Sunday, July 27, 2014

Graham Cracker S'Mores Cupcakes


One of the things I've been bugging my parents about for months now (honestly, ever since January) is that I wanted to make s'mores. I love the summer treat, but we never had the cause to actually make them/buy the materials. However, that changed when my mother came into my room one Saturday and handed me a recipe she had found in a Real Simple magazine.
"Make this," she told me. I was extremely eager to do so, as cupcakes are some of the things I most love baking/decorating. Combining my love of cupcakes with my desire for s'mores, there was no way these cupcakes weren't being made.
The basis of these cupcakes, made in honor of some cousins coming from up North to visit, is a simple graham cracker cupcake. First, preheat your oven to 350F and line a muffin tin with paper liners.
Next comes the batter. To make that, you must have 1 cup of graham cracker crumbs, which is, approximately, 9 crackers if you're grinding it yourself, as I was. With my mother's knowledge of how to use our food processor, I finely ground the crackers into crumbs.
Look at those glorious graham cracker crumbs
Then, whisk together the graham cracker crumbs, 1 cup of flour, 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a medium bowl. That is your dry ingredients done.
Unmixed dry ingredients
The power of the whisk has been applied
Beat one stick of butter and 3/4 cups of sugar together on medium high until light and fluffy. That should take you approximately 2 to 3 minutes.
Make certain the butter is room temperature
Nice and fluffy
On that same speed, beat in the 2 eggs one at a time and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Be certain to scrape down the bowl as needed.
Looks so delicious
Reduce your mixer speed to low and, alternatively, add in the dry ingredients and the 3/4 cups of milk. Be certain to begin and end with the dry ingredients and mix well between each of your additions. But only mix until just combined. Mine ended up with a few larger chunks of the graham cracker crumbs, which created a nice appearance.
So thankful for the stand mixer
And the batter is completed!
(I can attest to the fact the batter alone tastes good)
Then it's on to dividing the batter among the muffin cups. The batter wasn't liquidy, which meant it was easily divided between the 12 muffin tins.
The batter was nicely divided about into 3/4 of the muffin cup
Look how nice, neat and equal it divided
Be certain to bake them on the middle rack of your oven, rotating once, until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake (I recommend your largest if there's a size difference) comes out clean. In total, that should take about 20 to 24 minutes.
Look; my reflection with the baking cupcakes
Mid baking of the cupcakes
Then, cool in the tin for 10 minutes, but then transfer then to a wire rack to cool completely.
Chilling in the tin
Such an artistic shot of delicious cupcakes
After that, all that's left is to prepare the ganache and melt the marshmallow toppings. I don't have any pictures of the ganache making, as it was done with the assistance of my cousin with baking experience, but I can still dictate what was done.
Bring 1/3 of a cup of heavy cream (we used whipping cream) to a boil. Once it's boiled, remove from the heat and add 6 ounces of bittersweet chocolate. Let that sit for 5 minutes before whisking to combine. Originally, we tried to use Hersey's milk chocolate, but quickly realized we had misread the packaging and had far too little chocolate, creating a slight disaster as we inadvertently created hot chocolate. Thankfully, due to how many chocolate chip bags we have lying about in the kitchen, we were able to find a bag of the correct chocolate and added it until the ganache became ganache again.

The marshmallows went more smoothly. Place 12 large marshmallows, the classic s'more ones, on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Be certain they're a bit apart so that they don't stick together. Bake them on the top rack, we just kept it at 350F, until golden and deflated. That should take about 6 to 10 minutes. Then just let them cool and then you're ready to assemble.
Convenient oven marshmallow roasting
Once everything has cooled, but the ganache isn't set, divide the ganache among the 12 cupcakes and top each with one of the toasted marshmallows. You can either let them sit until firm to the touch (15 to 20 minutes), or eat them immediately, which is what we did.
Success!
Beautiful shot of bitten cupcake
Despite the disaster with making the ganache, the cupcakes still came out delicious. The graham cracker cupcakes didn't take a lot like graham crackers, so perhaps I would add a few little bits of graham cracker at the end if I made them again, just to see if they got a stronger flavor. Or I would add a few more crumbs in the actual batter (we had some left over, so it would be easy to do).

The cupcakes were refrigerated for about a week and a half, and I can attest they were still good, though the cupcake did become more muffin-like in texture. The ganache and the marshmallow, however, made up for that.

Give these cupcakes a try! Here's a link to the online version of the recipe, but I will include the ingredient list after the signature.

Hugs from,
Your Friendly Teenage Baker

Cupcake ingredient list:
  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs (about 9 crackers)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup milk
Chocolate ganache ingredient list:
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream (we used light whipping cream)
  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
Toasted marshmallow ingredient list:
  • 12 large marshmallows

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Teenage Baker

I thought it'd be best to open this blog up by saying that yes, I am a teenager. I'm in high school and spend quite a lot of my time sitting around on the internet looking up recipes I want to try. Many of the channels I'm subscribed to on YouTube are baking channels. I beg my parents to buy me the supplies I need and, when they actually do, I hurry to try my hardest to use them.
So, I believe it's fair to say I have an interest in baking. It's not a professional interest, as my major goal in life is to become a writer, but I let it take up quite a bit of my time.
My mother posed this crazy idea of creating a blog at dinner last night, after I commented about how I wanted to try a recipe for French bread pizza I wanted to try. I decided to give it a try, since I needed something productive to do this summer besides writing fanfiction.
Most of the recipes I'm going to be trying are ones I find online, but I'll be able to give you an actual account of how the recipes work (or don't work). Hopefully this will be an amusing ride for everyone involved.

Love from,
Your Friendly Teenage Baker