It came to me in a vision. A cupcake dream, if you will.
I’ve had Girl Scout cookies on the brain lately. I remember the good ol’ days when several of my friends were Girl Scouts, and I was surrounded by cookie order forms. Unfortunately, the times have changed and I don’t know anyone who can sell me delightfully overpriced cookies anymore. I’ve been craving Samoas, the best Girl Scout cookie EVER (no arguments, folks. You know it’s true.), and hoping to run into some cute little kids selling them outside a grocery store, but I haven’t had any luck.
So I had to take things into my own hands.
At first, I thought I could make my own Samoas. Then, suddenly, the idea exploded into a cupcake. And there would be chocolate and caramel and coconut and graham crackers and absolute merriment.
So I wrote out my plan, waited about 4 days (since we were out of town for the weekend), and then attempted the dessert.
And it was good.
I wouldn’t say that these really taste like the magical Samoa cookies, mostly because I think it’s hard to compare a cookie and a cupcake. But these are really delicious and have all the same flavors, just in cupcake form.
And if Eric’s request for more is any indication, these cupcakes are pretty darn tasty.
Sidenote: Before you judge me for using a store-bought cake mix, I will say that I have been a total failure in the homemade cake department. I feel like Betty Crocker and that Pillsbury Doughboy know what they are doing, and I didn’t want to take the risk of ruining the cupcakes by making my own terrible cake mix. But that’s a future goal for a future post.
For now, here’s my boxed cake mix Samoa cupcake recipe:
makes 24 cupcakes
1 box devil’s food cake mix
ingredients called for on box (eggs, oil, water, etc.)
4 graham crackers (the full cracker, or 16 of the little pieces)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare two muffin pans with cooking spray or cupcake liners.
Combine cake mix and other ingredients as instructed on box. Crush graham crackers and stir into mixture. Use about half of the mixture to fill muffin cups 1/3 full. Reserve the rest of the mixture for use in a few minutes.
Meanwhile, make the caramel filling.
2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon coarse salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pour the sugar and water into a saucepan and stir until all the sugar is wet.
Add the butter and salt. Heat over medium high heat, stirring occasionally until all the sugar melts and the mixture is a light amber color (a.k.a. it looks like caramel).
Immediately remove from heat and stir in baking soda.
Pour a tablespoon of caramel onto each cupcake, then top with the remainder of the cupcake mix.
Note: It is really important to have everything ready before you make the caramel filling so that you can immediately pour it onto the cupcakes. Otherwise, the caramel will begin to burn in the pan.
After topping the caramel with the remainder of the cupcake mix, bake as directed on box. Allow cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.
adapted from HappyTummy
1/4 cup turbinado sugar
2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 cup powdered sugar
Stir together sugar and water and bring to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Continue cooking, without stirring, until mixture turns dark amber in color. This will take about 5 minutes.
Remove from heat and add cream and vanilla, stirring until smooth. Set aside until cool, about 20 minutes.
Combine butter and salt in a bowl and beat until fluffy. Add powdered sugar and mix until fully incorporated.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add caramel mixture. Beat until thoroughly mixed. Cover and refrigerate until stiff, about 45 minutes, before using.
Frost the cupcakes and top with shredded coconut. I also had these super cute sprinkles that my friend, Becca, sent me that I’ve been dying to use. Decorating cupcakes is clearly not my area of expertise, but you’re just going to eat it anyway, right?