Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Tagalong Cupcakes

Long time, no blog! The last few months have been pretty crazy for me. For the first time in my graduate career I was juggling 2 classes which proved to literally take all of my free time after working full time, and taking a trip to China for school for 2 weeks. But good news! As of Friday I am officially DONE!

I know Girl Scout season is long gone but every year I always support the Girl Scouts by buying cookies. My sister and I were Girl Scouts into High School and my mom was always our leader. She did a great job and we always got to do fun trips, crafts, and get togethers. If you were never a Girl Scout, let me tell ya...Selling cookies was a big deal! Mom would take me door to door in our town to sell cookies to our close family and friends, I took my cookie from to church & to school, and back in the good ole days, I would get out the local phone book, Mom put dashes next to the names I should call and I gave my cold calling a true effort. Now a days things are much more technologically savvy. The last two years, all I have had to do is click a link, pick out my cookies, and the next moment I have ordered my cookies. Pretty cool progress in the Girl Scout cookie world.

I am a sucker for 2 kinds of girl scout cookies, Tagalong and Samoas. So of course I felt the need to buy a few boxes of those and while I was at it i thought, why don't I try making a cupcake inspired by these amazing cookies!!!? That is how the Tagalong Cupcake came about. I am not for sure the right words to describe this cupcake... Sinful, Amazing, Beautiful, Scrumptious... the list could go on and on! They really were a sight to see in all their peanut butter and chocolate goodness!

Ingredients for Cupcakes:
1 Chocolate Cake Recipe or box cake mix made per directions
24 Reece Cups
24 Peanut Butter Cookie Sandwhichs (I bought Kroger Brand)
Preheat Oven to 325. Put your cupcake liners in your cupcake pan. Remove 1 cookie from the peanut butter cookie sandwich and put the cookie with the most icing in the bottom of the muffin liner, icing facing up. Next fill the cupcakes about 2/3rd full and push the Reese's Cup into the batter (I scored mini Reese's Easter eggs on sale right after easter...Seriously, that's how long ago I made these cupcakes! LOL). Bake for about 25 minutes or until the cake is firm.

While your cupcakes are cooling it is a great time to start of the icing. I paired the Chocolate Cupcake with a rich and delicious peanut butter buttercream frosting. It is sooo good and kinda has a similar flavor that peanut butter pie filling consists of. And it is just basically a glorified vanilla buttercream recipe, so if you can make that, you will have no issues making the peanut butter version.

Peanut Butter Buttercream

2 stick softened butter
1 cup of smooth peanut butter (You can use chucky, but if you are going to pipe the icing it may be tricky with the tips)
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp heavy cream
Whip the butter until smooth then add peanut butter. Slowly add the sugar and salt and mix on medium until well incorporated. Scrap down the sides of the bowl, and start mixing again. Add the vanilla and the cream. Beat until the icing is nice and fluffy. I would recommend a minimum of 2 minutes up to 5. If you find your icing to runny, add a little more powdered sugar. If you find it too stiff, add a little more cream (one tsp at a time)

Chocolate Ganache Coating

1 bag of chocolate chips
1 cup peanut butter cookie crumbs (use the left over cookie tops left over from making the cupcake portion)

Use a double boiler, or you can do like me with 2 sauce pans. Fill one deep sauce pan with water and put your chocolate chips in a smaller sauce pan that can easily sit inside the other.

Cook the chocolate chips over the water until the chocolate chips are 2/3rds the way from being completely melted. Do not let the chocolate boil. Once the chocolate chips have almost melted, take the pan off the heat and continue to stir until all the chocolate chips have completely melted. Pour the chocolate into a deep cup, that is big enough for a cupcake to be dipped in to. I used a coffee mug. Let the chocolate cool for 15 minutes before starting to dip your cupcakes. At this time put your cupcakes in the freezer for the 15 minute waiting period. Having cold cupcake helps the chocolate harden much quicker. Once the chocolate has cooled a little bit, dip each of the cupcakes and while they are still wet garnish with cookie crumbs. I just used a food processor and chopped the cookie tops left over from making the cupcake portion. I also topped mine with a 1/2 of a Tagalong but after the fact I don't recommend this because the cookie got very soggy and it truly was a waste of an amazing delish cookie.

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