Saturday, 11 December 2010

Mini Oreo Surprise Cupcakes

Today we celebrated my mom's birthday at the cottage. Mom is a pretty awesome lady who is loved by all. She is a great wife (for 40 years), a wonderful mother (who survived raising 3 daughters), is known as a Saint to her sons-in-law and is adored by her 10 grandchildren. At the end of the day, Nanny is where it's at. So when we get a chance to celebrate her we do! And by celebrating I mean lots of people, lots of noise and loads of food! We had 8 children, 3 dogs and a bunch of adults, including my cousin and his family who surprised her with a visit. It was a great time filled with tobogganing, snowman making and LOTS of food!

Birthdays usually mean cakes are baked to celebrate. Personally, I'm not a big cake fan but I do enjoy a cupcake. I know the taste is the same but the fact that it's a little dessert just for moi thoroughly delights me. I also find it easier to make a bunch of cute cupcakes than a cute cake. It just seems like the pressure is less because if you mess up one or two cupcakes no one needs to know (you can easily eat your errors and no one is the wiser). If you screw up the birthday cake, there are not many ways to hide it that don't involve a stomach pump.
Picture a vanilla cupcake topped with a swirl of chocolate icing and a mini Oreo. When you slice it in half you find the centre filled with a pocket of cream cheese and ... a mini Oreo!! Could it get any better?! Cake, cookie and icing joined in culinary bliss! Delightful!
These cupcakes are a mishmash of two different recipes. The cupcake idea is adapted from a recipe from Kraft Canada. Originally they called for a chocolate cake mix to be used (probably so you can see the cream cheese layer better) but I was in a vanilla mood so I changed it up. Also, in Kraft's recipe they said to use Cool Whip on top of each cupcake instead of icing. If I'm given a choice between Cool Whip and homemade icing, I will pick the icing every time! I used one of my 'tried and true' icings which is from my Betty Crocker cookbook and together these two recipes are truly wonderful!

1 pkg (2-layer size) cake mix (chocolate or vanilla)
Ingredients needed to make cake mix
1 pkg (8oz) cream cheese, softened
1 egg
2 tbsp white sugar
48 mini Oreos (1 bag will do it)

Creamy Cocoa Buttercream Icing
3 cups icing sugar
1/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
2 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup cocoa
2-3 tbsp milk (or more if needed to get the right consistency)

Preheat oven to 350F. Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners. Set aside.
Prepare cake batter as directed on the package.

Meanwhile, combine cream cheese, egg and sugar until smooth.

Spoon half of the cake batter into the muffin cups. Top each with approximately
1-1/2 tsp of the cream cheese mixture. Top with one mini Oreo; (see picture
on the right). Cover Oreo with remaining cake batter.

Bake for 19-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Prepare icing: Combine icing ingredients and mix until smooth and thin enough to pipe onto cupcakes. Using a cake decorating bag and tip (Note: I used my Pampered Chef Easy Accent Decorator with one of the star tips) pipe frosting in a circular fashion around each cupcake. Top with a mini Oreo. Refrigerate cupcakes if not serving within a couple of hours.
TIP: If you're carting these cupcakes to an event and don't own a fancy cupcake carrier (like me), use one of those flat cardboard trays that a case of 24 pop come in. 24 cupcakes fit perfectly and the sides of the tray keep them all in line. It's not fancy but it works.

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