It’s strange how much I’ve grown to love s’more themed desserts, considering I’m not a huge fan of traditional s’mores in general.  Let me clarify, I love the idea of s’mores.  I love making them during bonfires, when at camp, or even on the grill–but I just find the overall combination to be far too sweet to really enjoy.  I’m generally barely halfway through one when I start to feel sick.  But there’s certainly no denying–marshmallows, chocolate, and graham crackers–make one hell of a combination.

So like I said previously, my first attempt with these cupcakes were a major fail.  The graham cracker crust was burned and hard and the chopped chocolate that was meant to go directly over the crust just hardened.  For the amount of work you have to put into the cupcakes (I’ll be honest, the frosting requires a bit of extra work), I simply wasn’t satisfied.  So, for Sareth’s order, I knew I’d have to change it up a bit.

For one, I baked the crust for a very short amount of time.  Two, I decided that instead of making a layer of chocolate at the bottom of the cupcake, I’d throw the chopped chocolate into the batter.  That way, instead of biting into hardened pieces of chocolate at the bottom, you’d get these perfectly melty bits of chocolate with every bite.  Yes, I smart.

Also, the recipe for the frosting calls for 8 egg whites.   If you make the frosting as is, you’ll have more than enough frosting for 2 batches.  I would definitely, by all means, cut down the original recipe in half.

S’more Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

Ingredients:
For the graham cracker crust:
1½ cups graham cracker crumbs
¼ cup sugar
5 1/3 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
8 oz. semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

Cake:
2 cups plus 2 tbsp. sugar
1¾ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup plus 1 tbsp. cocoa powder
1½ tsp. baking powder
1½ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
½ cup vegetable oil
3 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

Frosting:
8 large egg whites, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
½ tsp. cream of tartar
2 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350° F.  Line two cupcake pans with paper liners.  In a small mixing bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter; mix well with a fork.  Drop about 1 tablespoon of the graham cracker mixture in the bottom of each cupcake liner and press down to line the bottom.   Bake for 4 minutes.  Remove from the oven, and maintain the oven temperature.

To make the cake batter, sift together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on low speed just to combine.  In a mixing bowl, combine the eggs, milk, vegetable oil and vanilla extract; whisk together.  Add to the dry ingredients and mix on low speed for 30 seconds.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.  Add the boiling water and stir just to combine (batter will be thin).

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cupcake liners, filling each about ¾ of the way full.  Push a few pieces of the chopped chocolate into the cupcake batter (I had pretty healthy sized chunks, so I placed 3 pieces in each cupcake.  Return the pans to the oven and bake about 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, rotating the pans halfway through baking.  Allow to cool in the pans 5-10 minutes, then remove and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting,  fill a saucepan halfway with water and heat on medium. Place the metal mixing bowl on your stand mixer over the sauce pan. Combine the egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar, whisking frequently, until egg whites are warm to the touch.  Transfer the mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.  Whisk starting at low speed and gradually increasing to medium-high speed until stiff, glossy peaks form.  This is going to take some time–I took me about 10 minutes.  Mix in the vanilla until combined.  Frost cooled cupcakes.  If you are not in a rush, place frosting in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before frosting.  This will make for much easier application.   Brown with a kitchen torch.

Adapted from Annie’s Eats
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