Monday, February 21, 2011

Finding Happiness at the Bottom of a Measuring Cup: Girl Scout Cupcakes

So a few weeks ago my mom asked me if I wanted her to order me any girl scout cookies.  I have to admit it was very tempting, but when it came down to it I realize I only have limited tummy space and I’d rather save it for all the stuff that I want to try baking instead of wasting it on store bought stuff I’ve had before.  Despite this realization I had to fulfill my Girl Scout cookie craving somehow! 

Thus the Girl Scout cookie cupcake series was born.

So I perused some blogs and my cupcake bible (Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes) and came up with cupcake variations on these three Girl Scout favorites: Tagalongs, Thin Mints and Samoas.


The Tagalong: Peanut Butter-Filled Chocolate Cupcakes

Makes 12 cupcakes and adapted from Martha Stewart's cupcakes

For chocolate part:
2/3 cup all purpose flour
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
½ cup unsalted butter
6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
¾ cup granulated sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract

For peanut butter swirl:
4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
½ cup powdered sugar
¾ cup smooth peanut butter
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp pure vanilla extract

1)    Preheat oven to 325°F and line a muffin tin with paper liners.
2)    For chocolate batter whisk together flour, baking powder and salt and set aside
3)    In a microwave melt chocolate and butter together.  I like to heat for 30 seconds then stir and repeat until it’s ready to avoid the chocolate separating or burning. Let cool slightly.
4)    Stir granulated sugar, eggs and vanilla into chocolate butter mixture then mix in dry ingredients from step 2.
5)    In a separate bowl stir together the peanut butter swirl ingredients.  I usually keep my peanut buter in the fridge so a few seconds in the microwave made the task more manageable.
6)    Spoon 2 tbsp of chocolate batter into each cupcake paper, then top with 1 tbsp peanut butter mix, then 1 tbsp chocolate batter, then 1 tsp peanut butter.  Swirl batter together gently with a toothpick or small knife.
7)    Bake in oven for 40 minutes, rotating pan half way through baking time
8)  Eat with a tall glass of milk

The Thin Mint: Dark chocolate mint cupcakes

 Makes 18 cupcakes and adapted from Martha Stewart's cupcakes

For cupcake:
1 ½ cups all purpose flour
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 ½ cup sugar
1 ½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
¾ tsp salt
2 eggs
¾ cup butter milk, or regular milk with ¾ tbsp of lemon juice added to it and let sit
3 tbsp veggie oil
2 tsp peppermint extract
¾ cup warm water

1)    Preheat oven to 350°F and line a muffin tin with paper liners.
2)    In a large bowl whisk together flour, cocoa, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
3)    Add eggs, buttermilk, oil, extract and water and mix until just combined.
4)    Divide batter evenly into 18 cupcake papers and bake 20 minutes or until a toothpick/knife comes out clean with no wet crumbs stuck to it.
5)    Let cool then ice with dark chocolate mint icing.

For Icing:

¼ cup plus ½ tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ cup plus ½ tbsp hot water
1 1/8 cup unsalted butter (2.25 sticks) at room temperature
1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp powdered sugar
1/8 tsp salt
¾ lbs semi-sweet chocolate melted and cooled
2 tsp peppermint extract

1)    Combine cocoa and hot water and stir until cocoa has dissolved and then let cool
2)    In a mixer beat butter, sugar and salt until light and fluffy
3)    Add in melted chocolate, cocoa powder mixture and peppermint extract and beat until smooth
4)    Ice cupcakes.  If the icing seems too runny you can stick it in the fridge for 5-10 minutes to help it stiffen up.

The Samoa

I used a recipe from a lovely blog called Bakers Royale to make these beauties.  I was also lazy and left off the chocolate drizzle at the end, but feel free to be an overachiever and include that step.  Just to warn you the icing is quite sweet so you may want to cut back on the powdered sugar and taste test as you go (the best part!).


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