Heath Bar Cupcakes

One of my favorite candies at Christmas is California Toffee Brittle from See’s. I could probably eat a half pound in a day or two, no joke. But….. since we live so far away from a See’s store, the next best thing is a Heath Bar. This afternoon I opened the refrigerator and was happy to find one in the door.  Unfortunately one bar doesn’t go very far (at least if you’re me), so I chopped it up and made cupcakes with it. The cupcake itself is filled with flecks of baking bits which help to give it a nice buttery toffee flavor. They’re topped with a chocolate buttercream and then rolled in Heath Bar chucks. All I can say is that they will definitely satisfy any toffee (or chocolate) craving! Yum!

Heath Bar Cupcakes
Ingredients
¾ c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1½ c. all-purpose flour
1½ c. granulated sugar
1½ tsp. baking soda
¾ tsp. baking powder
¾ tsp. salt
2 large eggs
¾ c. warm water + 1/8 tsp. espresso powder
¾ c. buttermilk
3 tbsp. canola oil
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 c. Heath English Toffee Baking Bits

Chocolate buttercream frosting:
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
½ c. unsweetened cocoa powder (natural, not Dutch-process)
¼ c. milk
2¼ c. confectioner’s sugar
½ tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. light corn syrup (optional)
Pinch of salt

1 Heath Bar, chopped (for garnish)

DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 1 cupcake pan with liners, set aside.
2. In a medium size mixing bowl, whisk or sift together flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add eggs, warm water w/ espresso powder, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla. Mix on medium speed until smooth. Turn down speed to low and slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture. Mix until smooth (no flour/cocoa pockets remain), about 3 minutes. Remove bowl from stand and fold in toffee baking bits.
4. Divide batter evenly among cups, filling ⅔ of the way full. Place in oven and bake for 20-21 minutes, or until the tops spring back when touched and a cake tester comes out clean. Be careful not to over bake!
5. Remove from oven, allow them to sit for 3-4 minutes in the pan, and then transfer to a wire rack to cool. Prepare frosting, pipe and top with chopped Heath Bar chunks.

For the frosting:
1. In a the bowl of a stand mixer (with whisk attachment), beat the melted butter and cocoa powder powder until smooth.
2. Mix in the milk and powdered sugar, beating on medium speed to spreadable consistency (add an extra splash of milk if necessary, but frosting should be fairly stiff).
3. Add vanilla, light corn syrup, and pinch of salt. Beat for 20-30 seconds until light and fluffy
Stephen + Natalie | Makes approximately 12 cupcakes