September 24, 2012

Smores Cupcakes

Our vacations entail camping, which means smores are a requirement. It seems like most every baker blogger has created smores cupcakes, but all their recipes seem to be lacking one essential ingredient: peanut butter. Trust me, a smore is not a smore unless it has peanut butter. I have a friend in high school and college who introduced me to this concept, and I've never looked back.

These cupcakes use the graham cracker cupcake from my Key Lime Cupcakes as the base, are filled with a peanut butter filling, topped with a chocolate ganache and frosted with a marshmallowy frosting that I borrowed from Baker's Royale.

These are smores in cupcake form ... oooey, gooey, eat with a fork and have marshmallow-on-your-face goodness. These were a favorite with my co-workers. (And if you can frost these bad boys without having two completely white hands, my hat is off to you!)

Smores Cupcakes
3 c. graham cracker crumbs (one normal size box)
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
3 eggs, separated
1 1/2 c. milk
3/4 c. shortening
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Peanut Butter Filling
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup light brown sugar
2 Tbsp. light corn syrup
Chocolate Ganache
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup heavy cream
Marshmallow Frosting
10 egg whites
3 cups sugar

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line 27 cupcake tins, and set aside.

Combine graham cracker crumbs with baking powder and salt. Put egg yolks, milk, shortening, sugar and vanilla into blender container, cover and process until smooth. Add to cracker crumbs, and mix well.

Beat egg whites with mixer until stiff. Fold into cracker mixture. Fill cupcake tins 3/4 full, and bake 17 to 20 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes in the pans, and then finish cooling on a wire rack.

To make the filling, combine the peanut butter, whipping cream, corn syrup, and the brown sugar in a small saucepan saucepan. Heat over low heat, stirring, until smooth and sugar is dissolved. Refrigerate to thicken until you're ready to pipe into the cupcakes. Pipe peanut butter filling into the center of each cupcake prior to coating them with ganache. (You should have peanut butter filling left over ... I drizzled mine on top of the ganache to keep from eating it all by myself.)

To prepare the ganache, melt the chocolate chips and cream together over low heat, stirring often. Spread warm ganache onto the tops of the cupcakes, and let the ganache set.

To prepare frosting, combine egg whites and sugar in a bowl placed over simmering water. Bring mixture to 160ºF while whisking constantly. Transfer mixture to stand mixer bowl, fitted with a whisk attachment, and beat on medium high speed (speed 8 on a KitchenAid stand mixer) until mixture cools and doubles in volume and forms stiff peaks; about 10-12 minutes.

Pipe frosting onto cupcakes generously. Carefully brown the frosting using a kitchen torch, blowing out all the paper wrappers you might happen to light on fire. Makes 27 cupcakes. 

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