Thursday, January 21, 2010

Smore's Cupcakes

For Christmas I also made these Smore's Cupcakes seen on Annie's Eats. She raved about how good they were and really I have been dying to use the kitchen torch I bought. So this was the perfect excuse, plus smores's cupcakes...yes please!

So as I was baking these Christmas Eve day I was getting more excited by the second to pull out the kitchen torch, when it finally was the time, I pulled it out and realized I need to put butane gas in it. Umm, what's a girl to do when its Christmas Eve and she is running late and has no butane for the kitchen torch...I called my mom to see if she had any she could bring me. She didn't have any and couldn't really tell me where to go that late in the day on Christmas Eve. I was defeated and had no time for a store run. So I ended up using the broiler to torch the marshmallow frosting. Just be careful and keep an eye on them, it works really quickly!

These little cakes were perfection, the graham cracker crust with the moist chocolate cupcakes and the toasted marshmallow frosting....heaven! If you like smore's you will definitely love this recipe, so get in the kitchen and make this soon!

Smore's Cupcakes from Annie's Eats originally adapted from Lovin from the Oven and attributed to Trophy Cupcakes

Graham Cracker Crust:
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup granulated sugar
5 1/3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

For the cake:
2 cups plus 2 tbsp sugar
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 plus 1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

For the frosting:
8 large egg whites, at room temp
2 cups sugar
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 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. Sprinkle a small amount of the chopped chocolate on top of the graham cracker crust. Bake for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven.

To make the cake batter, sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with 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.

Divide the batter evenly between the liners, filling each about 3/4 of the way full. Return to the oven and bake for 18-20 minutes. Allow to cool in pan for 5-10 minutes, then remove and transfer to cooling racks.

To make the frosting: combine the eggs, sugar and cream of tartar in the top of a double broiler. (I just used a clean, dry mixer bowl over simmering water) Heat the mixture, whisking frequently until it reaches 160 degrees F with an instant read thermometer. Transfer the mixture of an electric bowl with whisk attachment. Whisk starting at low speed and gradually increasing to medium-high speed until stiff, glossy peaks form. Mix in vanilla until combined. Frost cooled cupcakes as desired.

Brown with kitchen torch or use the broiler. Just make sure to watch this only takes about 45 seconds to a 1 minute.

Garnish with chocolate or graham crackers as you wish!

I took a bite out of one, simply for picture purposes :)
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Chocolate Cinnamon Bundt Cake

I was in charge of bringing dessert for a New Years Lunch with my family. I knew I was going to make a bundt cake because my boyfriend's mom got me the most beautiful bundt pan from Williams Sonoma for Christmas!

After flipping through some recipes I decided on a cinnamon chocolate bundt cake that I saw on Lick the Bowl Good. The cakes smelled amazing while it was cooking and it was so moist and chocolately I could have eaten the whole thing!

Cinnamon Chocolate Bundt Cake from Food Librarian via Lick the Bowl Good

1/2 cup butter

1 cup water

1/2 cup vegetable oil

5 tablespoons cocoa powder

2 cups flour

2 cups sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup buttermilk

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 eggs slightly beaten

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a large bundt pan with cooking spray. Make sure to cover all the crevices.

Put butter, oil, cocoa in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Meanwhile, whisk together flour, sugar, and salt in a mixing bowl. Pour the chocolate mixture into the bowl with the dry ingredients and mix well. Then add, the buttermilk and baking soda. Mix together the eggs, cinnamon and vanilla in a small bowl and add to the batter.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 25 minutes. (Mine took closer to 38 mins. Usually my oven cooks things pretty quick but this just took a lot longer than I thought it would)

Allow to cool in pan completely!

I just sprinkled the top with powdered sugar.

A little close up...

A view of the top...

Thanks Monica for sharing the recipe, this cake was moist and delicious! My family enjoyed it with a nice scoop of vanilla ice cream. :)

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Sunday, January 10, 2010

Christmas Sugar Cookie Cut Outs with Royal Icing

I have been wanting to try sugar cookie cut outs with royal icing for some time now. I keep promising my sister I will make some for her class. Finally I got around to trying them out for Christmas. I really enjoyed working with royal icing and cant wait for the next time. The more I worked with it the easier it got (and the cuter the cookies got)!

I used the vanilla almond sugar cookie recipe from Bake at 350 as well as her royal icing recipe. I just think Bridget's cookies always turn out amazing! I definitely need lots more practice but I was pretty proud of my of first batch!

Vanilla-Almond Sugar Cookies from Bridget at Bake at 350

3 cups unbleached all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 cup sugar (I used vanilla sugar)
2 sticks butter ( I used unsalted)
1 egg
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp pure almond extract

Preheat the oven to 350F. Combine all the flour and baking powder, set aside. Cream the sugar and butter. Add the egg and extracts and mix. Gradually add the flour mixture and beat just until combined, scraping down the bowl, especially at the bottom.

Roll onto a floured surface and cut into shapes. Place on parchment paper lined baking sheets and bake for 10-12 mins. Let sit for a few minutes on the sheet, then transfer to a cooling rack.

Royal Icing from Bridget at Bake at 350
(this will cover approx. 3 dozen 3.5 inch cookies)

1 pound powdered sugar (sifted)
5 tbsp meringue powder
scant 1/2 cup water
a few drops of extract (optional)

Combine the meringue powder and water with a whisk attachment using an electric mixer. Beat until peaks begin to form. Stir in powdered sugar and beat on low to combine. Increase speed to high until stiff peaks form. (You can remove the beater and jiggle without the peaks falling) If using an extract combine for a few seconds to incorporate.

Cover with plastic wrap touching the icing or divide and color using gel paste food coloring.
I used bottles to outline the cookies and I let them dry over night.

For flooding the cookies, I just added water till it was the consistency needed. If it gets too runny just add more powdered sugar.

The flooded cookies I let dry for several more hours before I finished and added some decorations.
I definitely started to get the feel for the icing as I went on. I can't wait to try making these again. The cookies were delicious!

All packed up in a tin and ready for Christmas!
I think the snowflakes were my favorite! Print This