Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Cookies and Cream Cupcakes

These are yummy. :)  I made them as a dairy-free dessert for little miss-- we were attending my husband's grandfather's 80th birthday party, and they only had a bakery cake, which is a big no-no for my poor little allergy girl.  I was really happy with how well these cupcakes turned out-- they were a last minute recipe that I kind of cobbled together, but it all worked out.  It's not a very "fall-like" recipe, but the frosting got rave reviews from my resident icing connoisseur-- my husband. I made these in two different forms-- large and miniature.  Both forms are equally good.  The cake base is the chocolate cake I posted for the chocolate espresso cupcakes, so I won't repeat it here, but I will link you to it.  That chocolate cake recipe is definitely the best I've ever found.  Pretty easy and definitely good enough to make again!

Chocolate Cupcakes
From Annie's Eats via Coley Creates
Makes approximately 24 mini cupcakes and 10 full-size cupcakes

Additional ingredient: 1 package miniature Oreos

Use the link to access the chocolate cake recipe.  Once you've mixed the batter for the cupcakes, line the the pan size of your choice with cupcake liners.  For the mini cupcakes, I twisted off the top of the mini Oreo and placed the bottom half of the cookie, icing side up, in the bottom of each cupcake well.  (Save the tops to crush for the icing.)

Fill each of the cupcake wells a little more than halfway full-- you don't want the cupcakes to overflow!  Reserve approximately 10-15 of the whole mini Oreos as decoration for your full-size cupcakes.  Roughly chop the rest of the mini Oreos in half and add to the remaining batter.  Fill as many of the full-size cupcake wells as you can, filling to about half to two-thirds of the way full.  Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 16-20 minutes-- until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean.  Cool on a wire rack as you make the icing.

Cookies and Cream Buttercream
(Adapted from Wilton and My Baking Addiction)

1/2 cup vegetable shortening (Crisco!)
1/2 cup unsalted butter (I used Willow Run margarine as a dairy-free sub)
1 tsp clear vanilla extract
4 cups powdered sugar
2 Tbsp milk (I used almond milk as a dairy-free sub)
1/2 cup (approximately) of crushed Oreos, without icing

In a large bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the shortening and butter until smooth.  (As always, if Crisco freaks you out, you can use all butter.)  Mix in the vanilla extract.  Add the powdered sugar on cup at a time, mixing until thoroughly incorporated and scraping the sides of the bowl after each addition.  The icing will appear very dry-- add the milk, 1 Tbsp at a time, until the icing reaches the consistency you want.

Crush the Oreos-- you can do this by hand or in a food processor.  I prefer the food processor, because it crushes the cookies very finely, which is is necessary if you are going to pipe the icing-- you need to make sure all the bits are small enough to fit through the icing tip.  Fold the crushed cookies into the icing-- this can be done to taste.  If you want more or less cookie bits, go for it!  It's your icing.  Pipe onto the cooled cupcakes with a bag/tip, or with the a plastic bag with the corner cut off.

It's about to be baking extravanganza time around these parts-- Friends-giving, the preschool Thanksgiving Feast, and my first ever "catering" request(!)-- I will try to keep you updated on all of it. :)

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