Wednesday, August 17, 2011

S'mores Cupcakes

Oh my. The S'mores cupcakes made a reappearance this year. Better than ever I would say, in fact. (Old post.)

Three yummy ingredients; Ghirardelli chocolate, marshmallow (cream) and cinnamon graham crackers. One result; delicioussssss.

I ate like 7 of these over the course of three days. Don't judge me. It was vacation. Calories don't count, ha.

Get ready for a super picture heavy post! I had help taking pictures this time by the birthday girl herself. Her pictures are the ones that aren't crappy.) You can find her blog on fashion, art and photography here. She requested these specifically. And because she made the banner for this site, she gets what she wants. (Plus snickerdoodle cupcakes and cookies.) Last year she got the Catch A Husband Strawberry Cupcakes in b&w zebra liners. So this year, i decided to run with the theme.

I had pink zebra liners i had yet to use, as well as these awesome zebra candles i picked up in a shop in Philly last year. Then i added in some plain pink candles too. (DON'T COUNT HOW MANY THERE ARE. SHE WILL GET MAD.) All together on the cupcakes stand, they looked pretty gosh darn awesome. But more on that later.

The recipe for this is basically in three parts. And it varies a little from what i did last year. This year I did something different with the graham crackers, and the batter was from scratch.

Graham Cracker Crust/Topping
1.5 packages of Cinnamon Graham Crackers
3/4 sticks of butter

1. Place all crackers into a ziplock bag and crush them into pieces with a rolling pin.
2. Separate out 1/4 cups of broken graham crackers, put the rest in a bowl.
3. Melt 3/4 of a stick of butter in the microwave and pour over the graham crackers pieces in bowl.
4. Mush them together with your clean hands.

Now comes the fun part.

1. Scoop 1 tablespoon of the mixture into lined cupcake pans. (Or scoop 1 teaspoon into mini cupcakes pans.)
2. Flatten out with your hands.
3. Put in preheated, 350* oven for 5 minutes and remove, set aside to cool.

Chocolate Chip Cupcakes
(Makes 24 standard cupcakes, but if using this for smores it will make 24 standard plus 24 mini cupcakes)
Go here for my go-to chocolate cupcake recipe. Use Ghirardelli coco powder though b/c thats the only thing i'll use now. :)

Add 1 cup chocolate chips. Yum.

Now, take your batter and pour it OVER the baked graham cracker crust. I did the usual amount b/c i wanted mine to be big monster cupcakes.

Oh what is this though?

That's right, i sprinkled about 1 teaspoon of the remaining graham cracker crumbs over the top of the unbaked batter. And THEN you put it in the oven.

When they come out they look like this. You can just eat it on its own, huh?

But just wait my dears. Cuz i did. I had to wait until the next day, in fact. They were transported to another place (beach house, holla') and were frosting'ed up there.

photo credit: pandippo

Marshmallow Frosting
1 jar Jiff Marshmallow Frosting (7 oz)
1 stick unsalted butter at room temp
2 cups powdered sugar

1. Yes the whole can of the stuff. And you will like it. Put it into a big bowl and add the butter. Beat together.

photo credit: pandippo

2. Add sugar, beat until light and fluffy.

photo credit: pandippo
photo credit: pandippo
photo credit: pandippo
Use a 1M tip to frost the cupcakes until they look like this:
photo credit: pandippo
Awesome huh.
I also used the 1M tip to frost the little mini cupcakes with just a dollop of frosting. The 1M tip is also called a star tip and with good reason. A dollop looks like a star :)
photo credit: pandippo

photo credit: pandippo
And then you eat them. All. No I'm kidding. Then you make them even prettier. Add the snickerdoodle cupcakes and a stand.

Then add the candles. Now the hard part.

Lighting them REALLY fast.

photo credit: pandippo

It becomes a group effort!

photo credit: pandippo

Looks awesome lit though! :)

I hope to God she didn't wish for more cupcakes.

Melty zebra-ness.

Pretty Birthday girl about to eat her cuppycake.

photo credit: pandippo

Okay, NOW you can eat them. All.

photo credit: pandippo

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Cinnamon Coffee Cupcakes

Okay. I'm not a coffee drinker. Sometimes on Monday mornings when I'm walking through my work building's doors i want to stop at the front desk and crawl underneath it and live there in darkness and slumber forever -- that's when i contemplate starting a coffee addiction. But I never do and in general i'll pass on the Starbucks. Which means i don't know the difference between a latte and a mocha. So when googling a coffee based cupcakes, all the espresso/cappuccino words were confusing as heck. So i'm not labeling it anything other than coffee. It was either that or Cinnamon Mocha Choca Lata Ya Ya Cupcakes. And that's kind of long.

I wasn't sure if i was even going to like them. But i did! A lot. =x I think it's because the cake part wasn't very heavy on the coffee taste, but the frosting totally was. There are some things that I will change the second time around, but all in all i was pleased.

The cake part was based off of this recipe. And the frosting was based off of this, but now seeing it next to what i actually did, it's not what i did at all. Oh well. I'm going to go with mine was even yummier than whatever it would have been!

Cinnamon Coffee Cupcakes
(Baked for 14 minutes at 350*, makes 11.)

1/4 cup (1/2 a stick) unsalted butter at room temp
2/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
14 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup baking cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup strong brewed coffee, room temperature
(I don't brew coffee... haha. So instead i cheated and did instant coffee. So I did 6 table spoons of instant coffee into 1/2 a cup of boiling water, and drew the 1/4 cup from there)
3 tablespoons buttermilk

1. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt, baking powder and cinnamon. Set aside.
2. In a separate large bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add the egg. Beat in vanilla.
3. In a third bowl/cup combine buttermilk and coffee.
4. Add the flour mixture in three parts to the large bowl, alternating with additions of the buttermilk/coffee, beating until combined after each addition.

These plumped up a lot. They look like plain chocolate cupcakes, but smell and taste really cinnamony.

Coffee Frosting
4 oz cream cheese (1/2 a standard package)
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
2 cups powdered sugar
2 table spoons strongly brewed coffee
2 teaspoons vanilla

1. With a hand mixer, blend together the butter and cream cheese.
2. Add vanilla and coffee.
3. Add powdered sugar.

Now, there is a lot of liquid in this frosting. Which means that you have to be super careful that your butter and cream cheese AREN'T too soft, but also that you add enough powdered sugar to stabilize it. It's not a runny frosting, but it's def not as hard as others. I put this in the freezer for about 5 minutes before I piped it on to harden it up.

I decided to play around with something other than the 1M in tip when frosting these because all the cupcakes are kinda starting to look the same - right? So i tried frosting with a 12. And i didn't like how it looked... And not just b/c it had a few bubbles.

So i switched it up and frosted the remaining ones with a 2D.

In the end, i think that i like 1M best for a reason. =p

I have been eating these cold, right out of the fridge for like 3 days now. This is what is left.

Don't judge me!!! I run/kick box for a reason; Total Cupcake Domination. Take no prisoners, eat all in sight.


Snickerdoodle Cupcakes

These were on my to bake list, and I got to cross them off! And add them to list of ones i'd bake again. And i will... in four days. (Spoiled Pam, they're for her birthday weekend but i wanted to bake them beforehand to make sure that they were edible.)

I figured if I liked the cookies, then surely i'd like the cupcakes right? Turns out, I like the cupcakes more than the cookies! :) Also, i've done an informal survey that has found that boys like snicker doodles. So these cupcakes should surely catch me that husband right?

I got the basic recipe here. I halved it, and made a few changes. I was also baking another batch of experimental cupcakes as well, so i tried to reuse some ingredients. I don't think that i like baking half batches, especially frosting. It makes it somewhat harder to mix.

Snickerdoodle Cupcakes
(Baked for 15 minutes at 350*, made 16)

3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cups cake flour
1/2 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 tsp cream of tartar powder
1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cups buttermilk

1. Sift together cake flours, all purpose flour, cream of tartar, baking powder, salt & cinnamon in a bowl and set aside.

2. Cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time. Beat in vanilla.

3. Add the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with additions of buttermilk, beating until combined after each addition.

I love,love, loved the look of the batter. Maybe that makes me a nerd, but i love the way the cinnamon flecks look. :) It's pretty.

It was a good consistency and scooped well into the liners.

Snickerdoodle Frosting
4 oz cream cheese (1/2 a standard package)
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1 table spoon brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tablespoon vanilla

1. With a hand mixer, blend together the butter and cream cheese.
2. Add brown sugar, cinnamon and vanilla.
3. Add powdered sugar. (This should be to taste. I try to use as little as possible, since there's so much sugar already, but if you need to add more in order to stabilize it then so be it!)

This tasted so yummy. >.< I love cream cheese! Forever and ever, the end.

I frosted them with the standard 1M tip.

1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1. Mix together the two ingredients.
2. Sprinkle on top of cupcakes.

Don't add too much though! Just enough to make them pretty like their cookie counterparts.

There are still two cupcakes left in the fridge. I can't decide whether to bring them into work tomorrow (which at that point they will be 3 day old cupcakes lol) or if to just eat them myself. But i guess since i will have more of these in a few days, i should be nice and feed others.

Oh and if you're wondering -- YES they totally do taste like the cookies.


Edit//  Here's a few extra pretty pictures of the second batch i made the following week.  Much better pictures when i'm not behind the camera! 

bottom photos by pandippo