Thursday, 29 March 2012

Cookies and Cream Oreo Cupcakes

You may be wondering what's Easter-y about these cupcakes? since they were made in preparation for my Easter cupcake stall. Well, I had intended to cover the frosting in Oreo crumbs to make 'dirt' and then to make little bunny feet out of marshmallow so it looked like there were bunnies digging in the dirt...unfortunately by this point in the evening I was up to my eyebrows in frosting and cupcakes and craziness and so I decided I was going to have to abandon that plan! 

Oreo cupcakes are probably the most frequent cupcake I make aside from my number one favourite brownie cupcake.  However my very favourite Oreo cupcake recipe is one that is made using a chocolate base.  I decided I had quite a few chocolate offerings going on already so I opted to make a vanilla based Oreo cupcake.  I knew exactly where I was going to turn to find that recipe...and that was to Annie's Eats blog - her recipes have never let me down and I knew I had seen a delicious cookies and cream recipe on there a while back.  

What I loved about these cupcakes is that the vanilla base really let the Oreo shine through.  I had never really thought about it before but the chocolate cupcake I usually make probably overpowers the chunks of Oreo dispersed through it whereas the vanilla cupcake let you really taste the Oreo chunks.

I switched it up this time as well by using chocolate creme filled Oreo's in the base of the cupcakes, instead of the regular vanilla filled ones and it was a fun twist! 

If you love Oreo as much as we all know I do, you should definitely give this recipe a try! 

Cookies and Cream Oreo Cupcakes:
Makes 12 regular and 24 mini

24 chocolate creme filled Oreo cookies
280g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
113g unsalted butter
335g caster sugar
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
215ml semi skimmed milk
150g crushed Oreos

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
Place an Oreo half in the bottom of each cupcake case, cream side up.  I placed a quarter of one side of a cookie in the mini cases.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt and stir together until combined.  Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine butter and sugar and beat together on a 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 until just combined, then mix in the remaining dry ingredients.
Gently fold in the chopped Oreos with a rubber spatula until evenly incorporated, being careful not to over-mix.  

Divide the batter between the cupcake cases, until about 2/3 full. 
Bake for 18-20 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking, until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Allow the cupcakes to cool in their pans for 10 minutes, and then transfer to a wire rack to let them cool completely.

Oreo Cream Cheese Frosting:
Makes enough to frost the above

8 oz package of cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
4 cups icing sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup crushed Oreos 

Whip cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy.
Mix in icing sugar, one cup at a time.
Add vanilla extract.
Gently stir in crushed Oreos.

To decorate:

12 Chocolate creme filled Oreo cookies
1 cup crushed Oreo Crumbs

Cut each Oreo cookie directly in half using a large sharp kitchen knife.  I find that they cut cleaner if you do it in a quick motion.  Add one Oreo half to each of your regular cupcakes, and sprinkle the mini cupcakes with the Oreo crumbs.

Eat and enjoy! 

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Coconut Birdie Nest Cupcakes with Mini Eggs for Easter

I just finished an essay that is due in tomorrow, my reward is blogging this post! I don't want to have to think about verbal operants, listener and speaker responses or mand repertoires for the next little while so let's talk about cupcakes instead! 

These were the next Easter offerings I made for my cupcake stall! Coconut cupcakes with creamy coconut frosting, and a sprinkling of toasted shredded coconut that I arranged to look like a nest and then I filled the nest with Cadbury's Mini Eggs! 

I was even able to use the super cute chick toppers I got free in the Easter issue of my Love Baking Magazine.

As you all know by now coconut is one of my very favourite flavours! but I am aware that for whatever strange reason it is a bit of a love/hate thing for others.

Apparently for the people of North Wales, it's a hate thing! I only sold one of my coconut flavoured cupcakes! and that was to a South African lady.  

Seriously, it's so boring just liking plain vanilla and chocolate cupcakes - people need to be more adventurous with their tastes! At the end of the day though it meant there were lots of coconut cupcakes left over for us to indulge in so it wasn't all bad! 

Coconut Cupcakes:
Makes 12 Regular and 24 Mini

165g unsalted butter, at room temperature
270g caster sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp good quality vanilla extract
187g self-raising flour
180g plain flour
187ml coconut milk
40g desiccated coconut

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and the sugar until pale and smooth, which should take about 3-5 minutes using an electric mixer.  Add the eggs one at a time, mixing for a few minutes after each addition and adding the vanilla extract at the end.

Combine the two flours in a separate bowl.  Add one-third of the flour to the creamed mixture and beat well.  Pour in one-third of the coconut milk and beat again.  Repeat these steps until all the flour and milk have been added.  Fold in the desiccated coconut using a metal spoon.

Spoon the mixture into the cupcake cases, filling them two-thirds full.  
Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes until slightly raised and golden brown, or when an inserted skewer comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and leave in the cake tins to cool for about 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Coconut Frosting:
Makes enough to frost the above

560g icing sugar
180g unsalted butter, softened
60ml coconut milk

Beat half the icing sugar and butter together in a freestanding mixer on medium speed until the mixture comes together, then add the remaining butter and sugar.
Add coconut milk and beat until incorporated. 
Turn up to high speed and beat for 5 minutes until the frosting is light and fluffy.

To decorate:

Toasted shredded coconut
3 packs of Cadbury's Mini Eggs

I'm sharing these for Cupcake Tuesday over at Hoosier Homemade! 

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Malteser Bunny Cupcakes - Alphabakes

Last week I ran another cupcake stall at the spring market at my Uni, it was slightly less attended than the one I did at Christmas but fun all the same! If your definition of fun is 14 hours straight of baking :)

So over the next few weeks I will show you the Easter-y delights that I baked up for the occasion!
Starting with my favourite of the bunch - the Malteser Bunny Cupcake! 

I am obsessed with Malteser Bunnies, when that time rolls around each year that they start popping out on Supermarket shelves I can't help but buy one...every single time I go to the supermarket! Literally, I can't walk by them and not pick them up! It's not a good habit for my wallet or my waist line.  Luckily I have a rather fantastic mom who likes to supplement my addiction by posting me packages of the little guys, even when I'm not even living in the same country (that is if she can hold off eating them until my package is posted - the addiction must run in my family!)  In a package she sent me a few weeks back filled with baking goodies, cupcake magazines, cake stands etc... I called her and told her the one thing I was most excited about was the Malteser Bunny she had included.  She guiltily asked how many Malteser Bunnies I had received, so I told her just the one, to which she shamefully replied that she had bought a whole bundle but by the time it came round to post my package only one remained!  She felt so bad that she promptly sent me a new package the next day filled with bags and bags of mini Malteser Bunnies! Yes you heard me right - mini's!
When my mom first told me she'd been snacking on mini ones I thought she was making it up, I had looked all over in the supermarkets up here and not seen any mini ones, it seems they were rather scarce! but I knew if they were creating mini ones then they would just be called out to be used as cupcake toppers! and so that is exactly what I did.

I baked up a malt cupcake base, the most amazingly delicious chocolate malt frosting that you seriously need to have in your life, and then topped the regular cupcakes with the mini bunnies and the mini cupcakes with regular Maltesers! and a couple of sprinkles never hurt anyone.

I am entering these into the Alphabakes Challenge this month because the theme is 'M' based bakes.  It is hosted by Caroline Makes this month, and will be hosted by Baking Addict next month.

Malt Cupcakes:
Makes 12 regular cupcakes and 24 mini's

165g unsalted butter, at room temperature
180g light soft brown sugar
150g golden caster sugar
3 large eggs
187g self raising flour, sifted
90g plain flour, sifted
75g Ovaltine (malted drink) powder
187ml semi-skimmed milk, at room temperature
3/4 tsp good quality vanilla extract (I use Nielsen-Massey)
11/2 tbsp sour cream

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
Line the cupcake trays with cupcake cases.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugars until pale and smooth, which should take about 3-5 minutes using an electric mixer.  Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing for a few minutes after each addition.

Combine the flours and Ovaltine in a separate bowl.  Mix the milk, vanilla extract and sour cream in a jug.  Add one-third of the flour and Ovaltine mixture to the creamed mixture and beat well.  Pour in one-third of the milk and beat again.  Repeat these steps until all the flour mixture and milk have been added.

Fill the cupcake cases 2/3 full and bake in the oven for about 25 minutes until slightly raised and golden brown.  If a skewer inserted into the middle of one cupcake comes out clean then they are done.

Remove fromt he oven and leave in the cake tins to cool for about 10 minutes before carefully placing on a wire rack to cool completely.

Malted Belgian Chocolate Frosting:
Makes enough to frost 50 cupcakes and to have plenty leftover!

500g icing sugar
450g unsalted butter
3 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup Ovaltine powder
250g Callebaut* Chocolate (I used 200g Callebaut and 50g Milk chocolate)
1/2 cup double cream

In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine half the icing sugar and butter and beat on low speed for one minute.  While that is mixing, melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water, and set aside to cool. Add the rest of the icing sugar and butter to the stand mixer and mix on medium speed until completely combined (I do it in two stages so as not to completely cover my kitchen in icing sugar).

Add vanilla and Ovaltine, and beat on low speed until well combined.

Add the melted, cooled chocolate and beat on medium speed until smooth (about 2 minutes). Add double cream and beat on high speed for one minute.

The recipe recommends using it straight away, which I did to frost the cupcakes.  I also refrigerated the leftovers and iced some sugar cookies with it a few days later and it was still delicious.  I just left it to get up to room temperature and then whipped it up in my KitchenAid again before using it.

*Baker's note: Callebaut is a brand of Belgian chocolate - which is the reason the recipe title is Belgian chocolate frosting.  It is good quality chocolate with 70% cocoa solids.  You can just as easily make it with Green and Black's or any other high cocoa solid content chocolate...but if you want to make it with the real deal you can buy it from here.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Happy St. Patricks Day and Rainbow Cupcakes!

I am waaay behind on blogging, apologies for that! but fortunately for me this means the rainbow cupcakes I made a few weeks ago are now bang on appropriate for St.Patricks Day today! 

So Happy St. Patricks Day to my fellow Irish bloggers out there, and to everyone else...since I'm pretty sure more non-Irish people than Irish celebrate it these days anyway! 

On to the rainbow cupcakes! The real reason I baked these was because I oversee the primary organisation in my church, which is all of the kids between the ages of 3-12.  You may not know this but our church services each Sunday are 3 hours long which sounds a lot at first but it's broken down into 3 separate segments and really doesn't seem all that long at all! 

However the final hour is the segment that the other leaders and I have to teach and sing with the kids.  So you can imagine after 2 hours of sitting already, kids can have a tendency to be restless and a little mischievous at times! So I introduced the reverence jar! which is a jar that each of the kids can put a marble into at the end of primary if they have been good and quiet and reverent.  It is quite a hit, the kids all seem to love it because once you fill the marble jar to the top you get treats.  

Somehow I managed to either pick a really large jar this time around or just really small marbles, when I did it with the primary kids in Turks and Caicos I think we used giant marbles so they managed to fill it a lot quicker! It was taking longer than expected and since my career is based on reinforcement I knew they needed to get some quick to keep them motivated so we made a halfway line on the jar, which was actually my sisters clever suggestion as she does it with her primary kids in Leeds too.  

So a few weeks ago the marbles reached that halfway line and the kids all got home baked rainbow cupcakes to celebrate a good few months of some super reverent behaviour! 

I forgot how time consuming making rainbow cupcakes can be, all the layering of the different colours and smoothing out to make nice neat little lines for the awesome cross section effect! but the look on the kids faces when I gave them the cupcakes made all the effort worth it! 

...and I was pretty impressed with this vanilla cupcake recipe I used from Lola's.  It was the first time I had tried it out and it was tasty.  It was also probably the first time I've eaten a vanilla cupcake in YEARS, because to me vanilla is soooo boring - I have never in my life ordered a vanilla cupcake at any bakery I've visited, and we know that is a vast list! and I would never chose to make them when there are too many other delicious flavour combinations you can bake so I'm not sure whether I just haven't had one in so long that I forgot they're actually kind of decent - either way you should give this recipe a whirl! and the super creamy chocolate frosting was certainly a winner too! 

Rainbow Vanilla Cupcakes:
Makes 16 (I used fairy cake size cases)

175g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
a pinch of salt
150g unsalted butter, cubed and soft
150g caster sugar
1/2 vanilla pod
3 eggs
Assorted gel colours

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
Put the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl and beat using an electric mixer until pale and fluffy.  Stop occasionally to scrape down the bowl with a spatula.  
Using a small, sharp knife, slit the vanilla pod in half and scrape the seeds out into the mixing bowl.
Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Slowly add the sifted dry ingredients and beat on low speed until combined.

Divide the mixture evenly between 4 bowls, you can do more colours if you like but my cupcakes were smaller than average so even 4 different colours was slightly pushing it! Use a few drops of gel colour and mix into each bowl until you get the desired colour.  I wouldn't recommend using liquid colour as it will bake out alot and sometimes can affect taste depending on how much you use.  Put a teaspoon of one colour in the bottom of all the cupcake cases, smooth it over with the back of the teaspoon so it is an even layer.  Add the next colour on top and repeat until you have used all the colours.  If you're pushed for time, you can just add teaspoons of each colour without making sure they are in little neat layers and it will still create a rainbow effect, I just like mine a little more orderly! 

 Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and let cool completely on a wire rack before decorating.

Chocolate Frosting:

135g unsalted butter, cubed and soft
410g icing sugar
45g cocoa powder
6 tablespoons milk

Put the butter in a bowl and beat with an electric mixer until very soft and smooth.  
Sift half the sugar and half the cocoa powder into the bowl, beating until incorporated.  
Add the second half of the sugar and cocoa and beat on low speed.
Slowly pour in the milk and when it is mixed in, beat for 3-5 minutes on a higher speed.
Pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes using your favourite star tip.

and finally, there is only one way to finish off rainbow cupcakes - with rainbow sprinkles of course!

I'm sharing this for Cupcake Tuesday over at Hoosier Homemade.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Lamington Pops & A Tribute To My Mom

So this Sunday is U.K Mothers Day and it's one of my favourite days in the year because who doesn't love a day to shower their mom with the spoiling she deserves.  

I have the best mom in the world - this is a fact.  She has spent her whole life devoted to raising me and my 3 sisters and making sure we have had the most fun possible along the way.  I'm the little one she is holding in the pic below! 

I have such fond memories of my childhood and the fun things my mom and I did together...making homemade play dough, doing lots and lots of baking with me standing on a chair to reach the countertop in a very long apron and getting to lick the bowl/spoon and of course going on tons of fun daytrips to parks/play centres/museums.

Whipping up cupcakes together in more recent years!

Having worked in various schools the past few years I have overheard enough conversations of parents saying they are dreading half term (a week long break from school we get here in the UK) when they will have to have their kids at home.  My mom couldn't wait for half term, she would plan so much exciting stuff that we couldn't wait either! Inevitably there would also be a day trip to London.  The morning before we left we would each assign ourselves a room of the house to clean and then our trip to London was our treat for helping out with the chores.  We had our favourite spots we would go to like Covent Garden, there were these funny machines in the downstairs area of the covered market like a doctor who would tickle your foot if you put it in the machine and then write you out a pretend prescription - we thought these were so great, they never got old! We would eat out at Planet Hollywood or the Hard Rock Cafe or this cool restaurant in the Trocadero where the waitresses went around on roller skates.

Sun City - South Africa

One of my favourite memories is playing 'traffic lights' with my mom.  I would have only been about 4, I had a little blue bike that I just loved and I would cycle back and forth in front of our house.  It would be dinner time because my mom would be wearing her apron and she would sit on the little brick wall in front of our house.  Everytime I reached her she would hold up her hand and tell me whether it was red, amber or green! Thinking back now it was probably a really boring job for my mom, but I obviously didn't grow tired of it and thought it was the most fun game! I'm sure in the middle of dinner time and with 3 other girls to look after my mom could have probably spent her time doing other things but she always made time for our game!

Enjoying some granadilla smoothies in South Africa - our favourite!

In our church, when you're a teenager you get to go on a week long camp in summer with all the other youth where you get to do lots of fun outdoor pursuits like potholing, rock climbing and white water rafting to name a few! As I was the baby of the family, there were plenty of summers where all 3 of my older sisters went off to camp and then the fun would really begin!  As I wasn't old enough to go on these camps, each year these camp weeks would be designated 'Mom and Gem' time.  I even have a special scrapbook that documents only those weeks.  Every day would be action packed.  There would be trips to our favourite out of town shopping centres, trips to the cinema and to our favourite restaurants, and best of all trips to the theatre in London to see musicals or ballet productions.

At my sister's wedding

My mom would often come and help out at my primary school which I loved.  She would also volunteer to help out on school trips and everyone always wanted to be in the group with 'Mrs Jones' as the leader because she would always buy presents from the gift shops for all the children in her group.  Growing up, she always threw the best birthday parties! They would always be themed, with a matching cake and awesome party bags (remember these were the days before pinterest and the internet so all her ideas were completely original!) I remember for my 6th birthday party she made a Troll birthday cake, as Trolls were all the rage back then! It even came complete with 'flump' hair and it was awesome!

Reading books/magazines in Borders - another favourite thing to do!

She never missed an assembly I was performing in or a school talent show or a talk I was giving at church, and whenever I came home I always knew there would be a card and a little gift waiting for me on my bed to say well done.  I have boxes and boxes of the cards my mom has given to me over the years (I would have loved to have taken a picture of all of them but they are in my parents attic right now!) 

In the present day she is still just as awesome as ever! and this picture is just a collection of some of the cards she has sent to me in the past 6 months.  I never just get a letter, I always get a cute card (often cupcake related) with a 2 or 3 page letter inside.  As if on cue I have just had to get up from writing this blog post to answer the door and the postman had a package for me from my mom! Yes, it's not limited to letters - she sends me packages at least monthly filled with fun treats and baking supplies! She has been doing this ever since I left home to go to Uni.  One of the porters in my halls of residence asked me once if I was sending post to myself because he said I received more post than any student he had ever come across before! 

So unfortunately this year I won't be able to see my mom on Mother's Day.  We were able to pop in to see her briefly this past weekend and I was able to take her a giant Lamington I had bought her from the Partridge's Food Market.  She is rather fond of Lamingtons, in fact I'm pretty sure it was the only thing she enjoyed about her 3 year stint of living in Canberra...way back in the day before I was even born.  She enjoyed her giant Lamington so much that she ate it instead of dinner! You can see where I get my sweet tooth from! I wanted to make her a fun Mother's Day treat that would be easy to send through the post so the idea of Lamington Pops was born! 

So hopefully this little package of Lamington pops that will arrive at her door will show her just how much I care and how grateful I am that she is my wonderful mom! 

I hope all my UK followers find some time this week to get into the kitchen to whip their moms up some special baked treats, and if baking isn't your thing then Find Me a Gift has some great Mother's Day presents too.  

I decided to experiment with my last few bits of cake and made some 'international' Lamingtons.  Peppermint Crisp for South Africa, Coconut for Australia and Peanut Butter M&M's for America! 

Lamington Pops:
Makes 30

6 large eggs (at room temperature, recipe will not work if they are straight out the fridge)
150g caster sugar
200g self raising flour
30g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
60ml hot water

500g icing sugar
200g dark chocolate
15g unsalted butter
150ml semi skimmed milk

375g shredded coconut (you can use desiccated if that is all you have but I prefer shredded)

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
Grease a 18 x 28 cm baking tin with butter and line it with parchment paper.
Spread out the coconut on a baking tray and lightly toast until golden brown, for just a few minutes.  Allow to cool and set aside.

For the cake, beat the eggs for about 10-15 minutes until they are light and fluffy.  Gradually add the sugar and continue to beat until the mixture is thick, all the sugar has dissolved and it has tripled in volume.
Sift in the flour and gently fold in using a metal spoon.
Add the butter and hot water and combine.
Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 30 minutes or until light golden brown and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
After 5 minutes, remove the cake from the tin and allow to cool on a wire rack.

For the icing, place the chocolate, icing sugar, butter and milk in a heatproof bowl and place over a pot of simmering water.  Constantly stir until melted.

Once cool, cut the sponge into however many squares you like.  I managed to get 20.  Pop them in the freezer for 10 minutes so they are firm enough to stay on the sticks.

Get your work surface prepared before you begin dipping.  Have the cake ready on the left, the big bowl of cooled chocolate icing in the middle, a tray of toasted coconut beside that and a wire rack for the finished products at the end. 

Dip your cake pop sticks in a little bit of chocolate and then into a cake square.  Dip the cake into the bowl of chocolate icing.  Sprinkle toasted coconut over the icing before it cools and leave it on the wire rack to cool completely.  Repeat the process until all your cake pops are done! 

Send them to the one you love, or eat and enjoy! 

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Happy 100th Birthday Oreo! Chocolate & Peanut Butter Oreo Cupcakes

So today, March 6th, Oreo turns 100! I feel quite cheated about this fact because if they've been around for 100 years why have they only been involved for half of my life?

it's because I'm English! It's sad but true.  Whilst most of my American followers probably grew up snacking on Oreos, I was 13 when I had my first actual encounter with an Oreo! I knew what they were, I'd seen them on TV and in films but I'd never tried one for myself until our local Waitrose started stocking them.  It was a happy day - and I'm happy to say my love affair with Oreos has been growing stronger ever since!

A trip to Brighton when I was 15 took my love of Oreos to new levels of obsessiveness when I discovered that at Shakeaway, a milkshake bar, you could order an OREO MILKSHAKE! This was a new and never before heard of concept to me and being the milkshake lover I am it was the perfect pairing of two of my favourite things! I ordered my first Oreo milkshake and never looked back!!

For a while Shakeaway and specialised American restaurants/diners were the only places that sold Oreo milkshakes.  So I would split my time between places like TGI Friday's or

and diners such as JB's in Brighton and Nelson's in Newbury to get my fix.

These days, I'm happy to say Oreo milkshakes are slowly making their way onto far more menus! You can get them at Gourmet Burger Kitchen...

and Byron (where you have to make the impossible decision between a root beer float or an Oreo milkshake!)

Lucky 7 (who even do Mint Oreo milkshakes like the one below - yum!)

 and Ed's Diner, to name a few!

and when all else fails you can make them at home! As you can tell Mint Oreo is my favourite variety!

When I'm not drinking Oreo milkshakes, which as you can tell is a pretty regular occurrence - then I'm almost certainly baking with them! Oreos are my number one favourite ingredient to bake with.  Here's a few things I've baked in the past...

Mint Oreo Truffles...perfect on their own or

Perfect as toppers for Mint Oreo Cupcakes!

or perfect on sticks as Oreo Pops!

Mint Oreo Brownies

So now I've shared with you my enthusiasm for all things Oreo, it brings me great delight to share with you this last little piece of exciting news! I found out they are building the first Oreo plant in the UK in Sheffield at the moment.  Previously, they have always shipped Oreos over from the States but now they are making them here in the UK and so to me that can only mean one thing - surely they will HAVE to bring out all the yummy varieties here too if they have their own factory to make them in...
because this is a screenshot of the varieties we currently have an offer to us in the UK:

Yes that's right - there are only 3 types! Regular, Chocolate Creme and Mini Oreo!

This is part of a screenshot of the same section on the Oreo USA website - they have 47 varieties! 
47!! How prejudice is that!

So, with news of the plant in Sheffield I can only live in hope that one day soon we can have more than 3 varieties available to us!

In the meantime, I'll leave you with the Oreo cupcakes with peanut butter Oreo frosting I made especially for the occasion! 

You know what made this baking session even better? These amazing Joseph Joseph spatulas from Find Me a Gift.

I have this strange OCD-ness when it comes to baking.  I don't like my counter tops to get dirty! This may sound crazy because any fellow baker will know that a cupcake making session can usually result in plumes of icing sugar covering the work surface and you using every possible mixing bowl and utensil in your kitchen.  So I know it gets messy, but I don't like cake mix/frosting touching the counter top.  Usually I use tons of pieces of kitchen towel and put them under every teaspoon or messy spatula I can find...but these spatulas are totally genius because they have a little rest underneath them that prevents them from touching the surface!

So I was covering them in cupcake batter/frosting and then just placing them down on the surface without a care in the world! It was strangely liberating! I have to tell you this little set of kitchen utensils is the first thing to come along that has got me as excited as my KitchenAid! I know it sounds extreme but really any baker should own these, especially those that verge on the OCD side of life!

Chocolate Oreo Cupcakes:
Makes 18 regular, 24 mini

170g unsalted butter
150g dark brown sugar
3 large eggs, separated
225g dark chocolate (Valrhona 66%)
2 tsp vanilla extract
250g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarb of soda
 365g semi-skimmed milk
100g Oreo chunks

Peanut Butter Oreo Frosting:

56g unsalted butter
250g icing sugar
60g semi skimmed milk
 130g smooth peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
100g finely crushed Oreo crumbs

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
Line your cupcake pans with cases.
In each cupcake case place half an Oreo, the half with the cream filling still on it.  Put the other half to one side to be used later in the frosting.

Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Mix in egg yolks.
Mix in vanilla and melted chocolate.
In a separate bowl, mix the flour, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder.
Alternate adding the flour mixture and milk to the butter/sugar mixture.
Crush Oreos in a blender, or a zip loc bag and a rolling pin if you don't have a blender.

Stir in Oreos.
 In a separate bowl, whip egg whites until peaks form (this is where having an extra KitchenAid bowl really comes into it's own!)

Fold the batter into the egg whites.
Fill cupcakes cases 2/3 full.
Bake for 20-25 minutes (regular) and 10-15 minutes (mini) or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Leave to cool in pans for 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack.

For the frosting: Blend together the butter, sugar, milk and peanut butter until smooth.
Add the vanilla extract and Oreo crumbs.
Mix until incorporated.

Pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes and decorate with either a quarter of an Oreo cookie or a mini Reese's peanut butter cup.

I'm glad to say Oreos are here to stay...I hope to be enjoying them for the next 100 years too!


Related Posts with Thumbnails