Monday, October 14, 2013

Monday Munchies - Buster Bar Cupcakes

I've mentioned before that for each of my friends' birthdays, I like to fix them a dessert of their choice. Last year I had a little party for my friend Aaron and when I asked if he knew what he wanted for his birthday dessert, he didn't even have to think about it.  He started raving about this buster bar dessert his mom used to make him and how it was one of his favorites and said he wanted that.  Now, I know better than to try to make mama's dessert, cause it's just never going to be the same, so I decided to tweak it and make him buster bar cupcakes instead!  These are so easy and everyone loved them!  The only thing to keep in mind is that you have to wait for different parts of the dessert to cool or freeze before moving on to the next step, so make sure to allow time for them to fully set!  Also, I think these would be awesome to try with some different flavor combinations.  Ever since I made them last year I've thought how good coffee ice cream with chocolate covered espresso beans would be on top.  What flavor combinations would you like to try?

Buster Bar Cupcakes
24 foil cupcake liners
1 batch of your favorite brownie batter (don't worry, no one will judge if it's a Betty Crocker boxed mix)
1/2 gallon mint chip ice cream (or any other flavor you want) 
Spanish Peanuts (I didn't really measure these out, just sprinkle however many you want on top of the cupcakes)
Chocolate ganache (or a jar of chocolate fudge would work as well)

Line two muffin tins with the foil cupcake liners.  Mix up the brownie batter and drop 1 - 1.5 T. into each cupcake liner.  Bake at 350 degrees for 6-8 minutes or until the brownies are cooked through.  Let the brownies cool to room temp, then put them in the freezer (still in the muffin tins) for 30 minutes.  When you put the brownies in the freezer, take the ice cream out and put it into your fridge to soften.  And set a timer so you don't forget your ice cream and end up with ice cream soup!

Take the muffin tins out of the freezer and place a scoop of ice cream into each foil liner on top of the brownie.  Squish it down and spread it evenly with a spoon.  Do this step as quickly as possible and return to the freezer for 15 minutes.  After 15 minutes, take the cupcakes back out and sprinkle some of the peanuts on top, then return to freezer for another 45 minutes.  If you're making ganache instead of using canned hot fudge, now is a great time to get that started.

Once the cupcakes are firm, take them out of the freezer and top with a heaping teaspoonful of ganache or hot fudge, you want enough to mostly cover the peanuts.  You may need to use a spoon to spread it evenly over the top of the cupcake.  When finished, put the cupcakes back into the freezer until ready to serve.

These are best if they are removed from the freezer about 5 minutes before serving.  It lets them soften the perfect amount before they are devoured!

And if you're interested, here's the chocolate ganache recipe I used:

3/4 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips or chunks
1/4 cup heavy cream

Put chocolate chips in a small bowl. Bring cream to a simmer in a small heavy saucepan. Pour cream evenly over chocolate. Let stand for one minute to soften, then stir until smooth. Ganache will continue to thicken as it stands, so just wait until it's the desired thickness, and stir occasionally while waiting.

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