Sunday, September 29, 2013

Blueberry Oatmeal Cupcakes with Brown Sugar Buttercream

One cold January day last winter, I baked the most delicious oatmeal raisin muffins, full of raisins and brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla.  I was reminiscing about that recipe with someone at work, and suddenly, I was hungry.

She said to me, what if you made them with blueberries?

I needed no further encouragement to go home that weekend and bake a batch of these oatmeal muffins, bursting with plump, juicy blueberries.

And although with their heartier, more rustic texture, and not the light, delicate crumb you might think of when you hear cupcakes, I'm calling them cupcakes since I topped them with a pretty swirl of fluffy brown sugar buttercream.

Without the buttercream, I would have sprinkled the batter with coarse Turbinado sugar, for a little sparkle and crunch; instead, I sprinkled the sugar over the buttercream and topped each cupcake with a single blueberry.

And with the last of summer's blueberries and hearty, brown sugar and cinnamon sweetened oatmeal, they're a wonderful juxtaposition of summer and fall.

One Year Ago:   Croque Monsieur and Croque Madame for Breakfast
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Blueberry Oatmeal Cupcakes with Brown Sugar Buttercream

·         2 cups oats
·         1 cup light brown sugar
·         1 teaspoon salt
·         2 teaspoons cinnamon
·         ½ teaspoon nutmeg
·         3 ½ cups whole milk
·         4 eggs, lightly beaten
·         2 teaspoons vanilla
·         ½ cup vegetable oil
·         1 cup all-purpose flour
·         1 cup whole wheat flour
·         3 teaspoons baking soda
·         1 ½ cups blueberries

Buttercream and Garnish:
·         1 ½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter
·         2 cups powdered sugar
·         1 cup light brown sugar
·         1 tablespoon meringue powder
·         1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
·         2-3 tablespoons milk or cream
·         4 tablespoons coarse Turbinado sugar
·         Blueberries, for garnish

Bake the Cupcakes:
Preheat the oven to 350 and line a muffin pan with 24 paper liners.

In a large saucepan, combine the oats, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Stir in the milk.  Over medium heat, bring to a boil while stirring often, then cook the oatmeal for 2-3 minutes until the oats have begun to thicken.  Spread the oatmeal out onto a plate and let cool for 10 minutes.

Scrape the oatmeal into a bowl and whisk in the eggs, vanilla and oil.  In a separate bowl, combine the flours and baking soda; sprinkle over the oat mixture and stir just until moistened.  Fold in the blueberries.

Spoon the batter into the muffin cups; fill them full, all the way to the top.  Bake for 15-16 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool completely on a wire rack, covered loosely with a clean kitchen towel.

Make the Buttercream:
In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the butter for 1 minute until smooth.  In a separate bowl, combine the powdered sugar, brown sugar (make sure it’s free of lumps) and meringue powder.  With the mixer on low, add the sugar mixture to the butter by spoonfuls until combined.  Add the vanilla and milk, then whip on medium high for 4-5 minutes until very light and fluffy, scraping the bowl as needed.

Pipe frosting onto the cooled cupcakes, and garnish with the blueberries and Turbinado sugar.

Yields 24 cupcakes.

Recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen