The little hamster in my head has been running double-time. A dangerous thing, I know. However, said thinking has brought me to a light bulb moment.
Food is good. (duh!) BUT ofttimes it is made so much better with a touch of heat. That, right there, is the basic principle behind a s’more.
Sure, chocolate and marshmallows are good. But with a little toasting they are transformed into something magical and evocative of every gooey-fingered childhood memory gathered around a campfire.
I set out to recreate all that heart string-pulling nostalgia in a cute palm-sized package.
S’mores brownie cupcakes.
Not quite a brownie. Not quite a cupcake. But 100% caramelized-crunchy, melted, lick-your-fingers graham/chocolate/mallow heaven!
A dessert with a delicious identity crisis.
But these are s’mores that you can make any time, in your own kitchen. No fire required. (Unless you have a torch handy. And then you should definitely use that torch any opportunity you have! Cause they’re cool.)
There is double the heat with a kick-in-your-pants dash of cayenne in the brownie. Don’t be scared! Be judicious and start small with the cayenne. Taste until you reach the right amount. It should be enough to make the brownies have a hint of spice and warm you from the inside out but not burn your throat all the way down.
The crowning jewel has gotta be the carbon-kissed marshmallow on top.
Just make sure that top has a toasty, shell of brown!
Toasted S’mores Brownie Cupcakes
Makes: about 18 to 24 cupcakes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
1 cup butter, melted
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 eggs, room temp
3/4 cup cocoa
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 24 squares)
1/3 cup melted butter
3 cups marshmallow fluff
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Mix together the graham cracker crumbs and the 1/3 cup melted butter. Press the crumb mixture into the bottom of the cupcake liners, about 1/2 inch thick. Reserve some graham cracker crumbs to sprinkle on top of the finished cupcake.
In a large bowl stir together the butter, sugar and vanilla. Add in the eggs and stir until fully incorporated. Mix in the cocoa, flour, baking powder, salt, chocolate chips and cayenne.
Spoon the brownie batter into the cupcake liners on top of the graham cracker crust.
Cook for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Spoon about two tablespoons of marshmallow fluff onto each brownie cupcake.
Toast the top of the marshmallow either by placing under the broiler for a couple of minutes or with a hand torch, just until golden.
Finish with a sprinkle of the remaining graham cracker crumbs.