Sunday, 16 September 2012

Cookies & Cream Cupcakes

Last Sunday was such a glorious day in this part of the world (a welcome hiatus to all the Spring rain we're having), that when the need to go out for a coffee hit (as it regularly does), I decided that it had to be at an equally gorgeous outdoors venue. Thankfully we have quite a few in this area - but one is fast becoming a favourite: Makaranga.
Originally designed to cater for wheelchairs, its paths and ramps have now become just as well suited to prams. A tranquil Japanese garden, waterfall and labyrinth are just a few of the attractions. And when the children have tired of exploring the gardens, the jungle gym and kids activities area situated just off the restaurant/ deli will keep them occupied for just enough time for mom and dad to get their caffeine-fix.

But...this isn't a restaurant or hotel review ; )
The point I'm getting to, eventually, is that while I opted for nothing more exotic than a decaf cappucino, the friend that I was with had a Cookies & Cream Milkshake. How deliciously decadent! (She's allowed to - she's breastfeeding!) I especially liked the way it looked - all speckled; and the tasty tiny crunchy bits in the thick, creamy shake. Mmmmn mmmn!

So, when I was thinking what to do with some cream I had left over from making ganache, the idea to make Cookies & Cream Cupcakes arrived in my head ... and just wouldn't leave ...
I could, of course have just added the cream to some soup, or frozen it...but what fun would that have been?!

So, this is what I did:

Cookies & Cream Cupcakes:

2 cups cake flour
120g butter in small cubes, at room temp.
1 cup white sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup cream (whipping cream / the 35-36% fat kind)
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 egg whites (oh, dear...have to find more ways to use up egg yolks)
8 Oreos, finely crushed (I used my blender)


Heat oven: 180'C
Prepare 2x12-hole muffin trays with cupcake cases.

Sift together dry ingredients. Use a hand whisk to mix.
Add in butter, and beat with paddle attachment of mixer until combined.
Add in the cream and vanilla and beat for about a minute; then the egg whites. Beat for another minute - until well combined.
Stir in the crushed cookies.
Spoon into cupcake cases in muffin trays (about 1/2 - 2/3 full).
Bake at 180'C for approx. 20 min, or until a skewer inserted into a cupcake comes out clean.

Cookies and Cream Icing:

250g cream cheese (the denser kind - like Lancewood, Woolworths or Philadelphia)
1 1/2 cups cream (whipping cream), cold from the fridge
3 Tbsp caster sugar
4 Crushed Oreos for garnishing.
1 tsp vanilla extract.

In a cold mixing bowl, beat together the cream cheese and sugar. Add the vanilla, blend.
Then, slowly pour in the cream, and continue to beat until the mix can hold a peak.

Pipe this onto the cooled cupcakes, and garnish with the crushed cookies (if finely crushed, the cookies can also be gently folded into the icing,  but I liked the contrast between the speckled cupcakes, white icing and dark crumbs on top.)

I hope you enjoy eating them as much as I enjoyed creating them!


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