Yeah, you don't have to tell me. S'mores have been done. Overdone. If you look even casually at foodgawker or Pinterest, you've seen s'mores cakes, cupcakes, traditional with different candybars, in jars, cake pops, ice cream, cookies, bars, pies, tarts, pudding, pizza, rice krispie treats, popsicles... need I go on? For the love of s'mores, it's time to yell out "enough already!"
But, I like s'mores. Last week, when I was thinking of what to bring to a house warming party, I browsed my arsenal of recipes, and the s'mores cupcakes done by Trophy Cupcakes kept pulling me in. Plus, we were inviting friends over to sit around our firepit on a gloriously perfect evening the night before the party. Patio + firepit + friends = s'mores. Double Plus, I already had all of the supplies on hand.
Ok, enough excuses on why I chose s'mores even though they've been done a million times before by everyone.
Here's the deal. These were good.
About 30 minutes after these cupcakes came out of the oven, I bit into the not-quite-cooled, unfrosted cupcake and thought, 'mmm, these are good." Then about an hour later John got home, saw my half-eaten cupcake and asked if he could try. He bit into it and said decidedly, "Wow, those are good."
Oh, and I tried the cupcakes out on Friday night using the meringue, marshmallowy frosting from the Lemon Meringue cupcakes that I did earlier this summer, and though it was perfect for the lemon, it was not nearly as good on these cupcakes as the one in the Trophy Cupcakes' recipe. It's smooth and full of marshmallow flavor.
From Trophy Cupcakes
Makes 2 dozen (for me, it made 31 cupcakes)
2 1/4 cup + 2 tbs sugar
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup + 1 tbs cocoa powder (not Dutch processed)
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water
1 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs (about 20 crackers)
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
9 oz bittersweet chocolate, as finely chopped as you can
Preheat oven to 350, and line 2 standard muffin tins or spray with cooking spray.
Place your sifter over your mixer bowl. Sift into the bowl 2 cups plus 2 tbs sugar (reserving the remaining 1/4 cup for later), flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Using your paddle attachment, mix on low just to combine.
In a separate medium bowl, lightly whisk the eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla. Pour into the flour mixture, and mix on low until incorporated slightly (so that it doesn't blow flour everywhere) and then increase the speed to medium to mix for 30 seconds. Scrape down the bowl and mix on medium for an additional 2 minutes. Pour in your boiling water. Using a spoon (not the mixer) stir to combine. The batter will be very runny.
In another medium bowl, stir together the graham cracker crumbs, 1/4 cup of sugar, and melted butter.
Spoon 2 tbs of graham cracker mixture into each muffin cup (there will be some leftover). Using the bottom of a small glass cup, firmly press the graham cracker into the bottom of the muffin cup, creating a crust. It may stick to the glass slightly. If you have major issues with that, try using a small circle of parchment paper in between the glass and crust.
Sprinkle evenly 2 generous tsp of finely chopped chocolate on top of the crust. The chocolate won't spread much, so even it out with your finger or a spoon at this point. And don't skimp! I thought the chocolate layer would taste a bit out of place here and too raw, but instead, I found myself wishing I had added more of it.
Place both tins side by side on the middle rack of the oven, and bake for 5 minutes. The crusts should turn light golden brown.
Remove from oven and carefully pour the batter into the cups, filling 3/4 of the way (see the image above). Sprinkle the remaining chopped chocolate and then graham cracker mixture over the top of the batter.
Bake one tin at a time for 17-20 minutes, or until the tops are set and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few crumbs attached. Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely, at least an hour.
Makes enough for about 3 dozen cupcakes; I plan on halving this recipe when I make these again, but if you feel nervous about running out of frosting, I guess you should make the whole batch. You can see below that I had somewhere between 1/3 - 1/2 a batch leftover after generously topping 25 cupcakes.
8 large egg whites
2 cups sugar
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
2 tsp vanilla extract
In the electric mixer bowl, add the eggs, sugar, and cream of tartar. Place over a small simmering saucepan of water (like a double boiler) and whisk continuously for 3-5 minutes until the sugar is completely dissolved and the mixture is getting hot and foamy.
Transfer bowl to the mixer. With the whisk attachment, gradually increase the speed from low to high, beating until stiff, glossy peaks form, 5-7 minutes. Add the vanilla, and mix briefly to incorporate.
Spoon frosting into a piping bag fitted with a large tip (I used 1M). Pipe a generous spiral on top of each cupcake. With a kitchen torch, carefully brown the frosting as much or as little as you like. Trophy Cupcakes opts for the more gentle approach whereas I prefer to actually taste the toasted marshmallow and brown it more heavily.