Pecan Pie-Filled Chocolate Cupcakes

Pecan Pie-Filled Chocolate Cupcakes
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Ingredients
  1. Cupcakes
  2. 1
  3. box Betty Crocker® Super Moist® devil’s food or other flavor cake mix
  4. Water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on cake mix box
  5. Pecan Pie Filling
  6. 1/4
  7. cup granulated sugar
  8. 1/4
  9. cup packed brown sugar
  10. 2
  11. tablespoons cornstarch
  12. 3/4
  13. cup light corn syrup
  14. 1/4
  15. cup butter melted
  16. 1/2
  17. teaspoon salt
  18. 2
  19. eggs, slightly beaten
  20. 1
  21. cup chopped pecans, toasted
  22. 1
  23. teaspoon vanilla
  24. Spiced-Cream Frosting
  25. 3
  26. teaspoons unflavored gelatin
  27. 1/4
  28. cup cold water
  29. 3
  30. cups heavy whipping cream
  31. 2/3
  32. cup powdered sugar
  33. 1 1/2
  34. teaspoons vanilla
  35. Garnish, if desired
  36. 1/2
  37. teaspoon ground cinnamon
  38. 24
  39. candied pecans
Instructions
  1. 1 Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pans). Place paper baking cup in each of 24 regular-size muffin cups. Make and bake cake mix as directed on box for 24 cupcakes. Cool in pans 10 minutes; remove from pans to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.
  2. 2 Meanwhile, make pecan pie filling and spiced-cream frosting: In 2-quart saucepan, combine granulated sugar, brown sugar and cornstarch. Stir in corn syrup, melted butter, salt and eggs. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, just until mixture begins to boil; remove from heat. Stir in toasted pecans and vanilla. Let stand 10 minutes; refrigerate 1 hour or until thickened.
  3. 3 In 1-quart saucepan, sprinkle gelatin over water to soften; let stand 1 minute. Heat over low heat about 2 minutes, stirring constantly, until gelatin is dissolved. Let stand about 15 minutes, stirring frequently, until cooled to room temperature.
  4. 4 In chilled large bowl, beat whipping cream with electric mixer on low speed, slowly adding cooled gelatin. Increase speed to medium; beat until soft peaks form. Add powdered sugar and vanilla; beat until stiff peaks form. Refrigerate until ready to frost cupcakes.
  5. 5 To Fill and Frost Cupcakes: With melon baller, scoop out center of each cupcake almost to bottom of cupcake; spoon 1 tablespoon pecan pie filling into cavity of each. In 1-quart resealable food-storage plastic bag, cut 1/4-inch opening diagonally across bottom corner of bag; fit 1/2-inch star tip in opening. Spoon spiced-cream frosting into bag; seal bag. Pipe frosting onto cupcakes in circular motion. Refrigerate cupcakes until ready to serve. Just before serving, sprinkle cinnamon over cupcakes and garnish each cupcake with candied pecan. Store cupcakes loosely covered in refrigerator.
Notes
  1. if you have only one pan and a recipe calls for more cupcakes than your pan will make, cover and refrigerate the rest of the batter while baking the first batch. Cool the pan about 15 minutes, then bake the rest of the batter, adding 1 to 2 minutes to the bake time.
  2. To toast pecans, heat oven to 350°F. Spread pecans in ungreased shallow pan. Bake uncovered 6 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until light brown.
  3. For a more festive appearance, use paper liners with seasonal colors and designs.
  4. To make candied pecans, melt 1 1/2 teaspoons butter in 7-inch skillet over low heat. Stir in 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar. Add pecans; turn pecans several times to coat with sugar mixture. Candied pecans can also be purchased at the grocery store; look for them in the bulk section or with the snack nuts.
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