Friday, July 8, 2011

S'mores Cupcakes

I am so glad this cupcake recipe is my inaugural blog post!!  (Facebook friends please be patient as we re-post some of our favorite recipes from previous notes.  There will be new posts coming soon!)  They are quite possibly the best I’ve ever baked, second only to the peppermint mocha cupcakes we whipped up for Christmas last year.  I’ve been craving s’mores for a few weeks now, so I combined and tweaked a few recipes from two of my favorite food bloggers: Joy the Baker and Annie to make these s’more cupcakes.

Part 1: Graham Cracker Crust (Annie’s Eats)
1.5 cups graham cracker crumbs, about one plastic sealed package… which means you’ll have enough crackers to make real s’mores or these cupcakes 2 more times!
5.5 tablespoons butter, melted.
Preheat oven to 350F.  Crush the graham crackers and add melted butter.  Mix until evenly moist.  Drop about a tablespoon of the mixture into each of 24 cupcake papers.  Press down, I found that the bottom of my Tupperware plastic cup was just the right size to do this in one step.  Bake for 5 minutes.  Remove from oven, but leave oven on.

Part 2: Chocolate Cake (Pillsbury Pudding in the Mix Devil’s Food)
So I simplified (I prefer that over cheating) a bit for this part.  If baked properly, cake mixes do quite well in spruced up cupcakes such as these.  And no one needs to know!  Prepare your favorite chocolate cake and spoon on top of the graham cracker crust.  The cupcake liners should be about ¾ full.  Bake 3-4 minutes less than directed for an extra moist/ semi-gooey cupcake.  Cool completely on a wire baking rack.

Part 3: Marshmallow Frosting (Joy the Baker)
4 egg whites… save the yolks, a recipe using those will come soon!
1.5 cups white sugar
0.5 cups light corn syrup
pinch of salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
This meringue requires a double boiler.  Here’s how to make your own: Simmer 2 inches of water in a sauce pan.  Mix egg whites, sugar, corn syrup, and salt in the bowl to your mixer.  Place mixing bowl over simmering water, whisk egg mixture constantly because you don’t want scrambled eggs for frosting!  Once the sugar has dissolved and is no longer grainy, remove the bowl from the double boiler.  This should take 5-7 minutes and the mixture will be white.  Beat the eggs on high for about 5 minutes, until stiff peaks form.

Use a large star tip in a ziplock bag (you won’t want to clean this sticky mess from a reusable piping bag) and pipe on the top of the fully cooled cupcakes.

Now the fun part!  Place 12 frosted cupcakes on a cookie sheet under your broiler.  Watch very carefully, as they will begin to toast quickly.  Rotate the pan so the marshmallow tops are evenly browned.

You can add a square of Hershey chocolate or a piece of graham cracker to decorate the top, but I thought the toasted swirls were just too pretty to squish!

Part 4: Enjoy!
Not that you’ll need to store these for long, but they can be kept in the refrigerator (especially in the 90F weather we’ve been having!) for a few days before the frosting gets sticky.

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