Sunday, February 5, 2012

S'more Cupcakes

Have you ever had a craving for something and it just follows you around, demanding to be satisfied?  Well, for MONTHS, all I could think about was how much I wanted a s'more.  I blame Ian.  Now, he will probably tell you that I blame him for everything, but this really was his fault.  Ian insisted that we go camping (and that experience, my friends, is a whole other story, which I promise to blog about at a later time).  Anyway, on this lovely camping trip we planned to make s'mores and brought all the fixin's.  And we did make them.  Once.  But is once really ever enough for s'mores?  I would argue that it is most assuredly not.

So I went on a quest to find a recipe for s'mores cupcakes.  As you would expect, I found a plethora of cupcake options out on the interwebs.  I combined the cupcake recipe from Bakerella, the marshmallow frosting from the Annie's Eats, and my own chocolate ganache.  Let me tell you, this things are DANGEROUS.

These cupcakes are a little bit complicated in that you have to layer two batters, which isn't really that complicated, but it a little time consuming.  Here is how you create the cupcakes:

Ok, I apparently didn't get a picture of the first step or you start with a layer of graham cracker crumbs, top that with graham cracker cake batter, then top that with more crumbs:

Then stick one half of a large marshmallow in the middle of your cupcake:

Cover that with some of your chocolate cake batter:

And then add more graham cracker crumbs:

While these cupcakes bake, the marshmallow in the middle puffs up, spreading batter around the top of the pan, creating a little bit of a sticky mess that looks like this:

I used a toothpick to shove the stray batter back where it belonged while the cupcakes were warm.  If you wait too long, the stray batter will cool and you will have a hard time getting your cupcake out of your me, you don't want to fight that sticky mess!

I've actually made these cupcakes twice.  First, I made them and took them to work.  The second time I made them with Ian and his sister, Megan, while staying at their dad's house over Christmas "break" (I know I'm not in school and I don't technically have a Christmas break, but that will forever be what I call the week between Christmas and New Years.  Deal with it.).

Anyway, when I made them for work, it was the first time in the history of my cupcake making that I didn't try a completed cupcake before taking them in for the masses.  You see, the cupcakes smelled so good while baking them, that I ate one fresh out of the oven.  So fresh that I burnt my mouth (and they were so good, I decided it was totally worth the pain of the burn).  Then when I finished the frosting I decided to taste it.  It was also very good...and I "tasted" so much of it that I gave myself a stomach I tried the parts, not the whole.

These were definitely a crowd-pleaser cupcake at work.  One of the secretaries called me the cupcake goddess, and one of the partners stopped by my office and said, "These are the best yet!  Unbelievable!  I think you should retire and just be the s'more cupcake baker."  I haven't completely decided if this was a compliment, or a sly see, he is a partner who I do work for...telling me to retire...

Anyway, they were also a hit in Iowa.  They were a little more complicated to make in Iowa.  We didn't have all of the necessary equipment (luckily, Megan wanted a kitchen torch, so we just went a bought another one), so we had to improvise.  The most difficult part was finding a way to frost the cupcakes.  Ian's dad didn't have a pastry bag, but I did get some new tips for Christmas.  First we attempted to create a bag out of a Ziploc baggie.  That resulted in the baggie ripping and frosting squirting everywhere.  Then Ian created a pastry bag out of parchment paper.  This worked...kind of.  About as much frosting got on the cupcakes as got on my hands, and it was hard to unroll the paper to get more frosting in the bag, but we did get all of the cupcakes frosted, so I call that success.

I had to bake and run (I had a date to eat Mexican food with family and friends), so I wasn't around when it happened, but I hear that Megan ate the tips off all the cupcakes and then re-fired them so no one would notice.  That may be because she liked the frosting, or it may be because she likes to play with fire!

S'mores Cupcakes - (makes about 12)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup cocoa
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 cup milk
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup oil
6 large marshmallows cut in half, plus more for decorating

Graham Cracker Crumb Topping -
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup butter, melted
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder and baking soda together with a wire whisk.
    Separate the mixture in half into two bowls.
  3. Stir cocoa into one bowl and the graham cracker crumbs into the other.
  4. Add 1/2 cup milk, 1 egg, 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1/4 cup oil to the cocoa mixture and beat on medium until combined.
  5. Repeat adding the same ingredients to the graham cracker crumb flour mixture.
  6. Prepare the graham cracker crumb topping - Add the brown sugar and crumbs in a small bowl and pour on the melted butter. Stir until combined.
  7. Pour a little graham cracker cake batter into the bottom of your baking cups and then sprinkle the topping mixture lightly on the surface (the second time I made these, I put graham cracker crumbs in first, then batter...I was told that the first batch needed more graham cracker flavor).
  8. Place a marshmallow half on top and then cover the marshmallow with the chocolate cake batter until it is about 3/4 full.
  9. Sprinkle with more topping mixture.
  10. Bake cupcakes for about 15 minutes (until the marshmallow has dissoved into the batter and a toothpick comes out clean).
  11. Remove from oven and let cool for about 5 minutes in pan (this is when I scraped the escaped batter back into its cupcake).
  12. Transfer to a wire rack to completely cool.
Marshmallow Frosting -
8 large egg whites, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
½ tsp. cream of tartar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
  1. Combine the egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar in the top of a double boiler (I just use two pans, just find one that fits into another) 
  2. Heat the mixture, whisking frequently, until it reaches 160° F with an instant-read thermometer (I don't use a thermometer, I just eyeball it.  You want the sugar to completely dissolve).
  3. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.
  4. Whisk starting at low speed and gradually increasing to medium-high speed until stiff, glossy peaks form.
  5. Mix in the vanilla until combined.
Ganache (go here, follow recipe)...

Assembly -
  1. Once cupcakes are completely cooled, fill pastry bag fitted with whatever attachment you want with your frosting.
  2. Frost as desired (I like the cupcake swirl...but that might be because I can finally do it).
  3. Get your kitchen torch and brown the marshmallow frosting (the frosting grows while you do this, it's cool).
  4. Drizzle with the ganache.  Drizzling with a spoon is difficult for me, so I just filled another pastry bag fitted with a small, open tip, with the ganache and drizzled like that.

1 comment:

  1. I had one or two at the time. But now I want s'more. --Mary