Snickerdoodle Cupcake Cookies

These are Snickerdoodle cookies on steroids. Need I say more?

My love for snickerdoodles combined with the intrigue of the name drew me to this recipe. Cupcake cookie? What the heck is that?
I’ll tell you what it is. It’s probably the richest snickerdoodle you will ever eat, baked into the form of a cup and filled (yes, filled) with a delectable spiced buttercream frosting that is reminiscent of egg-nog, and it will probably make you roll your eyes back in pure pleasure with the first bite. This is the kind of cookie (cupcake?) you might want to save until you can be alone with it – so you can enjoy it fully and appreciate each cinnamon-sugar-y, frosting-y bite without interruption.

Once again, pecans have stalked me. I tagged this recipe at least a month ago, and didn’t even realize they were here. But they were. I’ve never made snickerdoodles with pecans before but enjoyed them in this version.
My mind wandered a little bit when I was chopping, so the toasted nuts were finely minced rather than chopped, but I have to say I think this was a good mistake. I don’t know that I would have liked the cookies as well with larger chunks.

These are truly a giftable indulgence. Just a single cupcake cookie wrapped up in a shallow coffee mug and finished off with a pretty ribbon, a little handmade card, and some cellophane wrap would make a beautiful token for someone you appreciate. The recipe makes 24 – peeeeerfect. One for the teacher, 23 for you. . . .

Doesn’t this little guy look lonely?? I should probably eat him. . . .

Recipe:

Snickerdoodle Cupcake Cookies

Ingredients:

1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup toffee pieces
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg or 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Spiced Buttercream Frosting (recipe follows)
Crushed toffee pieces

Directions:
In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high-speed for 30 seconds. Add the 1 1/2 cups sugar, the baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt. Beat until combined, scraping the side of the bowl occasionally. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and the vanilla until combined. Beat in as much flour as you can with the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in remaining flour, the 1 cup toffee pieces, and pecans. Cover and chill dough about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line muffin tin with paper baking cups. Set aside. IN a small bowl, stir together the 1/4 up sugar, the cinnamon, and the nutmeg. Set aside.

Using a rounded 2-tablespoon scoop, shape dough into balls. Roll balls in the sugar mixture to coat. Press each ball lightly into a prepared muffin cup, making the tops even.

Bake for 15-18 minutes or until tops are light brown and edges are just firm (centers will dip slightly). Cool in muffin cups on wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pans, cool completely.

Spoon Spiced Buttercream Frosting into a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip. Pipe frosting into a tall swirl on each cupcake. If desired, sprinkle with crushed toffee pieces. Makes 24 cupcakes.

Spiced Buttercream Frosting

Ingredients:
2/3 cup softened butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, or a dash of ground nutmeg
5 cups powdered sugar
additional milk

Directions:
In a large mixing bowl beat 2/3 cup softened butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Gradually beat in 2 cups powdered sugar. Beat in 1/4 cup milk, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Gradually beat in 5 cups powdered sugar and enough additional milk (2-4 tablespoons) to make frosting piping consistency.

Source: Just slightly adapted from Better Homes and Gardens Foodgifts 2011.

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