding down in there, having nightly parties with my now lost in the weeds ceramic froggie. I heard him ribbiting for help a few days ago, but I was afraid to venture in and look for him. Russ would have had to send in the national guard to find ME.
What does any of this have to do with brownie cupcakes? Not a thing. I just felt like whining and making all of you have to listen. It works for my six year old; why not for me, too?
These are quite tasty. They are yet one more incarnation of the brown butter brownies I first made back in early 2013 (please forgive the completely atrocious photo in that post!) and have used in various ways since then. They really are some of the best brownies around. They are very chocolatey (which I was skeptical of with just cocoa, but they are), rich, with a mild nutty back flavor from the brown butter. In THIS incarnation, they are made into little cupcakes and then covered with a creamy, tangy orange buttercream that perfectly complements the brownie. So simple to make these, yet they are good enough for more than just the kids school lunches. Though they are great for that, too.
You know the drill…. 🙂
Fudgy Brownie Cupcakes With Tangy Orange Vanilla Buttercream
- Brownie Cupcakes-
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 3/4 cup unsweetened powder (NOT drink mix)
- 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon orange oil or orange extract (don’t use more here. The frosting is the orangey part. The little bit in here is just to tie it all together.)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons water
- 2 large eggs, cold from the fridge
- 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon flour
- Orange Vanilla Buttercream-
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temp
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 – 2/12 cups powdered sugar
- Position oven rack in the bottom third of oven and preheat to 325 degrees.
- Place foil cupcake liners (you can use the paper ones, but the foil comes off the brownies so much easier) into the cups of a muffin tin. I got ten brownie cupcakes from this.
- Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook until the butter isn’t foaming anymore and there are browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Stir often and keep an eye on this. It can go from lovely browned butter to a smelly burned mess in no time flat.
- Remove from the heat and immediately add in the cocoa, sugar, water, vanilla, orange oil and salt. Stir until well mixed.
- Let cool five minutes. Add the cold eggs to the hot mixture, one at a time, beating well (by hand) after each addition. When the mixture is thick and glossy, add in the flour. Beat for 60 or so strokes.
- Divide the batter evenly between the lined cupcake wells. Use about 1/4 cup for each. Bake at 325 until they a skewer inserted in the middle of one comes out with just a few moist crumbs on it; no loose batter and not completely clean, either. This will take from 15 to 18 minutes. Let cool in the pan for about 3 minutes, then gently take each cupcake out and let it finish cooling on a rack.
- As they cool, make your buttercream, which is easy peasy. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, orange zest, orange juice and vanilla extract. Slowly beat in the powdered sugar, a cup at a time (I always start by hand so that I and my whole house don’t end up covered in the powdery sugar). Beat until fluffy, smooth and creamy. You want a nice thick pipeable/spreadable frosting. After adding two cups of the sugar, beat well at high speed for about a full five minutes. If it’s a bit too thick, just drizzle in a touch more orange juice; a bit too thin, just add that last 1/2 cup of powdered sugar.
- Spread or pipe onto the cooled brownies and garnish as desired (I grated more zest over the tops)
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