My lovely husband had his birthday up next. For him, I had a much more elaborate vision. However, first my goal was to make him his favorite breakfast: biscuits and gravy. This was actually a bit of a challenge for me because he is the biscuit and pastry maker in our house. For some reason, I tend to avoid anything that requires the creation of flakiness. So, as a result, I decided to go in a different direction. Instead, I chose to pursue the baking powder method for biscuit making. They turned out quite well, if I do say so myself. I used this Cream Biscuit recipe.
The only frustrating/confusing point for me was when it discussed leaving the flour behind and using the remaining cream to moisten it and add to the dough on the counter. I looked at the recipe in our New Best Recipe cookbook and it is slightly more detailed in its instructions. It advises add cream a little at a time to the dry bits and stirring until moistened, and then adding it to the rest. I just poured the cream in, sort of stirred it around and then dumped it on top of the dough. It worked but was messy because it was not combined well.
The sausage gravy was the standard cream gravy base, and here is the recipe I used.
For a while now, I have been wanting to merge several recipes and make my own version of a S’More Cupcake. R’s birthday seemed like the perfect opportunity. Since this is a hodgepodge of several recipes, I will provide the instructions here with credit for parts, but here is the run down on what you are getting yourself into. First up is a graham cupcake. I found several versions, but I like the one that had you use graham flour instead of graham cracker crumbs. Just seemed more authentic. A lot of recipes have you do a chocolate filling or a layer of chocolate ganache then a fancy toasted marshmallow frosting. Fancy frostings scare me (perhaps one day I will attempt this Swiss Meringue thing all the bloggers swear is the best frosting ever). And I do not have a torch to toast frosting. And that seemed like it would be a pain in the @$$ to transport. So, I decided I wanted to do a toasted marshmallow filling. There are lots of marshmallow filling ideas out there to imitate Hostess cupcakes. I finally found one that incorporated actual toasted marshmallows along with the marshmallow crème. Finally, I decided I wanted to keep it simple and just dip the tops in a chocolate ganache. That is where I stumbled. I opted to do the cut the top off, put filling in, and put top back on method. Well, that made for some really homely cupcakes that I knew would look even worse with just a layer of ganache. So, I ended up making a chocolate cream cheese frosting as a last minute change. I am not sure that they were my best effort, but everyone scarfed them down and raved about them. They were also super rich! Next time, I think I might just try the pastry tip injector method for the filling.
The cupcake recipe comes from the Brown Eyed Baker. Her version does look tasty.
Yield: 24 cupcakes
Prep Time: 1 hour | Bake Time: 25 minutes
For the Cupcakes:
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1-1/3 cups graham flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1½ teaspoons salt
1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
10 ounces (1¼ cups) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups light brown sugar
¼ cup honey
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together both flours, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream the butter, brown sugar and honey until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to medium; beat in the eggs and vanilla, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the flour mixture and mix until just combined.
Divide the batter evenly among the lined cups. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until golden brown and a thin knife inserted in the centers comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached, about 25 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool 10 minutes; turn out cupcakes onto racks and let cool completely. Cupcakes can be stored up to 1 day at room temperature, or frozen up to 1 month.
Next up is the Toasted Marshmallow Filling, which I borrowed from Sweetapolita.
8 large marshmallows
½ cup powdered sugar
¼ lb of butter (1 stick, or ½ cup) at room temperature
½ teaspoon of vanilla
4 oz of marshmallow cream or fluff
Place marshmallows on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Place on lower rack of oven, and broil marshmallows until nice and brown. Keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t burn. Once they start browning, it happens very quickly. Combine butter and powdered sugar in electric mixer fit with paddle attachment on low until blended (about 1 minute). Add vanilla and mix on high for about 3 minutes. Add marshmallow cream, toasted marshmallows and mix on lowest setting for a minute.
Now you put the filling in the cupcakes. Either cut out a cone shaped piece and put some in the middle or use a pastry bag to fill. There is lots of techniques out there on the internet if you are not sure what I am talking about.
Last Minute Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting. I picked this recipe solely because it made about half the amount of most recipes, and I didn’t want leftover frosting. It turned out nice. I would use it again.
¼ cup butter, room temperature
4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
¼ cup cocoa powder
3 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 ½ cup to 2 ½ cup powdered sugar
Beat together the butter and cream cheese until smooth. Sift in cocoa and beat until smooth. Add milk and vanilla along with about 1 ½ cups of powdered sugar (I am pretty sure I sifted mine in with the cocoa). Mix at medium speed until smooth. Add sugar as needed to get the consistency you want. And, I am pretty sure you know what to do with the frosting after that!
Next up was our friend, J. She was experimenting with a vegan diet, so I told her I had just the birthday cupcake for her! This has been in rotation a couple of times at potlucks and is quickly devoured. I am actually surprised I have not put this one up yet! It is Vegan Banana French Toast Cupcakes. We acquired originally from the Bake and Destroy website, but I cannot find it on there anymore. Weird. The only change we make is to use vanilla flavored almond milk and to leave out the almond extract. I like to make these in our mini muffin pan, especially when taking to a party. These come together ridiculously easily and quickly, and I cannot speak to the frosting, but it sounds yummy!
I will leave you with a breakfast gem that I made for a recent brunch study group: Honey and Goat Cheese Filled Fig Muffins. First off, I could eat the goat cheese mixture with a spoon. Okay, maybe I did… I think it would be quite tasty on crackers and bread. The muffin themselves were super yummy and sort of healthy. The filling is a mix of honey, goat cheese and lemon zest. The muffins are pretty basic but have the addition of dried figs for an additional layer of richness. In fact, that was the only thing that was a bit time consuming: chopping the figs into bite-sized pieces. Make these soon.