Wednesday, January 25, 2012

S'mores Cupcakes

♥♥ Intermediate

I know that S'mores are typically a summer treat, but we seemed to be having them a lot around the new year (didn't I hear some where that they will bring luck to you throughout the year?) so I thought that it might be a good time to capitalize on a potential S'mores Cupcake.

If you like S'mores, you'll love these. If you're diabetic however, stay far away! These have double the sugar that most cupcakes do, and they're likely to put you in a sugar coma. These have by far been some of my favorite cupcakes yet.

What you'll need:

  • 1 Box Dark Chocolate Fudge (Duncan Hines) Cake Mix (You can use any chocolate mix, but this is the best) 
  • 1 1/3 Cup Water
  • 1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 Cup Graham Cracker Crumbs
  • 4 oz. Cream Cheese
  • 1/2 Cup Marshmallow Cream 
  • 2 Cups Powdered Sugar
  • Cream Cheese Frosting
  • Mini-Marshmallows
  • Chocolate (for decoration. I like Milk Chocolate Candiquik

How it's done: 

1. Preheat the oven to 350*F, and line muffin tins with paper cups. Spoon 1 Teaspoon graham cracker crumbs into the bottom of each liner.

2. Combine cake mix, water, oil, and eggs until thoroughly combined. Fill liners 3/4 full of cake mix, and bake for 19-22 minutes. Baking times will vary.

3. While cupcakes are baking, in a small bowl combine cream cheese, marshmallow cream, and powdered sugar until combined.

4. Once cupcakes have baked and cooled, make a small hole in the top of the cupcake and pull out a small amount of filling. (I like to use my hand-held apple corer for this job!)

5. Pipe cream cheese/marshmallow cream mixture into cupcakes. (Fill as much as you would like, but stop when cream reaches the top of the cupcake.

6. Pipe cream cheese frosting on top of cupcakes, and sprinkle with graham cracker crumbs. Drop a few marshmallows on top, and drizzle with chocolate. (If you use the Candiquik, the chocolate will harden quickly.


Lofthouse Cookies - Copycat!

♥ Beginner

Who doesn't love a good Lofthouse cookie? Or 8 of them?! You know which ones I'm talking about, the fluffy sugar-like cookies slathered with frosting and sprinkles, in whatever holiday theme is relevant... You see them as soon as you walk in to the grocery store, because they KNOW you'll buy those. You're welcome for making your mouth water.

I will admit, this recipe is NOT as good as those original Lofthouse cookies, but in a pinch they will do. And honestly, they are easy enough that you don't need to rush out to the store because most of the ingredients you'll likely have on hand.

What you'll need:

Just in case you had no idea what I am talking about.

  • 1 Box of Classic White Cake Mix (I will always suggest a Duncan Hines
  • 1/2 Cup Oil
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/8 Cup Flour
  • 1/4 Cup Shortening
  • 1 Can Strawberry Frosting (Or any flavor!) 

How it's done: 

1. Preheat your oven to 350*F.

2. Combine cake mix, oil, eggs, and flour. Mixture will seem oily, but that's a sign that it's just right. 

3. Using a 1/2 Tablespoon, scoop batter, form it into a ball, and then drop onto a cookie sheet. Using the measuring spoon guarantees uniformity. 

4. Bake for 9-11 minutes. Baking times will vary. 

5. Wait for them to cool completely on a wire rack, and then frost with the frosting you've chosen. Top with sprinkles if desired. 


Carrot & Cream Cheese "MuffCakes"

♥ Beginner

Originally, these were called inside-out cupcakes because the frosting is on the inside... however, these are more like muffins (because they are great for breakfast!) with a cream cheese filling. Now we call them "MuffCakes".

These were a great hit at the ward linger-longer, and although I anticipated bringing some home because they aren't very pretty, they were all gone before we snuck out. If you're a carrott cake lover, or cream cheese lover (like myself) then you'll love these sweet little muffcakes as much as we do.

I originally made these from scratch, making my own carrot cake, and they turned out pretty good. But the next time, I made them from a Duncan Hines Decadent box mix and not only were they easier, but they were much more flavorful. At roughly $3.00 a box, it was worth it for the ease. If you want the recipe from scratch, let me know and I'll post it. Otherwise, here's my recipe using the box mix (because let's be honest, you're going to take the easy route too.)

*Btw, I stole these from King Arthur Flour (but mine are better, cough) 

What you'll need: 

  • 1 Box Duncan Hines Decadent Carrot Cake Mix (New!
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1/4 Cup Vegetable Oil
  • 8 oz. Package of Cream Cheese (or Neufchatel Cheese)
  • 1/4 Cup Sugar
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Lemon Juice

How it's done: 

1. Preheat your oven to 400*F, and grease or paper your muffin tins. (If you grease, your muffins will rise more and be fuller looking.)

2. Mix up your cake mix with the eggs and oil. Set aside.

3. Combine softened cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, and lemon juice until well blended. 

4. Pour 2 Tablespoons of carrot cake batter into muffin tins. Top with heaping tablespoon of the cream cheese mixture, and then cover with remaining batter. (You want the muffin tins 3/4 of the way full - or more if you're like me.)

5. Tap your muffin tin lightly on the counter to release any air bubbles.

6. Sprinkle the top with course white sparkling sugar, because who doesn't love a little extra sugar??

7. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Baking times will vary. Once baked, let them rest in the muffin tin for 5 more minutes before moving them to a cooling rack. Enjoy!

These little gems are perfect when eaten still warm, although they are just as good when they've had some time to cool too!