Friday, September 7, 2012

S'mores Cupcakes

Do you ever have one of those weeks where your mind won't shut off?  Where you are constantly thinking about all that you have to do at work?  All the while thinking about what you need to be getting done in your everyday life too.  And at the same time, bits of time are also spent contemplating  the past, present and future.  

Where you have three different lists or more going at the same time?  A work to-do-list, a grocery list, a weekend-to-do list, a packing list...just so many lists that are in three different notebooks or calendars.  Don't get me wrong, I am not meaning to complain here.  I am definitely one of those people that would rather be busy than bored and just sitting around.  BUT sometimes I do just want to sit around.  Sometimes I really, really don't want to leave work and go to the gym even though I know it will help clear my mind if only for a bit.  Maybe this week I just had too much time on hands even though it didn't feel that way.  

I mean I took up some of that time baking these cupcakes, and lets be real, its hard to think about too much while baking other than what is currently at hand.  Contemplating too many things while baking can lead to cupcakes that fall in or turn rock hard from over baking or even just never get cooked all the way through.  

These cupcakes did not do this however.  I gave a new devil's food cake recipe a try, and to make these "s'mores" cupcakes I folded in pieces of graham cracker.  I was worried all of the graham cracker bits would fall to the bottom, so I didn't add as many pieces as I would have liked.  The graham crackers did not fall and next time I would definitely add more.  The graham cracker pieces almost melt into these light fluffy cupcakes.  I then topped these cupcakes with marshmallow fluff buttercream that was smooth and not too sweet, and went perfectly with the cupcake.  I topped the cupcakes with a sprinkling of crushed graham cracker and a toasted marshmallow.  Since, I love all things "s'mores" lately, I will definitely be making these again!  Enjoy!

In reference to the past, one of my middle school friends, Bianca, totally did this amazing piece for me.  I can't wait to frame it! 

My life has been full of awesome art work in the past week.  Check out this super cute thank you card Molly made...she might be missing her calling.  Custom hand painted thank you cards?

Okay, down to the cupcakes...

No white sugar in these cupcakes.  Butter, brown sugar and eggs.

Time for the dry ingredients...alternating of course with the wet ingredients.

Graham cracker time.

Fresh out of the oven.  Check out those perfect cupcake tops.

S'mores Cupcakes: (recipe adapted from The Craft of Baking)
*make approximately 1 dozen cupcakes
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 large egg + 1 large egg yolk
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons buttermilk
1/2 cup water or coffee
3/4 cup + 1 1/2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup cake flour (can just use all-purpose flour)
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup graham cracker pieces (3-4 crackers)

Marshmallow Fluff Frosting:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened 
1/2 cup marshmallow fluff
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs (1-2 crackers)
1 dozen mini marshmallows or 1/2 dozen large marshmallows, cut in half

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a cupcake pan with a dozen foil or paper liners and spray just the bottom of the liners with non-stick cooking spray.

2.  In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar until well combined.  Then whisk in the egg, egg yolk and vanilla extract

3.  In a medium sized mixing bowl, sift together flours, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder and soda.  Place one table spoon of flour mixture in a bowl with the graham cracker pieces to coat the pieces.

4.  Whisk the flour mixture to the wet ingredients in three batches, alternating between adding the flour mixtures and the buttermilk and water.  Begin and end with the flour mixture just until combined.  

5.  Gently fold in the graham cracker pieces.  Then using a cookie scoop or 1/4 cup measuring cup, fill the liners until about 2/3 full. 

6.  Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean.  Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes before transferring onto wire racks to cool completely.

7.  While cupcakes are cooling, prepare the frosting.  Using an electric hand mixer cream the butter.  Then on medium speed, mix in the marshmallow fluff until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes.  

8.  Next mix in the powdered sugar and beat for another 2 minutes.  Once the powdered sugar is completely incorporated, mix in the vanilla extract just until combined.  Place the frosting in a piping bag.  Generously frost each cupcake and then top with graham cracker crumbs and a marshmallow.  I used my creme brulee torch to toast the marshmallows.  You may also be able to simply used a gas grill lighter.  Just be extremely careful, because the marshmallows will catch on fire, just like when you roast them over a fire.  Enjoy!

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