Monday, March 12, 2012

Monday Munchies - Cookies and Cream Cupcakes

Since the Oreo celebrated it's 100th birthday last week, I thought it was only fitting to celebrate with an Oreo related recipe this week.  I've made these cupcakes for several occasions and every time they are a big hit.  The cake part of the cupcake is SO moist and they aren't crumbly (my least favorite thing about purchased cupcakes). I also think they're just adorable and the cookie at the bottom is always a fun little surprise!  If you like to create your own cupcake concoctions, this is a great cake to start with as a base for whatever cupcake you can dream up!

Happy 100th Birthday Oreo!
Cookies and Cream Cupcakes
24 Oreo halves with cream filling attached
2 and 1/4 c. all purpose flour
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
8 T. unsalted butter at room temperature (If you forget to take the butter out of the fridge early, as I often do, you can use a cheese grater or food processor to grate the cheese which softens it enough to incorporate like room temp butter would, fantastic for the forgetful!)
1 and 2/3 c. sugar
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
2 t. vanilla extract
1 c. milk
20 Oreo cookies coarsely chopped or quartered (If I'm not topping the cupcakes with Oreo crumbles, I just use however many full Oreos are left in the package, and use the halves without cream for the rest.)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line two cupcake pans with 24 paper liners.  Place an Oreo half in the bottom of each liner, cream side up (this prevents the cookie from getting soggy).  In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt; stir together with a fork to blend; set aside.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugar and beat together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Blend in the egg whites one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Blend in the vanilla extract.  With the mixer on low speed, beat in half of the dry ingredients just until incorporated.  Add the milk and beat just until combined, then mix in the remaining dry ingredients.  Gently fold in the chopped/quartered Oreo cookies with a rubber spatula until evenly incorporated, being careful not to over-mix.

Evenly divide the batter between the prepared cupcake liners.  Bake for 18-20 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Allow to cook in the pans 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Cream Cheese Frosting
8 oz. cream cheese at room temperature
6 T. unsalted butter at room temperature
1 T. vanilla extract
4 c. confectioners' sugar, sifted
2 T. heavy cream

Combine the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on medium-high speed until smooth, about 1 minute.  Blend in the vanilla extract.  Beat in the (SIFTED - made that mistake once!) confectioners' sugar until incorporated and smooth, 1-2 minutes.  Add the heavy cream to the bowl and beat on medium-low speed just until incorporated, then increase the speed to medium-high and whip for 4 minutes until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Garnish Options:
Use the 24 Oreo halves stuck into the frosting
Use the rolling pin/plastic bag method to chop them into fine pieces and sprinkle over cupcakes
Top with a mini Oreo cookie (my personal favorite shown at left, it's oh so cute!), also good combined with the previous garnishing option
Don't even acknowledge that there is a surprise inside and top with sprinkles or whatever else you want (see pink valentine cupcakes above)!

Recipe Source: Annie's Eats
Teacup Cake Mold: Fred and Friends - I got mine at Borders but you can get them on Amazon and other stores as well.

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