The Lexingtonienne

October18th

4 Comments

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When it comes to snack cakes, where do your loyalties lie?

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Some people are die-hard fans of Little Debbie, with her Oatmeal Creme Pies, Nutty Bars, Swiss Cake Rolls, and Zebra Cakes.

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My Philadelphia-bred husband and his homies are Tastykake devotees, having grown up on Butterscotch Krimpets, Peanut Butter Kandy Kakes, and Chocolate Kreamies.

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But me? I’m a Hostess girl.

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I lurve me some Twinkies. I once tried to shove an entire SnoBall in my mouth (the result of which was SnoBall 1, Hannah 0). And a HoHo? Fuhgeddaboudit.

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So when my friend Brandi requested a Hostess cake-style recipe, I was totally on board.

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I thought I’d attempt a homemade version of the classic Hostess CupCake, with its cream-stuffed chocolate-on-chocolate goodness topped with those iconic loops of white icing.

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AND… MyBestFriend Jenny was in town visiting me! Is there a happier pastime than baking cupcakes with your BFF? (No. Obviously. Especially when your BFF worked at a bakery in college and knows about things like piping frosting.)

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So we made ’em. Which was totally appropriate given that we’d spent the weekend eating lots of other healthy things, such as movie popcorn, tacos, and pancakes. Whatever.

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HOSTESS WITH THE MOSTESS CUPCAKES

Chocolate Cupcakes
Adapted from the Barefoot Contessa’s Chocolate Ganache Cupcake recipe.
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 C sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
16-oz can Hershey’s syrup
1 T vanilla extract
1 C all-purpose flour
1 tsp instant coffee granules

Preheat oven to 325. Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time. Beat in Hershey’s syrup and vanilla extract until blended, then beat in flour and coffee granules just until well combined (do not overbeat, as overstimulating the gluten in the flour will make your cupcakes tough).

Line a 12-muffin pan with paper cups and scoop batter into the muffin cups. You can fill them just about to the top, and I had a little bit left over, FYI. Bake about 25-30 minutes, or until the centers of the cupcakes are set. Allow to cool thoroughly.

Marshmallow Frosting Filling*
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 C powdered sugar, measured then sifted to remove lumps
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
7-oz jar marshmallow fluff

*I found this recipe online and halved it. (What you see above is the halved version.) However, you may even want to split this in half again, as I had lots leftover for this particular recipe.

Beat the butter on medium speed until it is fluffy and almost looks like frosting all by itself. Gradually beat in sugar, then vanilla extract. Using a rubber spatula, stir in marshmallow fluff until thoroughly combined.

When the cupcakes are cool, use a small paring knife to cut a cone-shaped hole from the top of each cupcake. (If no one is looking, you can eat that cone of cupcake.) Using a pastry bag and a piping tip (I used a disposable bag and a Wilton #230 tip), pipe marshmallow frosting into the hole you made in each cupcake.

Chocolate Ganache**
1/2 C heavy cream
8 oz semi-sweet baking chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 tsp instant coffee granules

**Again, you may want to halve this recipe, as I had lots of ganache left over.

Pour cream into a heavy saucepan and heat over medium-high until it just barely begins to boil. Remove from heat and whisk in chocolate and coffee granules until smooth. Transfer to a bowl.

Dip each cupcake into the ganache, then allow to cool and dry completely (at least an hour). Decorate using store-bought white icing with a narrow round tip.

Pack cupcakes in your lunchbox and make everyone jealous while you eat them all and refuse to all offers to trade.

I know you are but what am I,
Hannah

P.S. I would also recommend making this with a Devil’s Food cake recipe, or you could take a short-cut and use a mix. Do whatever makes you happy. After all, isn’t that the point of a snack cake?

P.P.S. Happy Birthday, Jennifuh!

4 Comments

  • Comment by Dana — October 18, 2010 @ 8:25 pm

    Hannah, you know that I am a devout follower of your blog…but these little cupcakes have so many steps that I will have to wait until I retire to make them!

  • Comment by Hannilou — October 18, 2010 @ 8:33 pm

    They are a weekend project for sure, Dana… but SO good that they were worth every minute! I have also seen baked but undecorated cupcakes in the bakery section of the grocery store, which could be a good shortcut to take. You could buy those and just make the filling and the ganache, which were both super easy. Or wait for a special occasion to make the full things (like retirement!) xo

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