S’more Cupcakes

I made these cupcakes in a kitchen that was roughly 97°F  –  before I turned the oven on. Perhaps the heat caused my brain to swell and I decided it would be a good idea to bake. Were they worth the sweat? Yes. Were they everything I dreamed of and more? Also yes.

The graham cracker cupcake is filled with a blob of delicious, rich chocolate and the whole thing is topped with marshmallow fluff which gets toasted under the broiler. These cupcakes deliver on that s’more flavor we all know and love. Plus, the presentation is A+. Happy sweaty summer!

img_3997.jpgIMG_3976IMG_3977IMG_3979IMG_3988IMG_3987IMG_3989

S’more Cupcakes

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

 

Cupcakes:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 7 graham crackers (rectangles)
  • 1/4 plus 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 plus 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter or margarine, softened
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup almond milk

 

Filling:

  • 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1/3 cup almond milk
  • Pinch of salt

Frosting:

  • Marshmallow fluff in a jar

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, graham crumbs, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl between each addition. Add 1/2 of the dry ingredients and mix until combined, followed by 1/2 of almond milk, mixing again. Repeat until everything is combined.

Fill the lined  muffin tin 3/4 full with batter. Bake for 20 minutes. Let cool completely on wire rack.

Use a small knife to remove a small amount of cake from the cupcake center.

Place the chocolate and salt in a small saucepan over low heat. Add the almond milk and stir until everything is melted and combined.  Cool the chocolate mixture in the freezer for 10 minutes – stirring every couple of minutes.

Transfer chocolate into a plastic bag and snip off the corner.  Squeeze a small amount of chocolate into each cupcake.

Frost the cupcakes generously with the marshmallow fluff. Toast under broiler for about 2-3 minutes – monitoring closely so they don’t burn!

Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies

I’m on a cookie kick. It started last Sunday morning when I woke up to the sound of little girls shouting outside my window. “Girl scout cookies! Girl scout cookies! $4 a box!” It realllly made me want to start my day with a thin mint. But I have more self control than that. I held off until about noon, bought 4 boxes of cookies and then decided to bake some chocolate chip cookies. If you are ready to take your chocolate chip cookie to the next level, you need to add sea salt to the mix. Both in the dough and sprinkled on top  – sea salt delivers on flavor. In a big way. These cookies are also the perfect blend of crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. Cookie nirvana. IMG_4353IMG_4352

Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies

From Smitten Kitchen

1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons Sugar in the Raw
3/4 cup light or dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
Heaped 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 pound semi-sweet chocolate chips
Flaky sea salt for sprinkling

Heat oven to 360°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugars together until very light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add egg and vanilla, mixing well. Beat in sea salt and baking soda until combined, then the flour on a low speed until just mixed. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Using a tablespoon, scoop out cookie dough and place on the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle each mound with sea salt. Bake for 11 to 12 minutes until golden brown around the edges. Let the cookies rest for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet and then transfer to a cooling rack.

Baby Babka Buns

I have babies on the brain.  No, not in a maternal, newly married kind of way— this blog is not becoming the Pregnant Princess anytime soon. More so in a youngest child with pregnant older siblings kind of way.  (Speaking of baby fever, check out this amazing website my pregnant sister in law, Miriam, alerted me to. Instant mood booster.)  A few weeks ago, a new arrival, Baby Emily, joined the family and I thought what better way to welcome the little nugget of joy into the world than baking Baby Babka Buns in her honor? And for the still pregnant ladies in my life, these will keep your chocolate cravings at bay. And I promise not to judge you when you eat the whole pan. But let’s get real, I’m going to make you work for this. You’re going to want to do some lamaze breathing for these labor intensive indulgences. They don’t take exactly nine months to make, but close to it. Trust me though, the result will be worth the wait. Spirals of gooey, chocolatey-cinnamon in a rich, heavenly dough. And this bun in the oven doesn’t poop, cry or spit up. A dream dessert, really.

picstitch (6)

Believe it people. Believe it.

image (10) image (9) picstitch (3)picstitch (7)   image (7) image (5)  image (2) image (1)

image (21)

image (20)

image (24)

Baby Babka Buns

From Smitten Kitchen. Because really, who else could dream up these delights? Makes 12 buns.

Doughpicstitch (4)
1/2 cup milk (girl, put that skim down. Clear eyes, whole milk, can’t lose.)
1/4 cup plus a pinch of sugar
2 tsp active dry yeast
1 egg
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp unsalted room temperature butter, plus more for bowl and muffin tins.

Filling
3 tbsp room temperature butter
1/4 cup sugar
8 oz semisweet chocolate chips
pinch of salt
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon

Egg Wash
1 egg
2 tsp milk

Dough Prep: Warm the milk  and a pinch of sugar in the microwave for 30 seconds.  You want it warm but not too hot to the touch. Stir in the yeast and let sit for 5 minutes. Whisk together egg and 1/4 cup sugar. Slowly whisk in the yeast mixture. Combine flour and salt in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Mix on low and slowly add the egg mixture. Add the butter and mix until combined. Switch to the dough hook attachment and turn mixer on low and let it go for 10 minutes. Butter a large bowl and place dough in the bowl. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let it rise for 45 minutes or until it doubles in size.

Filling: Place chocolate chips, salt, sugar and cinnamon in a food processor. Pulse until chocolate mixture is very finely chopped. Add butter and pulse until butter is mixed into the chocolate mixture.

Assembly: Take the dough out of the bowl and deflate lightly with your hands. Let it sit for 5 minutes. On a well floured surface (such as your dining room table), roll out the dough into a large rectangle that measures about 11 x 15-20 inches. Sprinkle the filling over the dough evenly. Tightly roll the dough from one short end to the other. With a serrated knife cut the log into 1 inch pieces and place pieces into a buttered muffin tin. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 25 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 350. Whisk up egg and milk and brush onto the buns.  Bake for 15-20 minutes. Take a nap. Eat one first though. These truly are a labor of love.

image (25)

Too bad this little guy won’t grow up to be a full sized babka…

Naomi’s Brownies (Warning: Content May Offend Boxed Brownie Lovers)

I ate a lot of brownies in college. No, not those kind of brownies.  Please, I was not that cool. I’m talking instead about the Duncan Hines ones. The go-to dessert of the cash-strapped college student. Slap on some frosting and bring em’ to Shabbat dinner brownies. Sure, they get the job done. They’re sweet, chewy, and vaguely chocolatey, but true brownies are not supposed to taste like that. Boxed brownies never really did it for me because in my family we never used the box, we made Naomi’s Brownies. An age old family recipe dating back to my Aunt Jean and later published in an elementary school cookbook by my cousin, Naomi. If you’ve never had a homemade brownie, get ready for your life to change. Prepare yourself to be transported to a mind-altering state (still not those kind of brownies) of chocolatey bliss.

picstitch (6)

picstitch (2)

Naomi’s Brownies

3 ounces of Hershey’s unsweetened baking chocolate

1 stick of butter or margarine

2 eggs

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup flour

1 tsp vanilla

1/8 tsp salt

1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to to 350. Grease and flour an 8×8 pan. Melt butter or margarine and chocolate in a small saucepan until silky smooth and let cool. Beat eggs and sugar and whisk into the chocolate mixture. Add flour, salt and vanilla and mix everything together. Stir in pecans and pour into your pan and bake for 25 minutes. Dust with powdered sugar and watch people fall in love with a real brownie.

picstitch (4)

The best study snack, second only to Red Bull and Adderall.

picstitch (3)