The simplicity of cupcakes + the intrigue of cookie butter + the whimsy of popcorn = one unique and tasty dessert that’s perfect for any celebration!
It’s finally here, guys! IT’S BLOGIVERSARY WEEK!!!
This week is going to be AWESOME!!!
!!! More Exclamation Points !!!
You truly have no idea the cool stuff you’re in for, and I am so excited to be kicking off The Crumby Cupcake’s 1st Birthday Party by participating in Popcorn Week with some of the most amazing food bloggers out there!
Let’s get right to it – keep reading for my usual (abnormally long-winded) rambling, some fun facts about little ol’ me (twelve, to represent the twelve months I’ve been online!), a great popcorn lover’s giveaway (at the bottom of the post!), and plenty of drool-worthy photos of these Cookie Butter Popcorn Cupcakes!
Fact #1. I fell in love with cookie butter on my first trip to Trader Joe’s. I’d heard of Biscoff before, but the idea of crushed up cookies in a peanut butter-style spread was somehow confusing to me. I like creative sandwiches, but I am and always will be a Nutella girl – after all, hazelnuts are still nuts, so it’s still semi-healthy.
Ironically enough, my cookie butter craze began while I was still a gym rat with my buddy Lara at The Healthy Fit Foodie. Fact #2. I’ve been lucky to have Lara as my blogging buddy from the start – she started HFF weeks after I launched TCC, and we have been lucky enough to enjoy lots of foodie events together over the past year!
(Shameful Fact #3. I’m really having a hard time getting back in to a gym regimen, in spite of my cheerleader/drill sergeant pushing me – I just can’t find the time to fit everything in to twenty-four hours. Luckily, now that Mr. Crumby and I work at the same place, which is conveniently in the same plaza as my gym, he wants to start hitting the weights again, too. Now she can motivate both of us!)
Fact #4 (and Gratuitous Name-Drop.) Lara and I are foodie-buds with Food Network star chef and all-around rad goofball Emily Ellyn, whom we met the night we fell head-over-heels for cookie butter (at a media preview of Jillycakes, her fellow Food Network chef, Jillian Hopke’s cupcakery.)
Fact #5. I envy celebrity chefs like Emily and Jillian, because I’m pretty sure I’d never be able to compete, much less win, a Food Network show. I come up with some interesting recipes, but not on the fly! They take serious research and development, since I never went to culinary school (fact #5), and I just don’t have basic recipes committed to memory.
Ask me again on my fifth anniversary, though. I might feel differently.
Fact #6. I’m actually seriously thinking about taking some culinary classes, just for the heck of it. You’re never too old to learn new tricks, right? Maybe some of it will stick!
Anyway, back to cookie butter.
My first attempt at the cookie butter coating for this popcorn was a complete disaster!
I attempted to substitute it in place of peanut butter in the peanut butter popcorn recipe I use from time to time, and wow. Cooking honey, butter, and cookie butter together? Absolute chunky, grainy, waste of good cookie butter mess.
Melting (the last of my jar!) it in to white chocolate did the trick, luckily, and I soon had sticky, gingerbread-scented popcorn heaven in a bowl. A total departure from my normal Snocap popcorn movie mix-in.
I see the look on your face. Why popcorn, Erica? Because Susannah!
Fact #7. I’m a huge fan of Susannah’s brand of food blogging over at Feast+West. When she invited me to take part in Popcorn Week with her and a couple handfuls of other bloggers, I couldn’t hit reply fast enough. We had the chance to meet at Food Blog Forum Orlando this past February (after working together virtually at My Cooking Spot for months), and it was such a pleasure chatting with her and getting to put a face and personality to a blog.
Our time together was far, far too short, though, and I can’t wait to get together again someday soon!
But for now, things like this spectacular Popcorn Week will have to do.
Clearly, in celebration of my blog’s namesake, I felt like I had to somehow work the popcorn in to a cupcake recipe, and a cookie butter cupcake sounded like a really great idea…so here we are.
I topped the cupcakes with a dark chocolate whipped buttercream, to offset the sweetness of the cookie butter, and the combination was brilliant! The cake itself is moist and crumbles very nicely.
Because I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Fact #8. In elementary school, I wanted to be a kindergarten teacher, in junior high, an actress or FBI agent (both thanks to The X-Files). In high school, broadcast journalism was my dream, and in college, I aimed to become a professional singer, either classical or Broadway. Never in a million years did I think of working as a chef OR a photographer, and now at 31, I want to be both when I grow up.
Fact #9. I auditioned for the Voices of Liberty a capella group that performs at Disney while in college. Only once, and gave up after not getting a callback. But at least I did it!
Fact #10. I also auditioned for season two of American Idol. I kid you not. The first time they held auditions in Orlando, and I was there for the cattle call! I have some great stories from that experience, for sure!
Fact #11. I’m really glad I didn’t follow through on my broadcasting career dreams. I don’t even watch the news to this day – it’s too depressing! Sensationalistic journalism is for the birds.
Fact #12. I wish I was eating one of these cupcakes right now, with a tall glass of milk. (They disappeared really quickly!)
More fun popcorn recipes!
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Cookie Butter Popcorn Cupcakes
For the Cookie Butter Popcorn
- 6 ounces white chocolate
- 3 tablespoons cookie butter Speculoos or Biscoff
- ¾ cup popcorn kernels yields about 6 cups popped
- Sea salt
- ½ cup crushed cookies Speculoos or Biscoff
- ½ cup sprinkles optional, but festive
For the Cookie Butter Cupcakes
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter softened
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- ⅔ cup cookie butter Speculoos or Biscoff
- 2 eggs room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ cup buttermilk
Cookie Butter Popcorn
- Place unpopped popcorn kernels in a paper lunch bag. Fold top over twice and microwave for 2½ minutes. Pour in to a large bowl, removing unpopped kernels, and set aside.
- In a metal bowl set over simmering water, melt white chocolate, stirring until smooth. Add cookie butter and stir until combined.
- Pour hot cookie butter mixture over popcorn in bowl, sprinkle with sea salt to taste, and stir quickly but carefully to coat.
- Spread wet popcorn on a baking sheet, and sprinkle crushed cookies and sprinkles liberally. Allow to dry for at least an hour.
Cookie Butter Cupcakes
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 standard cupcake pans with ~18 liners.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter and brown sugar on medium speed for 2 minutes, until fluffy.
- Add vanilla, then eggs, one at a time, mixing until combined.
- Alternate mixing in flour and buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture, until just combined. Don’t overmix.
- Fill liners ⅔ full of batter. Bake 20-25 minutes, until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Cool in cupcake pans for 10 minutes, then remove to cooling rack. Cool completely before icing.
- Frost each cupcake with chocolate buttercream using a butter knife or spatula, creating slightly domed sides, with a flat top. Top with cooled cookie butter popcorn, or just garnish with more sprinkles.