Would You Like S’more?

There are some things in life that can’t be improved.
The way white Christmas lights make a cold world feel a little warmer.
The smell of apple cider warming on the stove just as the weather cools in Autumn.
The first telltale sneeze when the flowers just begin to emerge from hibernation in March when you once again believe that perhaps the sun will shine after 4pm once again.

Or…the string of marshmallow and ooze of messy chocolate when you bite into the first s’more of summer.
I don’t seek to reinvent something perfect…just to represent it in the cupcake arena. Because, really, what dessert shouldn’t be redefined in delicious, accessible, beautiful cupcake form?
What’s the best thing about winter approaching all to fast? The excuse to bake and eat delicious recipes that have been bookmarked for months since bikini season. Make these little masterpieces, and bring the taste of summer into sweater season.

S’mores Cupcakes (cake adapted from Hershey’s)

-11/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
-4-5 tablespoons melted butter
-1/3 cup sugar

1) preheat the oven to 350
2)Mix graham cracker butter and sugar.
3) Press an even thin lager into the bottom of 2 lined cupcakes tins.
4) Bake for 5 minutes, until golden brown.

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Make Chocolate Cupcake Batter
( feel free to use your favorite recipe, or mine!)
-2 cups sugar
-1 1/2 tsp each baking soda and baking powder
-3/4 cups cocoa
-1 tsp salt
-1 3/4 cups flour
-2 eggs
-1/2 cup oil
-1 tablespoon vanilla
-1 cup strong coffee
-1 cup milk

1) Whisk dry ingredients in a large bowl.
2) combine wet ingredients in a bowl or large measuring cup.
3) Beat wet ingredients into dry. Do not overmix!
4) Pour batter on top of graham cracker crust to fill the tins 3/4 of the way.
5) Bake for 20 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean.
6) Transfer cupcakes to a wire rack and let cool completely.

Chocolate Ganache
1/2 cup cream
1 cup chopped chocolate (milk of dark-milk will give the most authentic s’mores flavor)

1)Bring cream to a simmer in a small saucepan.
2) Pour cream over chocolate.
3) Let stand for 3-5 minutes.
4) Whisk until thick and shiny-keep whisking if it looks weird, it will smooth out!!
5) When cupcakes are cool, use a knife to spread a thin layer on top of each cupcake. If you’re ganache is thin, just dip the tops right in.
6) Sprinkle lightly with graham cracker crumbs, if desired.

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Make the Marshmallow!
-4 egg whites
-1 cup sugar
-1/4 tsp cream of tartar
-2 tsp vanilla

1) Combine all ingredients in bowl of mixer and place over simmering water.
2) Whisk until sugar dissolves (about 160 degrees)
3) Transfer back to mixer and whip with whip attachment for about 10 minutes, until it looks and feels like marshmallow fluff.
4) Use any decorating tip to pipe a swirl of marshmallow onto the cupcakes.
5) Pop the cupcakes under the broiler for about 1-2 minutes to toast the marshmallow. If you have a kitchen torch, by all means do that!!

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