January has been my month to “tweak” some of my favorite recipes. This week I picked these Cookies & Cream Cupcakes. I used boxed mix in the original version, but this time I really wanted to make it “homemade”. (Blog Post Here)
When I made these the first time, I layered the crushed Oreo’s in the bottom, this time I stirred them into the batter… I wanted cookies in EVERY bite!
Instead of using the mini Oreos in the frosting I saved 10 (ok, ok, it was 9 because I ate one) of the Double Stuf cookies for the frosting.
I also used a bit of milk, and less vodka in the frosting… it tastes great with all vodka (and no milk) if you want, but I think the milk helps make the buttercream a little fluffier. Or that could be all in my head, I’m not really sure. 😉
This version is definitely my favorite of the two. I like that the cake is moist, but still pretty firm. And the extra cream from the Double Stuf Oreos in the frosting is perfect.
Lastly… I’d like to point out how ADORBS those cupcake liners are! I love penguins! They’re made by Reynolds (like the tin foil), and they’re “no fade”. AND I found them at the grocery store! Woot!
Cookies & Cream Cupcakes II recipe
notice the hot pink frosting? it was supposed to be red…
cranberries soaking in Jager & Schnapps
ingredients. the Jager & PS are combine, so is the cranberry & h2o
If you’ve never had a Red Headed Slut you don’t know what you’re missing! I demand you have one. Right. Now. At the bar I used to work at we made it as a shooter (1 oz Jager, 1 oz peach schnapps, and 2 oz cranberry juice), but I’ve seen it made with more (or less) cranberry. This is the ONLY way I’ll drink Jager. Although I did enjoy (eating) the JagerBomb cupcakes. Hmm, maybe the ‘Meister is starting to grow on me?
I used a variation of the recipe from the Cookies & Cream cupcakes, and just changed around some of the liquids. Sadly, the cake flavor is kind of unremarkable. Don’t get me wrong, it’s good, just not as Slutty as I hoped for. I got the idea to soak the cranberries from a blog post about rum raisin oatmeal cookies (which I put on my “to bake” list). Although I would soak them overnight if possible! I forgot to do it last night…
Don’t over-fill your cupcake tins! I filled the first batch 3/4 full, and they ended up overflowing so badly the edges burnt, and I had to trim them off. Not pretty. Unfortunately I accidentally deleted the picture. Filling the liners 2/3 full will definitely be enough. I baked mine for the full 20 minutes. They’re a bit brown on the bottoms… not burnt, just brown.;) They’re very moist, and are sticking to the liners pretty bad. I’m not sure how to fix that…
I used a regular old average buttercream recipe. The cupcake were supposed to be Red Headed, but I only had the burgundy gel food color (which turned out hot pink!). Awkward. I don’t really know how to explain it, but I seemed to have beat the frosting too long, it started getting a little odd-looking. That’s the only way I can describe it. It seemed unfluffy, or slightly liquidly. It wasn’t bad enough to remake, just something to think about for next time. Maybe I’ll need a bit more powdered sugar?
That’s all for tonight… I’m off to have a RHS and a cupcake. Hehehe.
Happy Sunday Cupcakery,
Red Headed Slut Cupcake recipe
These cupcakes were inspired by last weeks Dirty Girl Scout Cookies. If you know me on a personal level, you know I have a love of Thin Mints. It boarders on an obsession. I usually buy, like, 5-10 boxes… and hoard them all someplace where my husband or people visiting us can’t find them. 😉 Tragically… I haven’t seen a single box of Thin Mints (or a single Girl Scout selling them) since we moved to PA.
I also really love Andes Mints. My mom used to buy them for Thanksgiving and Christmas. After dinner she’d arrange them on the desert trays, nestled between sugar cookies, pies, and brownies. Sigh. Food really brings back memories…
In the interest of time, and my horribly short attention span, I think that’s enough reminiscing. On to the baking!
After one last note… I kind of “Winged It” this week. I knew what I wanted to make, just not how I was going to do it. I thought of using Junior Mints, but I’m still not sure what would happen if I put them in the oven. Would they melt away? Or burn?!
So, during my trip to the grocery store I decided to use the Andes. I was originally going to buy a box of them to use as a garnish, and a bag of the pre-chopped ones to use for everything else. unfortunately my grocery store doesn’t carry the pre packaged chunks. I ended up buying a bulk bag from the mix and match candy section (which was cheaper than buying boxes). That’s why the numbers are kind of strange in the recipe. In total, I used/ had 45 Andes Mints. I had to make sure there was enough for the cupcakes, the frosting, and the garnish!
I used a version of my FAVORITE chocolate cake recipe from Restless Chipotle. As usual. One of these days, I’m going to expand and try a new recipe. Maybe. I chose the ratios of liqueur based on the icing from the Dirty Girl Scout Cookies last week. The Creme de Menthe is a pretty strong flavor, and I didn’t want to overwhelm the chocolate.
The buttercream is my usual frosting recipe. I did, however, have an issue with getting the frosting on the cupcake. Some of the Andes chunks were too big, my decorating tip and the frosting bag were both too small! I really need to invest in larger decorating tips, and a bag stand… Amazon here I come! Other than that, these came out pretty delish.
Try it out for yourself! Just click on the Recipes tab and start exploring!
Pix added 8/3/12
They REALLY taste like Peanut Butter & Jelly! Hehe, I’m totes pumped that this recipe worked out. Honestly, I was worried that it wouldn’t. All for naught. 😉
So, I used the same chocolate cake base as the KitKat cupcakes (from restlesschipotle.com) and Pinnacle Grape flavored Vodka.
:::Side Note::: I keep saying “flavored” because I’m pretty sure there are vodka brands that “specialize” in vodka made just from grapes. Get me? I want you to use grape FLAVORED vodka, not (necessarily) vodka DISTILLED from grapes. Darn liquor can be so confusing, and I bet I just made it worse.
:::Another Side::: When I bought this bottle of Pinnacle I felt like a Vodka Traitor. Seriously, I felt guilty! I’ve changed vodka brands! I used to drink Three Olives. I realized that 3/4 of the vodka I’ve recently purchased are Pinnacle, and the other was KettleOne! Gasp!
Now that I’ve got all that random out of my system… back to the baking. The first dozen of these I filled 1/2 way plopped the Reese’s Cup in, then topped off with more batter. The PB ended up melting, and caused the cupcakes to sink in the middle. If you fill them 3/4 full, then lightly press the Reese’s cup in they’ll look like the pictures! Check out how the cake batter rose up, and made a perfect place to put the jelly! Make sure you use mini Reese’s, not the bite sized! And, don’ forget to take ALL the paper/ foil off. I baked them for 17 minutes. The toothpick trick doesn’t work very well with these, if you poke a chocolate chip it’s going to look like batter. My suggestion is to poke more than one.
I kind of “winged it” with the frosting (as usual). I started off with the usual base of 1 cup of butter, 3 cups of sugar, and 4+ tablespoons of “liquid”. I used more jelly than vodka because I didn’t want the slightly “fake” taste from the vodka to overwhelm the other flavors. I chopped the Reese’s PB Cups up so they would melt easier, and I melted it so the frosting wouldn’t be chunky. I’m not sure exactly how many Reese’s I used, but it was between 12 & 15.
I think that’s everything…