s’mores cupcakes

smores cupcakes

This is less of a recipe post and more of an idea post. I am sure you guys have heard of this cupcake before. The s’more cupcake, an easy frosting hack that was popularized on Pinterest as an easy 2-minute solution for lazy bakers. I wanted to use this blog post as an excuse to try the baking hack out and give you guys my take on it.

(For those that want the actual chocolate cupcake recipe, you can find it here. I used one from Sally’s Baking Addiction. (I love her blog, especially when I am looking for something more technical.))

When I made these cupcakes, I had them in mind for a family outing and I wanted them to pop and make a good impression. That idea aside, I can be a fairly impatient cook. This is perfect for people similar to me because this cupcake topping is incredibly easy and takes 2 minutes tops to achieve. In fact, take your eye off of your cupcakes and they will be ruined – it’s that fast of a process.

On most Pinterest posts, you will see this as a two step project. Place the marshmallow on the cake. Then, put it in the oven heated to its broil setting. However here are a couple tips on how to prevent your cupcakes from turning into a Pinterest fail.

  1. Flatten the marshmallow first. This is especially helpful if you want the top of the cupcake to look like it was iced and not just topped with a generic marshmallow. I initially struggled with having a weirdly, partially covered cupcake. I wanted it to look like I had iced everything and then toasted the top. You can achieve this look by flattening the marshmallow into a rectangle, and then laying it flat onto the top of the cake. This way, the heat will hit more of the marshmallow directly, creating an even melted and toasted look. To help things along after the cakes are done toasting, press the melted marshmallow further into the cupcake and it will create a “spreaded” look.
  2. Since the key to this recipe is broiling the marshmallow tops, it is important that you do not walk away from the oven. It takes less than a minute for the marshmallows to toast and seconds for them to move from toasted to completely burned. Be ready with oven mitts and make sure to remove them the moment they have a nice golden brown crust.

Lastly, I have a tip to take this idea to the next level. I liked adding a chocolate drizzle and sprinkling of graham cracker crumbs. The only difference that separates you from having cupcakes that look they came from a boutique is that last minute spent on decorations. Take an extra 30 seconds and melt some chocolate chips. Want to be even more fancy? Microwave a graham cracker for a few seconds to make it soft. From there, you can take a small cookie cutter and cut out some cute shapes and use them to top your cupcakes.

cupcake vertical

more cupcakes

Almond fig galettes

final

I recently got my hands on a giant box of fresh figs. I have never cooked with them before, I really have only seen them in jams and cookies, however I always loved their subtle sweetness. I am also smitten with how pretty these fruits are. Green skin with slight splashes of pink hide a rose interior. I’ve never worked with these fruits fresh, and to be honest, they are pretty boring looking once dried or cooked. These turned brown when baked, which lost all the pretty coloration. However they did become chewy, which gives a good texture to this dessert.

Since I didn’t have much experience with figs, I went to Pinterest to try to get an idea on what I could do and I found that tarts and galettes were the most popular choice. I have also never made a galette before, so I thought, well here’s a way to knock out two culinary experiences with one stone. The crust comes from the Smitten Kitchen, and I added an almond filling to make the galette a bit more substantial than just a fruit filling.

Ingredients

The crust

  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • A stick butter, cut into centimeter sized cubes
  • 1 cup ice cold water, only 1/4 cup will actually be used

The filling

  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 3/4 cup ground almonds
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon dark rum
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
  • 4-5 fresh figs, sliced

 

flour

First, drop a couple ice cubes into the water. Set aside. Then in a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar and salt.

 

butter

Drop in the butter. Using a fork, start pressing the butter into the flour. Make quick, pushing movements. The goal here is to not make a dough by stirring, you are in a way, massaging the butter into the flour to make a sandy mixture. Move as quick as you can to ensure the butter doesn’t have a chance to warm and soften. Stop when you see pea sized bits of butter left, like in the picture. It doesn’t have to be even. In fact, you want it to be lumpy- those lumps of butter will create the flakey layers in your crust.

 

water

At this point, measure out 1/4 cup of the ice water and start mixing it into the mixture. Make sure any ice cube pieces are not included when you pour. Again, this will not be a stirring motion. You want to try to press the flour clumps into the water. Keep pressing until you get a uniform dough.

 

ball

When the dough starts to pull together, use your hands to knead the ball a couple times to ensure it is fully combined. Then wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.

 

filling

Mix together all the ingredients for the filling, except the figs, until combined. Set aside.

 

roll

Once the dough is fully cooled, cut it into four pieces. Leave three of these pieces wrapped in the plastic, and return them to the fridge. You want to make the galettes one at a time, and having the coldest dough possible will make your life easier. I promise you. Take the quarter of the dough and push its corners with your hands until you attain a make-shift circular shape. Flour your work surface and your rolling pin, then start rolling the dough until it is about 1/4 an inch thick.

 

fill

Take your almond filling and spread it in the center. Then spread your figs. You can move the figs in any shape you want, you can spiral them in a circle for example. However I wanted the almond filling to show, so I went in a line.

 

fold

Fold and pleat the sides together and transfer the galette to a baking sheet lined with foil. Repeat the process for the last three pieces of crust dough.

 

final 2

Bake at 375 °F for 50 minutes to an hour until the crust is golden brown. The goal is for the bottom of the galettes to be opaque and cooked through. If the almond mixture browns too fast, cover the baking sheet with foil.

The smell of these baking in my kitchen was unimaginable. Something about a simple butter crust turns unbelievably nutty in the oven. These could be made the more traditional route with sliced pear, the pear almond tart is one of the most common French pastries I’ve ever seen. However, there’s nothing funner than cooking with a new ingredient. I embrace the fact that I am a baking nerd. Let me know what you guys try out with this recipe!