White Chocolate Cranberry Cupcakes with White Chocolate, Cranberry, and Pistachio Cream Cheese Frosting (Art You Eat)

I’ve decided to enter a photo into the Art You Eat. Since CB won last month, she had influence in this month’s theme: Seasonal Cupcakes. I was very focused on cookies this holiday season, but I did manage to throw some cupcakes together. These cupcakes took two tries to perfect, but the outcome was worth the effort. The white chocolate is subtle but warm. I made the same white chocolate cupcake recipe that I made last year for Cupcake Hero: Coffee except this time I used dried cranberries instead of coffee. For the frosting, I made the white chocolate cream cheese frosting that I made for Cupcake Hero: White Chocolate and threw in more dried cranberries as well as some chopped pistachios.

I have to admit, these cupcakes took two tries to be edible. For the first batch, I threw some chopped pistachios in the cupcake batter as well. I made a rookie mistake (or I’m getting over confident) and didn’t taste test until all of the cupcakes were frosted with pretty swirls. Then hubby got home from work and we split a cupcake. With weird looks on our face, we just looked at each other. Neither of us wanted to say it out loud. They tasted funny… almost meaty… in fact, almost bacon-ey. How is that possible?!? I know pistachios are “meaty” nuts, but come on – how could this happen… Pistachio, cranberry and white chocolate is a very common cookie combination, so I still don’t understand how they tasted so meaty. The next morning I tried another one, hoping that the taste had gone away. No such luck. The entire batch went into the trash. That’s only the second time that has happened (the first time was with some low-fat carrot cupcakes).

For my second try, I decided to leave out the pistachios. Since the nuts seemed to cause the meaty flavor. I did want to put the pistachios in the frosting again because that was really good. The second batch is delicious. I’m a big fan of cranberries so I really enjoyed these cupcakes.

White Chocolate cupcake (from Crazy about Cupcakes) – makes 24
2/3 cup milk
1 Tbsp white vinegar
2/3 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/3 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups white chocolate chips – I melted the chocolate chips
1/3 cup water – I omitted the water
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 325. Insert liners into a medium cupcake pan.

Combine the milk and vinegar in a cup. Set aside for at least 5 minutes. Combine the vanilla extract with 1/2 Tbsp instant espresso and set aside.

In a large bowl cream together the butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.

Combine 1/2 cup of white chocolate chips and the water in a small saucepan. Heat over low heat until melted, stirring continuously. I used a double boiler to melt the white chocolate.

Add the vanilla and white chocolate mixture to the creamed mixture.

In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking soda, salt.

Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture, alternating with the milk-and-vinegar mixture, beating for 1 minutes after each addition.

Fill the cupcake liners three-quarters full. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of cupcakes comes out clean. Cool cupcakes in the pan.

White chocolate cream cheese frosting – from Baking Bites
4-oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
1-oz white chocolate, melted and slightly cooled
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 tsp milk or cream
2-3 cups confectioners’ sugar
~1/2 cup chopped dried cranberries
~1/2 cup chopped pistachios

In a large mixing bowl, cream together cream cheese, butter and melted white chocolate.

Beat in vanilla and milk, then add in the confectioners’ sugar gradually until the frosting reaches your desired consistency. Stir in the cranberries and pistachios.

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13 Responses to “Best Dang Thing EVER Bars”

  1. #
    1
    HoneyB — September 9, 2009 at 1:00 pm

    This is a great post and I love that you and your sister made these together! You know its a favorite when you can make a recipe from memory! Thanks for participating 🙂

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    2
    Laura — September 9, 2009 at 1:45 pm

    Awesome bars! You and your sister sound like me and my sister, so I loved this post extra for that. Great submission, thanks for participating.

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    3
    Colleen — September 9, 2009 at 3:57 pm

    Yum, these look SO good! And fairly easy – I will be making them soon!

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    4
    stephchows — September 9, 2009 at 4:16 pm

    Love the story that goes with these 🙂 family recipes are the best!

  5. #
    5
    Katie — September 9, 2009 at 4:18 pm

    OH YUM!! Those look so freakign gooooood!!

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    The American Homemaker — September 9, 2009 at 5:12 pm

    Those look great!!!!!!!!!! MMmmmmm

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    Ingrid — September 9, 2009 at 8:01 pm

    I suppose if you were fond of chocolate they would be the best dang thing. I’d like the blonde version of this instead. 🙂

    You almost make me wish I had a sister instead of six brothers, almost. 🙂
    ~ingrid

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    8
    Sara @ Our Best Bites — September 10, 2009 at 3:46 am

    oh my neighbor makes these and they are SO good! Mmmm I’m wishing I had one right about now, thanks for sharing the recipe!

    (also glad you enjoyed the taquitos!)

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    9
    Justin — September 11, 2009 at 12:07 am

    whoa, a whole pack of caramels? this sounds amazing

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    madebymel — September 11, 2009 at 12:46 am

    Oh.my.gosh! I bet these really are the best dang thing ever! I can’t wait to make these to bring to work!

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    Karen - Mommy to four sweeties — September 18, 2009 at 7:09 pm

    I wonder if these can be made with a plain chocolate cake mix since I don’t have a german chocolate one on hand.

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    12
    Jen — September 20, 2009 at 11:55 pm

    I would think any chocolate cake mix would work

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    13
    fun size wife — February 25, 2015 at 4:06 pm

    These are close to the Pioneer Woman’s Knock You Naked Brownies except for the frosting. Thank goodness chocolate and caramel are legal!

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