Monday, September 7, 2009

S'Mores Cupcakes

Summer is almost over and sadly, I didn't go camping this year. I'm not usually big on camping and enjoying the outdoors, but my whole motivation is purely based on the opportunity of cooking on an open fire. Yep, leave it to me to look at the world through a cooking or baking perspective! Since I won't have a chance to camp or cook over an open fire before the summer ends, that means I won't be able to enjoy s'mores the traditional way. You know the drill... poke a stick through a fluffy white marshmallow, roast it over an open fire until it blisters and browns (or chars), then slide it off in between two graham crackers and a piece of milk chocolate to create a sandwich. Then it begins. The fun and messy joy of eating s'mores as the warm marshmallow oozes off the edges of the graham crackers with melting chocolate following behind. This is how I envision true camping bliss.

Since camping is not in my immediate future, I can still enjoy the flavors of s'mores. I've seen countless ways on how marshmallow, graham crackers and chocolate have been combined in the form of cookies, brownies, dessert bars... but cupcakes are my chosen alternative to the real deal. I used the following recipe found on the ever popular blog, Cupcakes Take The Cake. It's a graham cracker cake base with bits of milk chocolate floating around, topped with a heavenly Swiss Meringue Marshmallow Frosting. To garnish, I broke off pieces of graham cracker squares and milk chocolate squares to sit on top of the mountain of white sugary goodness then sprinkled the cupcakes with crushed graham crackers. Amazing. Maybe I don't have to ever go camping again to enjoy s'mores...

S’mores Cupcakes
recipe adapted from Cupcakes Takes The Cake


Graham Cracker & Milk Chocolate Cupcakes
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups finely crushed graham crackers (about 20 grahams)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup milk
1 cup milk chocolate chips, chopped

Swiss Meringue Marshmallow Frosting
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
4 egg whites
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For Garnish
1 graham cracker rectangle, broken into squares
1 graham cracker rectangle, crushed into crumbs
1 milk chocolate bar, broken into squares


Preheat oven to 350°F.

Mix flour, crushed graham crackers, baking powder, and salt together and set aside.

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add vanilla. Alternately add flour mixture and milk and beat until batter is almost smooth. Fold in chocolate chips.

Spoon batter into cupcake papers, filling cups about 2/3 full. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean (Mine were done at 16 minutes). Remove from oven and cool.

To make the frosting: Combine egg whites and sugar in the top of a double boiler (or a glass bowl over but not touching a pan of simmering water). Whisk constantly over medium-high heat until mixtures reaches 160°F, about 5 minutes. Pour egg white mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on high for 6 minutes or until room temperature. Add optional vanilla extract 1 teaspoon at a time until desired flavor.

Frost cooled cupcakes and garnish with graham cracker squares, milk chocolate squares and sprinkle the graham cracker crumbs on top.