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1. Allow butter, egg, and egg yolks to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, line twelve 2 1/2-inch muffin cups or forty-eight 134-inch muffin cups with paper bake cups (see tip, page 00). If using vanilla bean, use a small sharp knife to scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean; set seeds aside. In a small bowl stir together flour, baking powder, and salt.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar, beating on medium to high speed for 1 minute. Scrape sides of bowl. Add egg, egg yolks, vanilla bean seeds (or the 1 teaspoon vanilla extract), and the 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract; beat until combined. Alternately add flour mixture and whipping cream to butter mixture, beating on low speed after each addition just until combined (batter will be thick).
3. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling each about three-fourths full. Use the back of a spoon to smooth out batter in cups.
4. Bake about 20 minutes for 21/2-inch cupcakes (about 15 minutes for 1 3/4-inch cupcakes) or until a wooden toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool cupcakes in muffin cups on wire racks for 5 minutes. Remove cupcakes from muffin cups. Cool completely on wire racks. Frost with desired frosting.