S’mores Cupcakes (or Chocolate Graham Cracker Cupcakes With a Graham Cracker Crust)

I’ve been kicking around this idea for quite some time and when I was asked to make a little last minute treat for company, I figured this might be a good time to work on them. So, I did a little bit of research and after looking at multiple recipes I decided a little combination of three simple recipes would help me achieve more or less what I wanted. These are the three recipes I pilfered elements from: Cupcakes Take the Cake –S’mores cupcakes, Annie’s Eats –S’mores cupcakes, Culinary Couture Blog –Chocolate graham cracker cupcakes. A little idea from each went into these to make a very tasty cupcake. My only issue with these was that I didn’t try to make a frosting because it was so last minute, so I used Jet-Puffed marshmallow fluff for a jar and while it gave me the desired (more or less, anyway) flavor, it was not pretty at all. You know, this stuff:

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But, like I said they were good and I didn’t hear any complaints. Forgive me for not having better pictures, but I had a lot of people in the house and all I have is a couple shots of the finished products. Sue me.

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Here comes the recipe:

S’mores Cupcakes

  • 1/2 cup of flour
  • 1 and 1/2 cups of graham crackers finely ground
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1/2 stick of unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup of sugar
  • 1 generous teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup of milk
  • 1/2 cup of cocoa powder

For the Graham cracker crust:

  • 1 and 1/2 cups of graham crackers
  • 1/3 cup of butter melted
  • 1/4 cup of sugar (I skipped this ingredient, it was sweet enough without it)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Grind about 40 graham crackers in food processor to make 3 cups. Split into two portions of 1 and 1/2 cups each. Set one aside for crust.

3. Melt butter in microwave and add 1 and 1/2 of graham crackers (plus sugar if desired) and mix well.

4. Spoon 1 tablespoon of mixture into cupcake liners and tamp down with small glass.

5. Place in oven for 5 minutes. Remove, but maintain oven temperature.

6. Combine flour, ground graham crackers, cocoa powder and baking powder in one bowl. Set aside.

7. Cream butter and sugar. Add one egg and mix well, then add second and continue to mix while adding vanilla.

8. Add flour and graham cracker mixture to creamed butter, alternating with milk and continue mixing until batter has a nice consistency.

9. Spoon mixture into cupcake liners to 3/4 full. Place in oven for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

10. Cover with your marshmallow frosting, small marshmallows, Jet-Puff, etc. If you have any remaining graham crackers from the crust feel free to sprinkle on top.

Enjoy!

Again, I used Jet-Puffed marshmallow crème, which, while it gives you the marshmallow taste you want for s’mores, it doesn’t look pretty because it goes from fluff to sticky marshmallow goo in no time at all. That’s why my cupcakes look the way they do, but I didn’t have many options due to my time constraints and not knowing that the marshmallow crème would just turn into cream. See?:

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The graham cracker crust gave the cupcake a great flavor as well as a little bit of texture. My only issue was that if you weren’t careful it all stayed in the liner. I found this to be easier to eat with a fork than to eat straight from the wrapper, but maybe that’s me. Who knows? But, hey if you want to try making these your own, feel free. I want to see how yours come out. Until next time.

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No-Bake Nutella, Chocolate, and Peanut Butter Squares

Remember the ‘rent is too damn high’ guy from a couple years ago? I was a little like the ‘heat is too damn high’ guy today, even though it was a cool 96 degrees compared to the 100 or so of the past couple bake days. So, I just didn’t want to turn on the oven. And, I didn’t. I found a ‘no bake’ recipe that let me keep my house cool in this Central Valley climate. Score!

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I’ve been looking for something to do with Nutella for a little while and I thought my first crack at it was going to be chocolate cupcakes with Nutella frosting, but I changed my mind and got a little lazy. And though my usual M.O. is to not leave the house on these hot days especially for one ingredient I made an exception this one time. And the results are the absolute greatest thing to come out of my kitchen ever. Maybe because I consider a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup (full size, not King Size, not Miniature) to be one of Mankind’s crowning achievements, God’s gift to Mankind, the nectar of the God’s in a solid disc form. In other words, I love me some peanut butter cup and this recipe is essentially one gigantic peanut butter cup with a little something extra and it is delightful. So without any further nonsensical ramblings, I present to you a recipe for Hazelnut Spread, Chocolate, and Peanut Butter Squares, or Nutella, Chocolate, and Peanut Butter Squares if you want to stick with brand names, despite me not even using Nutella, more on that later.

Here’s what I adapted from a SugarLaws.com titled Nutella and Peanut Butter Bar Recipe. First of all, while I stayed true to the spirit of the ingredients of said recipe I varied where I thought it might make a difference, so you feel free to go either way with this one. Here’s what I did:

Hazelnut Spread, Chocolate, and Peanut Butter Squares

  • 12 whole low fat graham crackers obliterated in a food processor
  • 1 cup softened butter
  • 2 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup natural chunky peanut butter for a little texture, feel free to use creamy
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips, 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup JIF Mocha Cappuccino flavored Hazelnut spread (Nutella alternative) divided into 1/4 cup and 3/4 cups.

 

1. Pulverize your graham crackers in your food processor.

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2. Mix butter, graham cracker crumbs, confectioner’s sugar, vanilla and peanut butter until smoothed out.

This was the peanut butter I chose, a natural chunky style for a little bit of texture.

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3. Place parchment paper into 9” square pan (for easy clean up) and spread peanut butter-graham cracker mixture inside pan.

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4. Place in your refrigerator for about an hour until firm.

I have Nutella in the cupboard, but I chose this because I thought it might add a little more flavor. Apparently this is a new product, based on the indication on the label, so you may or may not be able to find this in a store near you.

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5. (One hour later) Use a metal bowl or small pot over hot water to melt your chocolate and 1/4 hazelnut spread.

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6. Spread over peanut butter graham cracker mixture. Refrigerate for another hour.

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7. (One hour later) Distribute remaining 3/4 cups of hazelnut spread over now cooled and hardened chocolate, refrigerate one last time. Cut into squares when nice and firm and enjoy with a nice glass of cold milk, non-fat of course.

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I think this is a fairly straight forward recipe, it’s hard to wreck it if you follow directions. I tried to give it a different kind of flavor by using a flavored Nutella alternative and dark chocolate. I also used low fat graham crackers because my feeling is that if you can cut just a few calories off a super sweet dessert, go ahead and do that.

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One thing I liked about this recipe is that it features a lot of downtime when you place the bars/squares into the refrigerator, time that I used to play a game of Battleship with my son and play a couple of songs in Just Dance 3. You can use it to prepare dinner or watch a TV show, might I suggest Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, or even Dexter.

Anyway, this is usually the spot where I talk about what I learned, but this is so straight forward that there’s not much to learn with a recipe like this. I’ll give it a a go, though.

What I learned:

  • I used my square cake pan for this, but I think one of those disposable deals from a place like the local dollar store would have been perfectly fine, especially when you’ve got a plan to transport it somewhere.
  • Even if you’re not using Nutella just put it in the title so that search engines will find it because people probably aren’t going to their search engine and inputting ‘hazelnut spread chocolate peanut butter squares’
  • This thing is a pain to remove from the pan, as you can see from the photo above, even with parchment paper.

As always, thanks for reading. Share both the recipe and the squares with friends they’ll be amazed at your ability to make something this delicious and you can laugh yourself silly because it’s so simple. Enjoy!