Thursday, May 26, 2011

Gimme S'more....

cupcakes!  I've got a big thing for cupcakes if you can't tell by now. Cupcakes are a perfect proportion for my every day sweet tooth cravings-a moist cake with just the right amount of frosting. I wish I could have a cupcake once a day but my blood sugar levels don't permit me and neither does my waistline.  I should be hitting the gym up more rather than hitting up my stand mixer. SIGH.  I usually bake a batch of cupcakes once or twice a week and share my yummy baked goods. I love baking and love my friends that much more so its a win win situation.  :) 

On the right hand side of my blog, you'll find my list of fellow food bloggers.  One of my absolute favorites is Annie's Eats and she's one I usually read up on the daily.  I don't know how she manages to update her blog, work as a physician, and take care of her two children (one of which is a newborn).  Kudos to her.  Annie, if you ever happen to read this, you are my IDOL.  

I was in a baking frenzy this weekend and my kitchen was a disaster area.  I really wish I had taken a picture of my kitchen while I was baking.  It was an absolute mess and an even bigger pain in the you know what to clean.  Ahh, the joys of baking.  I made s'mores cupcakes for my girl, Abi who threw her cousin a carnival themed baby shower.  Some of the menu items included adobo tacos, caramel apples, and white chocolate chex.  YUM. She initially wanted mini marshmallows in the shape of popcorn for her s'mores cupcakes but the cupcake liners didn't come in on time so we just stuck with a simple meringue frosting. 

I wasn't able to take a pic of the ones I actually made because I was too tired to think about it at the time.  I slept at 530 am Sunday morning and woke up at 8 to make these cupcakes.  :( This is actually a pic of a batch I made for my old roomie Joanne for her birthday earlier this year.  I love this recipe because of the graham cracker crust on the bottom and the decadent cake batter.  Its a great recipe and one that you should definitely try.  Enjoy.  

S'mores Cupcakes
taken from Annie's Eats

Yield: 24 cupcakes

For the graham cracker crust:
1½ cups graham cracker crumbs
¼ cup sugar
5 1/3 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
For the cake:
2 cups plus 2 tbsp. sugar
1¾ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup plus 1 tbsp. cocoa powder
1½ tsp. baking powder
1½ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
½ cup vegetable oil
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water
For the frosting:
8 large egg whites, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
½ tsp. cream of tartar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350° F.  Line two cupcake pans with paper liners.  In a small mixing bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter; mix well with a fork.  Drop about 1 tablespoon of the graham cracker mixture in the bottom of each cupcake liner and press down to line the bottom. (Note: I found the bottom of my squeeze bottle to be the perfect size to do this job neatly and quickly.) Sprinkle a small amount of the chopped chocolate on top of the graham cracker crusts.  Bake for 5 minutes.  Remove from the oven, and maintain the oven temperature.
To make the cake batter, sift together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on low speed just to combine.  In a mixing bowl, combine the eggs, milk, vegetable oil and vanilla extract; whisk together.  Add to the dry ingredients and mix on low speed for 30 seconds.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.  Add the boiling water and stir just to combine (batter will be thin).
Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cupcake liners, filling each about ¾ of the way full.  Return the pans to the oven and bake about 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, rotating the pans halfway through baking.  Allow to cool in the pans 5-10 minutes, then remove and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the frosting, combine the egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar in the top of a double boiler. (Note: I just set my clean, dry mixer bowl over simmering water, to avoid dirtying two bowls.) Heat the mixture, whisking frequently, until it reaches 160° F with an instant-read thermometer.  Transfer the mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.  Whisk starting at low speed and gradually increasing to medium-high speed until stiff, glossy peaks form.  Mix in the vanilla until combined.  Frost cooled cupcakes as desired.  Brown with a kitchen torch and garnish with chocolate and graham cracker segments (optional).

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