Bake the Book: Pecan Potato Chip Cupcakes

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[Photograph: Eric Isaac]

As if straight-up buttercream weren't indulgent enough, the new Robicelli's: A Love Story, With Cupcakes cookbook calls for decorating these cakes with shards of crisp, salty potato chips and chopped pecans. Both ingredients are also used to make the cupcakes themselves, which spreads the fatty, addictive flavor of nuts and chips throughout the entire dessert. A dollop of vanilla buttercream tops the cake, and a generous drizzle of butterscotch sauce delivers a parting shot of salty sweetness. It tastes like a day at the fair.

Tips: By now, you've probably realized that making a Robicelli's cupcake takes more effort than your average dessert. Here, a sizable portion of that effort is devoted to making salted butterscotch sauce from scratch. We're not saying to skip the sauce, which unifies the salty-sweet theme, but if you have a favorite brand of liquid butterscotch, warming it up and adding a little salt, vanilla, or bourbon (perhaps all three), is a fine shortcut.

Tweaks: Why stop at plain potato chips? Trader Joe's makes a salt and black pepper potato chip that would give these a good kick. No matter what kind of chip you decide to use (and keep in mind, it should work with pecan and vanilla), choose something thickly cut or with ridges, so it can stand up to buttercream and butterscotch without getting soggy.

As always with our Bake the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of Robicelli's: A Love Story, with Cupcakes to give away.

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