Saturday, March 05, 2011

Butter Lane (is in my ears and in my eyes...and in my tum-tum!)

Recently, a friend of mine got in on a Groupon deal to take a cupcake-making class at Butter Lane, my favorite cupcake shop in NYC, for $25! That includes a dozen cupcakes to take home, and they sell those for three bucks apiece in the shop! So it's like they're paying YOU to take the class! Well, as you can imagine, I was very jealous of my friend, especially as I live in a city that's too small to be able to use Groupon! Boo hiss!

So what's a gal to do but to make her own cupcakes? Luckily, I found this blog where the author took the same class as my friend and documented her experience, including sharing their recipes for banana cupcakes and cream cheese frosting. Mind you, this very cupcake was profiled by Ted Allen on Food Network's "The Best Thing I Ever Ate" as the best cupcake in the City.  I don't even like bananas, and I have to concur!

Of course, I can never leave well enough alone, so I made my own way with the frosting. I added some local, Grade B maple syrup and a whole bunch of buttered pecans, and in doing so, I may well have produced one of the best baked goods to ever come out of my kitchen! (This was confirmed by my top three most faithful taste testers.)

If you're in the Big Apple, you have to check out Butter Lane. You have your choice of vanilla, chocolate or banana cupcakes, with a whole menu of different frostings, including both American and French buttercreams. In the meantime, MAKE THESE:

Butter Lane's Banana Cupcakes
(Should make 15 cupcakes...I got 18!)

1 stick butter, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 eggs (mix the second egg, and approximate half)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups cake flour (or 1 1/4 cups all-purpose)
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
pinch salt
1 cup pureed bananas (about three)

Cream butter and sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until light and fluffy. Add half the flour mixture followed by half the buttermilk and repeat. Fold in banana mixture on low speed, finishing folding by hand. Scoop with ice cream dasher into lined muffin tins about 2/3 to 3/4 full. Bake at 300 for 23-28 minutes (until a tester comes out with a few moist crumbs). Cool cupcakes completely before frosting.

Maple Pecan Cream Cheese Frosting

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 stick of (salted) butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons maple syrup (preferably, Grade B)
1 cup pecans browned in 2 tablespoons butter, cooled and chopped

In a large saute pan over medium heat, melt two tablespoons of butter. Add one cup of whole pecans and brown them in the pan, stirring frequently. When the nuts have turned a deep golden brown and smell toasty, remove from heat and cool the nuts completely. When cool, chop with a large knife into fairly small pieces.

Beat the cream cheese and butter for five minutes. On low speed, mix in powdered sugar, then add vanilla and maple syrup and mix for another three minutes until very smooth. Finally, add the buttered pecan pieces and mix until thoroughly combined.


Stefie said...

Thanks for the plug to my blog entry :)

Cyd said...

I would give a year of my life to have a batch of these all to myself.