I love the flavor combination of s'mores soo much, that I decided to try them out in cupcake form; graham cracker bottom, chocolate cupcake batter topped with a toasted meringue. Heaven. This cupcake is the next best thing to sitting by the fire making your very own s'more with the bonus that these can be enjoyed all year long from the comfort of your own home. Campfire is always encouraged but entirely optional.
S'mores Cupcakes: (Cupcake recipe adapted from Ina Garten's Chocolate Cupcakes)
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (from about 20 squares)
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk, shaken, at room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature
2 tablespoons brewed coffee
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup good cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 6 egg whites
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line cupcake pans with paper liners. In a food processor, pulse graham crackers until finely ground up. Add melted butter and pulse to combine. Place about 1 tablespoon graham cracker mixture in the bottom of the cupcake liners and press to evenly coat the bottom. Bake in oven for about 4 - 5 minutes until golden brown. Let cool while you make the cupcake batter. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and 2 sugars on high speed until light and fluffy, approximately 5 minutes. Lower the speed to medium, add the eggs 1 at a time, then add the vanilla and mix well. In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, sour cream, and esspresso.
In another bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. On low speed, add the buttermilk mixture and the flour mixture alternately in thirds to the mixer bowl, beginning with the buttermilk mixture and ending with the flour mixture. Mix only until blended. Fold the batter with a rubber spatula to be sure it's completely blended. Divide the batter among the cupcake pans. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes, remove from the pans then allow to cool completely before frosting.
Make the frosting by combing egg whites, sugar, vanilla and cream of tartar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Using an oven mitt, place bowl over a stove burner. Turn onto medium heat and whisk egg mixture over medium heat until egg whites are hot, about 4 minutes. Remove from stove top and place on stand mixture. With a whisk attachment whip egg mixture until it becomes white and fluffy and stiff peaks are formed, about 5 -6 minutes. Place frosting into piping bag fitted with tip of choice (I actually just cut off the tip of the bag and did not use a tip - but up to you!) Pipe frosting onto cupcakes in desired shape. Toast the frosting using a kitchen torch then sprinkle with crushed graham crackers.
-post by amanda frederickson