Sunday, August 30, 2009

Not Chocolate: Beachy Snickerdoodle Cupcakes

It's now a tradition that I make something sweet for our annual beach trip with my husband's family. Last year's cookies were a little too labor-intensive (especially since they were eaten in about two seconds) but this year, I have the perfect recipe.

While perusing the new Martha Stewart's Cupcakes book, I found both a snickerdoodle cupcake recipe and a creative way to frost cupcakes so that they look like the beach. Since cinnamon sugar looks like sand to me, I decided to combine the two recipes into the perfect beach cupcake. All you need to embellish them are graham crackers and cocktail umbrellas (or palm trees), which I found on clearance at Party City. Since I decided to assemble these at the beach rather than have them in the hot car, I made my own version of seven-minute frosting, rather than Martha's, since hers involves 230-degree syrup and a candy thermometer. (Which, for those just tuning in, I have not used since December 2007. OUCH.)

Beachy Snickerdoodle Cupcakes
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 c. cake flour (not self-rising)
1 T. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1 T. ground cinnamon
1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 3/4 c. sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
2 t. vanilla extract
1 1/4 c. milk
2 graham cracker rectangles

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tins with paper liners. In a large bowl, stir together both flours, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.

With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of milk, and beating until combined after each.

Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes.

Marshmallow (or Seven-Minute) Frosting
2 large egg whites
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. light corn syrup
2 T. water
1 t. vanilla extract

Combine frosting ingredients with a pinch of salt in a metal bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water and beat with a handheld electric mixer at high speed until frosting is thick and fluffy, 6 to 7 minutes. Remove bowl from heat and continue to beat until slightly cooled. When cupcakes are cool, frost.

Meanwhile, using a small food processor or a ziploc bag and a rolling pin, crush graham crackers until fine and the consistency of sand. Rather than dipping each frosted cupcake upside-down into the crushed graham crackers, which I found to flatten the frosting, sprinkle the crushed grahams onto the top of the frosting (with a bowl underneath to catch the excess) until thoroughly covered. Top with a drink umbrella.

(No time to crush graham crackers? Just give each frosted cupcake a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar instead.)

Best enjoyed on the deck of your beach house. :)

Happy last weekend of summer!

1 comment:

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