"The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you've got to have a what-the-hell attitude." Julia Child

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

oreo cupcakes with chocolate buttercream frosting

With state and county fair seasons months away, this tasty recipe helped satiate my Oreo craving and doubled as the dessert Henry and I brought to share at a Game of Thrones Season 3 Viewing Party. Totally nerdy, I know.

Yield: 18 cupcakes
300 calories per cupcake
Active time: 15 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes

for the cupcakes
1½ cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, slightly melted at room temperature
1 cup of sugar
3 eggs
1½ teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup almond milk
Oreos (I used double stuffed)
   -18, whole for the cupcake bottom
   -8, crushed up for the batter (this is about 1 1/4 cups)

for the frosting
8 tablespoons (1 stick) room temperature butter
2 cups cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 to 3 tablespoons almond milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Oreos: 6, crushed up for garnish (this is about 3/4 cup)

the cupcakes
1. Combine the dry “for the cupcakes” ingredients into a large bowl and stir with a spoon. (I don’t sift my dry ingredients if I am using my hand or stand mixer. Why? I was at a cupcake making class and the instructor said that given the power of modern kitchen appliances that’s unnecessary. Yay!)

To crush up the Oreos, I put them in a Ziplock back and gently rolled over them with my rolling pin. I double bagged them too, because I have had the seam blow out.

2. Combine the eggs, vanilla extract, and milk with the butter.  (See step 1 of “lavender greek yogurt cupcakes” for more on this method.)

3. Combine the wet and dry mixtures, stirring with a spoon until blended.

4. Using your hand mixer beat a smooth batter has formed, about 30 seconds. Do not overbeat, as that leads to sunken and dry cake. 

5. Line muffin pan with liners and place one Oreo cookie in each well.

6. Scoop, by the tablespoon, the batter into each well. Gently tap down the muffin tin and repeat with another tablespoon. The photo on the left is with 1 tablespoon of batter and the photo on the right is after 2 tablespoons.

7. Bake until the cupcakes are golden brown, about 20 minutes. (See step 7 of “lavender greek yogurt cupcakes” for more on testing for cake doneness.)

8. Remove from the muffin tin to cool. Why? Heat doesn't build up and stay in the muffin well because air can circulate around the bottoms.

the frosting
9. Using your hand mixer, cream the butter on a medium speed for about 4 minutes. The butter will look whipped and very light because the process of creaming adds air and disperses the fat. (For frosting, the butter needs to be solid, so don't melt it in the microwave.) 

10. Add in the cocoa powder, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and milk, beating on a low speed until combined.  Increase hand mixer speed to high and beat for about about 4 minutes. If your frosting seems too thick, add a bit more milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, and beat until a consistency of your liking forms.

11.  Fill a pastry bag or Ziplock with the frosting and pipe onto the tops of the cupcakes. (See step 6 of “chocolate bundt cake” for tips on piping with a Ziplock.)

12. Garnish with crushed Oreos.

Original recipes found here, here and here.

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