S’mores Cupcakes

I love summer, and I love the Olympics. And I really love the summer Olympics. But this year I will be in Italy for the bulk of the Olympics (I know, poor me), so I will be binging more on pasta and gelato than international sporting (again, poor me). So for my pre-Italy post I wanted to give a nod to both America (go Team USA!) and our rapidly dwindling summer. And what dessert says summer in the States than S’mores? None come to my mind. While I do want to keep this post short and sweet after last week’s behemoth, a recipe for S’mores seemed to be mailing it in just a bit too much. So I present, S’Mores cupcakes! These little guys honor the wonderful merging of favors of s’mores, as well as the sensory fun.

The cupcake itself is a graham cake with chocolate chips. In case you didn’t know, graham crackers are named after graham flour, which is just whole wheat flour. So these cupcakes do have some whole wheat in them, thus they will help you live longer. Perhaps that’s a bit of stretch, but they will certainly make you want to live longer so you can eat more of them in your lifetime. Don’t get too worried about all that healthy stuff though, these are still as indulgent tasting as the original. Did I mentioned they are full of chocolate chips?

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I topped these with a nice meringue, mostly because I wanted to make everything from scratch, but was too lazy to make marshmallow cream. S’mores are supposed to be easy, not time consuming. And whipping up this meringue is about as easy as it gets when it comes to from-scratch frosting. Also, it’s really fun to work with because you can get it to hold some cute little curlicues if piping or some fun spikes if you’re just smearing it on with a spatula.

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The one thing I would recommend, is to either eat them fresh out of the oven nice and warm like a real s’more, or save the cupcakes until the next day and then frost them. The cupcakes were even better the second day, somehow more moist? But the meringue does start to dry out, so if you want the gooey-sticky s’mores sensation, you’ll want to eat them soon after icing them. They still taste great after the meringue starts to dry, it’s just not gooey anymore.

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These are perfect for an Olympics watching party, or just a backyard barbecue soaking in the final days of summer. Or, if you’re like me, just for yourself to enjoy on the couch. But for now, it’s time for me to go for the gold in pizza eating. I’ll be back with a new recipe in a couple weeks!

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S'mores Cupcakes

Graham and Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

Makes about 30 standard cupcakes

2 c. cake flour
1 c. whole wheat flour
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. nutmeg
½ tsp. salt
1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1¼ c. granulated sugar
½ c. packed dark brown sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 large eggs
2 egg yolks
1¼ c. buttermilk
12 oz. chocolate chips

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 and line a cupcake tin with cupcake liners.
  2. Sift the flours, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt together. Set aside.
  3. Fit a stand mixer with a paddle attachment and beat the butter on medium speed until it is smooth, then add in the sugars and beat on medium until the mixture is light and fluffy. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  4. Turn the mixer on low and slowly add in the vanilla and eggs. Stop the mixer and scrape down the side of the bowl again.
  5. Turn the mixer back on low and add a third of the flour mixture and mix until almost combined, then add half of the butter milk. Repeat, and then finish with the remaining flour mixture.
  6. When the flour is almost mixed in, add in the chocolate chips and mix until they are just incorporated, being careful not to over mix the batter. The batter will be thick.
  7. Fill the cupcake liners three quarters full.
  8. Bake for 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean (you might have to test a couple times to avoid hitting a chocolate chip).
  9. Let cool in the cupcake pan for 5-10 minutes and then remove and let cool completely on a wire rack.

Meringue Topping

 1 c. egg whites
2 c. granulated sugar
2½ tsp. vanilla extract

  1. In the mixing bowl for a stand mixer, whisk the egg whites until slightly foamy on top. Add in the sugar and whisk until incorporated. This can be done by hand.
  2. Bring about an inch or two of water to a boil in a large pan, and place the mixing bowl in the pan, creating a double boiler. The water should barely touch the bottom of the mixing bowl.
  3. Whisk the egg whites over the pan until the sugar is completely dissolved. You can test by placing a drop of the egg white mixture between your fingers. When done, the mixture will be warm to the touch and you won’t be able to feel any sugar granules. The egg whites will cook before the sugar is completely dissolved, so if you don’t have any sugar granules, you know the eggs are cooked (and your frosting won’t be gritty).
  4. Place the mixing bowl back on the stand mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment. Whip the egg whites starting at a low speed and gradually increasing to high speed. When you see soft peaks, add in the vanilla.
  5. Continue to whip until the whites reach stiff peaks (like in the photo above).

Assembly

8 Graham crackers
Chocolate chips

  1. Transfer the meringue to a piping bag and pipe onto the cupcakes, or just apply with a spoon.
  2. Toast the meringue to your liking with a culinary torch.
  3. Break the graham crackers into quarters and insert into the cupcake. Finish with chocolate chips.
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