Saturday, November 27, 2010

S'mores Cupcakes

For some reason, I've been obsessed with the graham cracker-chocolate-marshmallow combo of s'mores pretty much all summer.  Since we can no longer stand outside in front of our fireplace or the grill and roast marshmallows, I decided it was time to take matters into my own hands and come up with another way to enjoy this delightful combination throughout the winter, as well as make it a bit less messy.  Et voila:  My friend who makes yummy yummy cupcakes posted a s'mores cupcake on her blog.  Well, she posted a PICTURE of her s'mores cupcake on her blog.  NO RECIPE.  So, I figured this one out on my own, with the help of another friend who makes yummy yummy cakes and cupcakes who was happy to share a baking secret or two.
So, to figure this recipe out, I laid out the required components of the s'more:  marshmallow, chocolate and graham crackers.
So, starting from the bottom of a cupcake liner, I mixed up about 1-1/2 cups of graham cracker crumbs, old-school.  (That means I put some graham crackers in a baggie and used a rolling pin to crush 'em.)  I added 2 tablespoons of melted butter and 2 tablespoons of sugar and mixed it all up.  And I tried really, really hard not to sample it, but that didn't work.  Set this aside for later.
The next step was a little trickier:  Not only do s'mores need chocolate, they need dark, deep, rich chocolate, so the cake had to be super-duper chocolatey.  I asked around about very chocolatey cakes and my sweet friend, Nikki, was happy to share one of her secrets:  To get a very chocolatey cake that is rich, use a Devil's Food box mix (or something chocolatey-er, like what I used:  Chocolate Fudge) that uses oil instead of butter with the mix.  Substitute buttermilk for the water and use 4 eggs.  Otherwise, prepare cake batter according to directions.
Finally, I decided that this wasn't even chocolatey enough, so I also added a bag of mini chocolate morsels to the batter.  
Now, time to put it together:
I used the foil baking cups in my cupcake pans.  Put about a tablespoon of your butter and graham cracker mixture in the bottom of each cupcake liner and press it down.  
Being careful to get some chocolate chips in each scoop, spoon cake batter on top of crust, filling the liner about 3/4 full.
Bake per the cake mix directions.
While the cupcakes were baking, I made some marshmallow buttercream frosting:
1 cup of butter, softened
1 7-oz jar of marshmallow cream
1/2 tsp of vanilla extract
2 cups of powdered sugar (or to taste, I was travelling with these, so I wanted the frosting more stiff)
In a bowl, whip the softened butter on high speed until light and fluffy.  Add in the marshmallow cream and whip it until completely incorporated.  (I used the whisk attachment on my KitchenAid.)  Reduce the speed to low and beat in the confectioner's sugar and vanilla.  Increase speed to high and beat until light and fluffy.
When the cupcakes were cooled completely, I piped (using a large round tip) the icing on top in a swirl, then sprinkled a little bit of plain graham cracker crumbs on top.  
These were DELICIOUS.  And I totally forgot to take some pictures before travelling to Virginia with them, so the only pictures I have look like a cupcake post-apocolypse.  But really, these are divine, so try them.

P. S. I wanted to make these as mini-cupcakes, but ran out of mini liners, so I just made the regular cupcakes.  I plan to try these as minis and promise to report back.  However, if YOU try these as minis, let me know how they turn out.  Thanks!

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