Friday, July 20, 2012

My obsession and Oreo Cupcakes

I have an obsession. It's pretty bad really. I'm obsessed with baking. If my parents let me, I'd probably bake every single day. There's just something satisfying about baking and knowing that what I bake is tasty. Sometimes I feel empty inside if I have the urge to bake and I don't end up baking. This must sound silly but it's true. A few days ago that urge came back and I didn't ignore it this time...well that and the fact that there was a pack of left over oreos just sitting on my counter for a month. It was bothering me. I knew I had to use it because I didn't ever feel like just eating oreos. I never really like just eating oreos...I think it's the cream inside. What is it made out of anyway? It's so sweet and, well, gross. I've always been the kind of person to take the cream out and just eat the cookie portion of the oreo. Is that strange?

Anyway, instead of eating the oreos, I decided to make oreo cupcakes. I planned on making these cupcakes for a while now, but I tried my hardest to resist the urge to bake. Why? That's because every time I bake in the summer my dad gets mad at me for "making the house too hot." The funny thing is that he never complains when he finally gets a taste of what I baked.

These oreo cupcakes are really easy to make. They don't even require a stand mixer. You can just use an old-school whisk. The chocolate cake recipe I used came from The Butch Bakery Cookbook by David Arrick. It's a lovely book. The recipes are extremely easy to follow and the end results are to die for. All the cupcake recipes I've tried were moist and just sweet enough. I highly recommend you buy this book and try some of the recipes. The buttercream recipe also came from this book but I changed it up a little to suit this cupcake. I hope you give this recipe a try. 

Oreo Cupcakes
adapted from The Butch Bakery Cookbook
makes approx 16 cupcakes

3/4 cup water
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons semisweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon espresso powder (this isn't necessary, but it brings out the chocolate)
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 tablespoons Kahlua or other coffee-flavored liqueur (optional)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract  
16 oreos halves, with cream filling still attached 

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 2 muffin tins with cupcake liners. Twist Oreos in half and set aside the extra cookies for later. Place the side with cream filling in the bottom of each cupcake liner, cream-side facing up.

In a small saucepan, bring the water to a boil and remove from the heat. Stir in the cocoa powder, chocolate chips, and espresso powder, and stir until smooth. Set aside to cool, about 20 minutes.

In a medium-size mixing bowl, sift the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Whisk to combine. Add the eggs, oil, Kahlua (optional), vanilla, and the chocolate/espresso mixture to the bowl, whisking just until all of the ingredients are completely incorporated. 

Fill each prepared muffin cup 3/4 full. Bake, rotating the pans halfway through, until the tops are just firm to the touch and a tester inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting, about 1 hour.  

Oreo buttercream
makes enough to top 16 cupcakes

1 stick unsalted butter, softened
3 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
3 tablespoons milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract 
l6 oreo halves, left over from the batter, finely crushed

Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the butter until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Add the confectioners' sugar, milk, vanilla, and finely crushed oreos. Beat until smooth, creamy, and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. 

8 oreo cookies, split in half

Fill a piping bag fitted with a tip (I used an Ateco 808) and top each cupcake with buttercream. Then top each cupcake with an oreo half.

Congratulations! You have now successfully made delicious oreo cupcakes. There's just one question left to ask yourself-to share or not to share? The decision is yours. 

Happy Baking!  

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