Tag Archives: marshmallow

Banana Fluffernutter Cupcakes

4 Mar

My mom is nuts for marshmallow fluff. Whenever I think of it, I picture her eating it straight off a spoon with a giant grin on her face. My mom is an excellent role model. She also demonstrated burping the alphabet and how she could squirt water through the gap between her two front teeth, both at the dinner table. The latter didn’t go well when my sister, who was about five years old at the time, attempted to do the same. She didn’t realize it wouldn’t quite work the same if you’re missing your four front teeth. That mess put an end to our water squirting at the dinner table, even if my dad was away on business.

Surprisingly, I never got on that much with marshmallow fluff. Maybe because I would always prefer to have chocolate. But this frosting changed my mind. I’ve never had a fluffernutter sandwich, but my mom always spoke of them fondly. To make a classic fluffernutter sandwich, you spread peanut butter and marshmallow fluff between two slices of soft white bread. I was thinking about this when dreaming up a new cupcake idea, and I decided that adding banana to the mix would be pretty awesome. Plus, I had some brown bananas I really needed to use. Thus, the concept for banana fluffernutter cupcakes was born: banana cupcake with peanut butter filling and marshmallow frosting. Unfortunately, these cupcakes disappeared before I could take one to my mom, but I might have to make another batch for her.

Cupcakes & Flowers

I started with a basic banana muffin. I thought something more muffin-like rather than cake-like would balance out the crazy sugar dose in the frosting.

I used applesauce instead of butter to be slightly healthier, and honestly, if you subtract the frosting, the banana/peanut butter portion of this recipe makes for an excellent and fairly healthy breakfast muffin. But if you wanted to go all out, by all means, use butter instead of applesauce.

A note about the applesauce: The first day, the paper completely stuck to the cupcake when I tried to peel it off. I recommend using butter or at least half butter and half applesauce. But if you do want to go applesauce all the way, not to worry. I took these to work on the third day after making them, and not only were they still moist, but also the paper peeled right off, no problems.

While they baked, I set out to make the marshmallow frosting. This stuff is SO GOOD. It’s just sugar with sugar, really.

After letting the cupcakes cool completely, I used my cupcake corer to remove the centers from each cupcake. This little guy is only 5 bucks and is seriously handy. You can get through a whole tray of cupcakes super fast. I definitely recommend it. But if you don’t have one, you can use a paring knife.

Not a happy day to be a cupcake.

Hardcored. Ha.

Instead of making a sugary peanut butter filling, I decided to fill them with plain peanut butter right out of the jar. I thought making a sweet filling might be too sweet when paired with the frosting. And most brands of peanut butter (like my favorite, crunchy Peter Pan) include a significant amount of sugar already. I used a little spoon to smush the peanut butter down in there.

Then I topped them with the marshmallow frosting, and there you go.

One Cupcake...

Super delicious. The blend of banana, peanut butter, and marshmallow is to die for. The flavors mingle so well together.

Two Cupcakes! Two! Ha Ah Ah. (Sorry. I just watched a video of The Count from Sesame Street. Don't ask.)

 

Banana Fluffernutter Cupcakes

1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 bananas, mashed
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup (1 individual serving) applesauce (OR 1/3 cup butter)

Pre-heat oven to 350 F. Line a muffin pan with paper liners and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, mash bananas with a fork. Add sugar, egg, and applesauce. Mix on low until just combined. Mix in flour mixture on low until just combined.

Pour the batter into the cupcake pan and bake for about 25-30 minutes. They should spring back slightly when tapped.

Let cool completely. Core each cupcake and fill with peanut butter. Top with marshmallow frosting.

Marshmallow Frosting

1 cup confectioners sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 tub (about 8 oz) marshmallow cream

Sift sugar and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat butter until creamy. Beat in 1/2 the sugar until combined. Add vanilla and the rest of the sugar and beat until combined.

Stir in marshmallow cream.

 

Aerial View

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Double Chocolate Brownies 3 Ways

22 Jan

I had the day off on MLK Day, so what better way to celebrate than make a batch of brownies from scratch? I cracked open my Martha Stewart Holiday Cookies magazine and got to work. (You can see a similar recipe of hers here, but the one in my magazine is slightly different, and that’s what I’ll outline below.) With one batch of brownies, I prepared 3 different types: double chocolate, chocolate chip, and rocky road.

I got to work by preheating the oven to 350 F and preparing my bar pan. I decided to use a bar pan instead of a traditional 9×13 pan for a few reasons: 1) It would make uniformly shaped brownies, 2) I would more easily be able to make multiple types of brownie without them running together, and 3) I got a bar pan for Christmas and hadn’t used it yet. I tried lining the bars with parchment paper because I was worried about them sticking, but that got really annoying after a while, so I gave up on that and just spread a little butter in the pan cups.

Parchment Paper
In a medium bowl, I whisked together 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, 1/4 cup cocoa powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Dry Ingredients
In a large bowl, I melted 1 1/4 cups Ghiradelli semisweet chocolate chips and 1 stick of butter. I think the easiest way to do this is just microwave it in 30-second intervals, stirring well in between. (DON’T try to microwave it longer than that without stirring — the chocolate will seize up and become an unusable consistency. Then you’ll have to throw it away and start over, and there’s nothing much sadder than throwing away chocolate.)

Once it was melted, I stirred in 1 1/4 cups white sugar and then 3 eggs. Once those were incorporated, I slowly stirred in the flour mixture, stirring just until moistened. Then I filled six of the bar pan cups.

Batter
Halfway through, I stirred 1/4 cup Ghiradelli semisweet chocolate chips and 1/4 cup Ghiradelli white chocolate chips into the batter. (If you want chips in all your brownies, stir in about 1 cup of whatever combo of chips you like before you fill the pan.) I filled in the rest of the bar pan cups with this chocolate chip batter.

Filling the pan
I filled another bar pan with the rest of the batter — it only filled another 6 bar pan cups. For these, I baked them about 13 minutes.

Mmm... Brownie Batter
While I waited, I cut up 3 marshmallows into eighths and chopped up a handful of pecans.

MarshmallowsMarshmallows are so sticky! They kept sticking to my fingers, and when I tried to shake them off, they’d fly off and stick to the counter!

Pecans

I pulled the brownies out, topped each one with a few marshmallow and pecan pieces, and then baked them about 5 more minutes.

Rocky Road Brownies

For the plain and the chocolate chip brownies, I baked them about 18 minutes, until a toothpick I inserted into the center of a couple of them came out with only a few moist crumbs (unlike cakes and cupcakes, which should come out clean).

I ended up with 6 double chocolate brownies, 6 chocolate chip brownies, and 6 rocky road brownies. Delicious!

Brownies

How Sue Sees It:

– It’s pretty easy to impress people with an array of brownies by just adding various toppings in different stages of the baking process. Definitely try this! And create your own!
– Lining with parchment paper was a waste of time. It was difficult to get the paper to squeeze in there, and then since it wasn’t perfectly flat, the brownies came out all deformed because they oozed in between the folds of the paper. And it turns out that the pan is non-stick enough to not matter. A little butter in the pan just in case, and I only crumbled two brownies when removing them from the pan.
Deformed Brownie– When you pull the brownies out of the oven, let them cool in the pan for 15-20 minutes. Then remove them from the pan: Run a butter knife along the edges to loosen it up and then scoop them out with a fork. If they mush in on themselves, let them cool a little while longer before attempting to remove any more. (I think the two I crumbled were because I was too impatient and needed to wait for them to cool a bit more.)
– Eat one or two brownies yourself, with a fork straight out of the pan, while they’re still warm. The brownie is nice and warm, and the chips are all melted inside. OMG so good.