Can I Have S'more?

I am a sucker for anything s'more flavored. When I look through my subscription feed of blogs and I see a variation of a s'more, I almost always bookmark it in my "To Make" folder.

I saw these cupcakes on Annie's Eats awhile back and knew then that I had to make them someday. That day was last week when I was craving something delicious.
These cupcakes were very moist and really did taste like a s'more. It all started with a graham cracker crust that was baked for five minutes in the cupcake liners. This crunchy crust was to die for. It's the classic s'more combination and it made the cupcake awesome. 
Next, I made a simply chocolate cake. I was rather scared when adding the boiling water, as the batter was quite thin, but I continued scooping them into their liners and held my breath the while they baked. 
After the cupcakes had baked and cooled in their pans, it was frosting time. The frosting was a simple meringue and then browned a bit with a Crème brûlée torch. The crispiness of the top of the meringue and the gooeyness of the inside was amazing.
The only things I would have done differently is to have made a thicker graham cracker crust. On some of the cupcakes, it was very thin and you couldn't taste it very well. I also would have added more butter to the crust mix. I think if it was packed better, it would have held up more when the cupcakes were taken out of their wrapper. 
Although there were a couple changes I would have made, the cupcakes were still amazing and I fully recommend making them. Especially if you're a diehard s'more lover like I am. 

Here is the recipe for this delectable treat:

S'more Cupcakes

For the graham cracker crust:
1½ cups graham cracker crumbs
¼ cup sugar
5 1/3 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped 

For the cake:
2 cups plus 2 tbsp. sugar
1¾ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup plus 1 tbsp. cocoa powder
1½ tsp. baking powder
1½ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
½ cup vegetable oil
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water 

For the frosting:
8 large egg whites, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
½ tsp. cream of tartar
2 tsp. vanilla extract 

Preheat the oven to 350° F.  Line two cupcake pans with paper liners.  In a small mixing bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter; mix well with a fork.  Drop about 1 tablespoon of the graham cracker mixture in the bottom of each cupcake liner and press down to line the bottom.  (Note: I found the bottom of my squeeze bottle to be the perfect size to do this job neatly and quickly.)  Sprinkle a small amount of the chopped chocolate on top of the graham cracker crusts.  Bake for 5 minutes.  Remove from the oven, and maintain the oven temperature.

To make the cake batter, sift together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on low speed just to combine.  In a mixing bowl, combine the eggs, milk, vegetable oil and vanilla extract; whisk together.  Add to the dry ingredients and mix on low speed for 30 seconds.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.  Add the boiling water and stir just to combine (batter will be thin).

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cupcake liners, filling each about ¾ of the way full.  Return the pans to the oven and bake about 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, rotating the pans halfway through baking.  Allow to cool in the pans 5-10 minutes, then remove and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the frosting, combine the egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar in the top of a double boiler.  Heat the mixture, whisking frequently, until it reaches 160° F with an instant-read thermometer.  Transfer the mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.  Whisk starting at low speed and gradually increasing to medium-high speed until stiff, glossy peaks form.  Mix in the vanilla until combined.  Frost cooled cupcakes as desired.  Brown with a kitchen torch.


Sinfully Delicious.

So you say you have a sweet tooth?
If the above statement is true, this cake must be tried.
It's a Candy Cake!!
And boy oh boy was it delicious!
Repeat after me. Moist vanilla cake. Nutella buttercream. Twix. Reese's. Butterfingers. Milky Ways.
Here's how you make this gem:

-Vanilla Cake Mix (I used a box mix simply because it was the easiest. Also, my mouth was watering just thinking about this and I needed to make it as soon as possible.)
-Miniature Candy Bars, chopped. I used Twix, Reese's, Butterfingers, and Milky Ways, but you can use whatever floats your boat. There are no rules.
-1 cup unsalted butter
-3 cups powdered sugar
-1 cup nutella
-2 Tablespoons milk

--Prepare the cake mix and bake as directed. I made my cake a 3 layer 8-inch, but you could also make a 2 layer 9-inch if you wanted. While the cake is baking, this is the perfect time to prepare the icing, you will need it once the cake comes out of the oven. 

--For the Buttercream: Mix butter until smooth and creamy. Add nutella and mix until fluffy. Add 1 cup of sugar, slowly, until incorporated, then add 1 T of the milk. Add 1 more cup of the sugar, mixing until smooth, then the other T of milk. Then, add the last cup of powdered sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. 

--When the cakes come out of the oven, cool just a bit, about 5 minutes, then remove from pans and level them off. Place the first layer onto a cake stand and top with a scoop of buttercream, spread, and add a handful of the chopped up candy. Yes, you will want the cakes to be hot, it melts the chocolate from the candy to produce chewy goodness that tastes amazing. Once the cakes are filled with the icing and candy, let them cool completely.

--Once completely cool, frost the entire cake with the remaining buttercream and top with however much of the chopped up candy you feel is necessary (In my case, this was a lot).

This little fella is very filling, and definitely not low-cal, but it is divine and I fully recommend making it sometime. 
 Until next time,


I Have Returned!


It's been quite a long time, hasn't it? I went on vacation a few weeks back and I also acquired a job. But in all honesty, there really isn't any excuse at all, I still had plenty of free time on my hands as well and I should have spent it doing this.

But I didn't.

So I am back.

After my hiatus, I realized that I really miss this. I miss showing what I do to anyone to reads this silly thing. Do you accept my apology? Please?! Perfect! Cause I'm glad to be back.

So what have I been doing, you would like to know? I suppose I could just tell you. Or I could show you!
Well first off, I won a cupcake contest!! Every year, our town has an ice cream social, and this year it was the 100th anniversary so they decided to do a birthday party theme and include a cupcake contest in the festivities. Without hesitation, I entered. I had to make 100 mini cupcakes and 12 regular cupcakes on the day of the social. After much contemplation I decided to make my strawberry cupcakes with lemon buttercream frosting (as seen here). They were a hit! I was so excited and very surprised when they called my name on stage and said that I won first place! I received ice cream for a year and that big trophy (that is now sitting on the desk in my foyer for all to see when they come in the door). They also had a little write-up in the paper about the social and my name was in it and everything! I was amazed, and it was such a cool moment.

Next off,
I went to IRELAND!!

It was absolutely ahhh-mazing and I had the time of my life. My family and I flew up to Boston and stayed there for a day and a half, which is so beautiful by the way, then we flew over to Shannon, Ireland. When we landed, it was 6am Ireland time but only 1am our time, so we were all verrry tired. After sleeping for a good nine hours, we were all awake and headed over to a local pub and had dinner, listened to a couple of Irish men play music, and just hung out the rest of the evening.

The next day we headed to the Cliffs of Moher, the scenery in most of the pictures, and let me tell you...it was gorgeous!! Also, if you've seen the movie Leap Year, that's the place where Declan gives Anna the claddagh ring and proposes to her.

After staying the night in Lahinch we made our way to Westport the next morning. That is where our family is from, and we still have a  95-year old cousin who lives over there. Westport was probably my favorite place. It reminded me so much of the town I live in now, with all the cute shops downtown, but definitely cooler just because it's in Ireland. :) On the second day in Westport we took a trip out on the bay and went fishing. It was very fun, but I'm just not a huge fishing fanatic. I tried to catch a few, but failed, so I graciously handed the pole back to my brother for him to continue. The most exciting part for me was just being out there on the water, with a nice breeze, and beautiful scenery. And I even saw a seal!!

After two days in Westport we drove to the complete other side of the country to Dublin. By this time, everyone had spent a ton of time with each other in close quarters, so being in a van for four hours wasn't the best of times, but I shook that feeling of annoyance off because we were in Ireland! And we were headed for the capital! Once we made it we decided sight-seeing was a must. So my brother, my two cousins, and I went out to explore. We saw O'Connell street, which I absolutely loved, for obvious reasons, went over to check out Temple Bar, and then just walked around looking for pretty places and beautiful scenery. And let me tell you, it was everywhere.

The next day we took a bus tour of Dublin, which was very informative and fun, and then toured the Guinness Brewery. It was a nice last day in Ireland. Most of the trip was very laid back and cozy, which I loved, but it was very nice to see the city in all of it's glory and spend time with my family as well.

Overall, I had a blast! I can't stop thinking about Ireland and if I could, I would move there in a heartbeat. There wasn't one thing about that country and the places we visited that I didn't love.

So I will leave you with this...
Two Words: Candy Cake!

And this too...
Three Words: Cutest Dog Ever!

Until next time,