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« Mai Tai & Hawaii | Main | Irene's Orange Rolls »
Monday
Apr092012

S'mores Cupcakes

S'mores Cupcake

In between my break away from physics and finding a job in an established bakery, I worked in a small cake shop selling special order cakes and thousands of cake and cookie decorating equipment. Though my job title was "baker," it was a far stretch from my actual job description. I spent one or two mornings a week baking up boxed cake mixes; my employer hovering over my shoulder convinced I was going to mess them up.

It was frustrating in many aspects. Though my boss was truly a lovely woman who went out on a limb to give me a chance, the job wasn't quite what I had dreamed of. I spent my hours daydreaming of a bakery where I had freedom of ingredients and the trust to make something delicious (it would eventually happen, but not today). The cake shop didn't even have a stick of butter buried in the back of the fridge. I looked.

S'mores Cupcake S'mores Cupcake

When I wasn't in the back of the store baking, I was out front helping customers and keeping the shelves stocked. The store was never terribly busy. Most of my time was spent languidly lining the food colors in stick straight lines, the sound of my breathing and the shuffling of paper in the back the only noises in the stilled shop. Among the quiet activities, attending to The Wall of Sprinkles became the most time consuming. The wall held at least a hundred different packages of sprinkles of every imaginable shape and color—jimmies, nonpareils, dragees, sanding sugar, crystal sugar, holiday sprinkles, and so forth. It was, in essence, a sprinkle lover's mecca.

Rather than "baker," my job title really should have read "sprinkle curator." I attentively filled the sprinkle containers by weight, tapped them shut tightly, and priced them with love. I arranged them by color, type, and holiday on the shelves—five containers in back and four in front. I never meant to get irrationally obsessed with The Wall of Sprinkles, but it was beyond my control. As soon as a customer bought one of the sprinkles off the shelf, I would run to the back to grab another to make my sprinkle-lined shelves even.

S'mores Cupcake S'mores Cupcake

Looking back, I think I was looking for validation. Validation in my decision to switch careers and validation to pursue baking. If I couldn't prove to my employer that I could bake, perhaps my devout attention to The Wall of Sprinkles would, in some small way, redeem me. It took a couple months of hard work before she allowed me to frost the cakes for her to decorate. It was the smallest of steps for me, but for her it was as large as the Grand Canyon. Though I set out to learn to bake, the true skill I came away with was patience. Honestly, I think it was more valuable in the end.

Well, that and I have an unusual fondness for sprinkles.

Note: I'll be vacationing in warm and tropical Hawaii this week so I'll be taking the week off from blogging to soak up the sun and get sand between my toes. Don't worry, I'll pack as many photographs and anecdotes as can fit in my suitcase on my return. Have a lovely week! I'll be certain to have a Mai Tai and think of you.

S'mores Cupcake

These S'more Cupcakes are delightful, irresistible, and impossible to ignore. The cupcakes have a crunchy graham cracker base, topped with a sweet chocolate cupcake, rich chocolate glaze, and toasted marshmallow meringue. I love the texture of these cupcakes—crunchy, light, soft, sticky, and gooey. It truly is a s'more in cupcake form. These are perfect for birthday parties, long summer nights, and when you want a special treat just for you.

One Year Ago: Strawberry Pancakes (and a harrowing tale about a watermelon)

S'mores Cupcakes
Inspired by Call Me Cupcake!

Yields 24 cupcakes

Chocolate Cupcakes with Graham Cracker Base
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
5 tablespoons butter, melted
Chocolate cupcake batter, enough to make 24 cupcakes (use your favorite homemade recipe or box mix)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Line a cupcake pan with baking cups.

In a large bowl, stir together graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter until evenly coated. Place a tablespoon sized scoop of the mixture in the bottom of each baking cup. Using a glass or bottle the size of the base of the cupcake, press down the graham cracker crumbs until they form a solid crust.

Bake for 5 minutes to allow the base to harden. Cool for 5-10 minutes before filling with cupcake batter.

Fill the rest of the baking cups 2/3 full of cupcake batter. Place in the oven and bake for 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool to room temperature before glazing and frosting.

Chocolate Glaze
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
4 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon light corn syrup

In a saucepan, melt together the chocolate, butter, and corn syrup over medium heat and stir until completely combined. Remove from heat and allow to cool in room temperature for about 30 minutes until chocolate thickens to a spreadable consistency. Stir occasionally.

Marshmallow Meringue
4 egg whites
1 cup granulated sugar

In a double boiler, whisk together the egg whites and sugar until the sugar is completely dissolved and the egg whites are warm to the touch, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from the heat, transfer to a medium mixing bowl, and beat the egg whites until they form stiff, shiny peaks, about 5-8 minutes.

To Assemble
Using a knife or off-set spatula, spread a thick layer of chocolate glaze on top of the cupcake, extending the chocolate to the edge of the cupcake. Let set for a few minutes.

Fill a pastry bag with the marshmallow meringue and pipe the meringue on top of the cupcake. Alternatively, you may fill a large sealable plastic bag with the meringue, snip off the corner, and pipe it on top of the cupcakes. Using a kitchen torch, lightly toast the marshmallow meringue to resemble a toasted marshmallow. Alternatively, if a kitchen torch is not available, turn the oven onto broil and place the cupcakes on a cookie sheet in the top shelf of the oven. It will only take a minute or two to get a nice toasty marshmallow look, so watch them very closely.

Reader Comments (62)

These are stunning, Kristin! And your boss seems like a very nice lady but she really should've let you been the real baker - I'm sure her store would've have made TONS more money.
First of all - I love your blog. I love the amazing photography and the interesting stories and quotes that accompany each post. Well done! You are very very talented!
I've never made marshmallow meringue before. Once frosted how should one store these cupcakes? Where we live, it is hot and humid. Thanks!
04.10.2012 | Unregistered CommenterAA
Hahaha! That s'more joke is as old as time and still cracks me up! This is by far the most salivating s'more i've seen! Can I have some more s'more?
Sprinkle curator, ha! These look great. I tried making s'mores cupcakes once and was unsuccessful. I will have to give yours a whirl!
AA-- I would store them at room temperature in an airtight container, or even out in the open for just one night (the cupcake wrapper and chocolate glaze keep the moisture sealed in). Just don't touch the marshmallow meringue-- it can stick to anything and everything, ruining a perfect topping-- so don't cover with plastic wrap!
04.10.2012 | Registered CommenterKristin Rosenau
These look absolutely mouthwatering. Need now! :D
Besides these looking outrageously delicious, YOU QUOTED SANDLOT!! Haha - I say that quote EVERY TIME s'mores are mentioned and only about 50% of people ever know what I'm saying!
04.10.2012 | Unregistered CommenterCait's Plate
These are some of the prettiest s'more ANYTHING I've seen in a while! So cute!
I never get sick of S'more recipes. These look soooooooooooooo good!
Wow, these look amazing and I don't even like s'mores. I will make them since they are so beautifully photographed and look super tasty! Thanks for posting the recipe and enjoy Hawaii!
04.10.2012 | Unregistered CommenterMimi
Wow your pictures look amazing!! Awesome photography! I am not even a huge s'mores fan but if these were sitting in front of me I wouldn't be able to resist.
04.10.2012 | Unregistered CommenterHannah
These cupcakes look like loads of fun! How long do you find it lasts on the cupcakes before it starts breaking down?
These look so yummy! I love the flavor combination.

Natalie
04.10.2012 | Unregistered CommenterNatalie
I love reading the stories of your path to becoming a baker...they always make me wonder if it's something I'd ever be brave enough to do myself :-) These cupcakes look absolutely delicious - I've never tried baking cupcakes with a biscuit base but can imagine the result is out of this world.

Have an amazing holiday and looking forward to seeing what you have to share when you're back!
04.10.2012 | Unregistered Commenterthelittleloaf
Oh my heavens don't these look good? Gorgeous pics too!
04.10.2012 | Unregistered CommenterKristen
Oh, my goodness! These look absolutely divine.
04.10.2012 | Unregistered CommenterJill
These look so delicious! Have fun in Hawaii. I'm looking forward to seeing some of your shots once you return.
04.10.2012 | Unregistered CommenterbrookeO
Beautiful!!! I adorrrre S'more Cupcakes, but have never made mine with the chocolate glaze. Definitely something I'll have to add next time. Love these!!
I could definitely eat five of those right now!
04.10.2012 | Unregistered CommenterSarah
I love your blog, and I don't usually comment but Smores are one of my most favourite things so I have to say Thanks! Have a great time in Hawaii. I look forward to seeing what you have in store when you get back.
04.10.2012 | Unregistered CommenterKaren
These cupcakes look INSANE!! Who is eating all of them? because I sure would eat at least 3...or more!! The pictures are just a work of art. LOVE THEM!! By the way I made your Grandma's rolls last night making quite a few changes to healthified the recipe :-) I hope you don't mind. I will be posting them this weekend and linking to your blog of course. Regards
04.10.2012 | Unregistered Commentereat good 4 life
These look DELICIOUS! Can't wait to make them for my next get-together!
04.10.2012 | Unregistered CommenterSara
These are absolutely gorgeous. And delicious, I'm sure.
04.10.2012 | Unregistered CommenterFresh and Foodie
These cupcakes sound divine, especially the gooey texture of the chocolate portion. I'm not a huge fan of actual s'mores, but I think I will be giving these a try!
These cupcakes look amazing! I will totally try these. I'm so jealous that you are taking a trip to Hawaii...here in NY there is snow in the forecast tonight :( Have fun!!!
04.10.2012 | Unregistered CommenterHeather
Goodness! I don't know which to try first - your s'mores cupcakes, brownies or pie! Glad I've found someone who loves s'mores as much as I do :]
04.10.2012 | Unregistered CommenterJJ
Hi! such a cute idea!! and tasty as well. I was wondering where you got your cupcake liners??

Thanks!
04.11.2012 | Unregistered CommenterKristen
I had cupcakes like these at a bakery recently and have been wanting to recreate them. This will be perfect! (And probably better than the ones I paid $3.50 each for!) :)
04.11.2012 | Unregistered CommenterCookie Sleuth
Those look delicious! I went to sleepaway camp for ten years and on rainy days The Sandlot was our go-to movie. "You're killing me smalls" remains one of my all-time favorite movie quotes :)
04.11.2012 | Unregistered CommenterLisa
I think it just got harder to concentrate on work without having a major sweet tooth.
This just went to the top of my to-bake list! It will be the feature of next week's blog post. Thanks!
04.12.2012 | Unregistered CommenterJulie
Instead of the meringue, do you think it would work to toast an actual marshmallow and plop it on top? (Do you think it would hold up for a bit?)
04.12.2012 | Unregistered CommenterChristine
Lovely pictures. The cupcakes look yummy. They look like they belong in a bakery shop window. Love.
04.12.2012 | Unregistered CommenterCupcake and Talk
These cupcakes look delish and I love hearing about your stories from working at the bakery. You definitely must have learned a lot of patience at that job, that must have been really frustrating. The sprinkle wall sounds kinda fun, though! :)

Have a great time in Hawaii!
Hoooooly moly, these look amazing!
Wow, these are gorgeous cupcakes - and I love that you made everything from scratch. And the photos are stunning... I am featuring this post in today's Friday Food Fetish roundup (with a link-back and attribution), but please let me know if you have any objections. It's a pleasure to be following your creations…
04.13.2012 | Unregistered CommenterJavelin Warrior
Can't wait to try these. Your photos are beautiful!
Where did you find the cupcake liners? Love those.
04.13.2012 | Unregistered CommenterAnnemarie
Wow. I just discovered your blog through a BlogHer link and am now very, very sad. I am taking a break from dairy, wheat and eggs in my own diet to try and get to the bottom of my nursing baby's issues, so all I can do is gaze longingly at your beautiful pictures and delectable recipes and wait for the day when I can try them. Thanks for sharing your beautiful work! This blog is obviously a labor of love!
04.13.2012 | Unregistered Commentercara
These look amazing. Love the color - the dark chocolate and the white and the golden-brown - such warm, inviting, yummy photographs.
04.13.2012 | Unregistered CommenterErica
I've seen a lot of s'mores-inspired treats lately, but this looks better than any of them! I love the toasted tops! Beautiful!
These look awesome. Just wondering what type of cupcake liners did you use?. They look taller and a better shape than the typical muffin liner I have seen or used.
04.16.2012 | Unregistered CommenterAmy
I just made these last night for my sons bday to take to his classroom ...and they were by fat the best cupcake I've ever had.all the kids loved them and the teachers did to...so glad I found this...will be making again this weekend for his bday...thank you for sharing these and for the great pictures to go along with them.
04.18.2012 | Unregistered Commenterheather
I just made these, and all i have to say is WOW! These are really great! They took a little longer than expected because of the multiple layers, but it was totally worth it. Also the Marshmallow meringue topping took a really long time for me to get thick enough and even when it did, it wouldn't stop spreading out until I torched the top of them to solidify the crust. Otherwise, they taste fantastic! Thank you!
04.22.2012 | Unregistered CommenterDan
I made these a few weeks ago and they were fantastic! I am an avid baker and have made plenty of things for my family and boyfriend, but the consensus is that this is the favourite. I am making them again tomorrow for a birthday party. Thanks for the great recipe!
05.10.2012 | Unregistered CommenterStephie
Great recipe! i'm dying to make these, but I'd love to know where you got the cupcake liners from...
05.17.2012 | Unregistered CommenterElizabeth
I am also wondering what type of cupcake liners you used for these.
06.26.2012 | Unregistered CommenterTheresa
I'm actually in the process of making these and super excited about it! For some reason, though, I have a ton of leftover graham cracker crumbs (at least half). I used a tablespoon sign scoop. Was I supposed to use it in the cake batter too?
07.7.2012 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle
I just found your blog via Pinterest, specifically this recipe! I can't wait to dig into your posts, I'm hooked!!
07.17.2012 | Unregistered CommenterKristen
Lovely photos! Where are your liners from?
08.2.2012 | Unregistered CommenterAnna
Anna- The baking cups are actually Solo brand 3.25 ounce paper souffle cups, found in restaurant supply stores or online.
08.2.2012 | Registered CommenterKristin Rosenau

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