Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Oreo Cupcakes with Easy Cookies & Cream Frosting

Cody's grandparents recently moved back east after spending a good chunk of their lives in Washington state. It's been fantastic having them back in Massachusetts - we've gotten to see them more often! It also makes it challenging when it comes to holidays - I've had to swap between my family and Cody's family for each holiday much more than normal.

Christmas we have down pat - we do Christmas Eve with Cody's family and Christmas Day with mine. Thanksgiving, however, was a challenge this year. I opted to spend it with Cody's family this year in honor of his grandparents return to New England. Did I miss my family? Sure! But we had Chanukah only two weeks later so it worked out perfectly.

Most recently, the holiday in question was Easter. This is another holiday we've celebrated separately, but this year was different. Cody's grandmother, his Mima, invited us to her new home for an Italian spread. She also asked the magic words - "Sara, can you make dessert?"

Can I ever!

I thought about it for a few days, wondering what would be best to bring - cake? Cookies? Cupcakes? Something fruity? Something rich? Ah!

I decided to do a cupcake and immediately knew what kind of cupcake I wanted to make.

I have made an Oreo based chocolate cupcake with a cookies and cream infused frosting for my colleagues at my old job at Cody's company at one time. They flew out of the container and everyone loved them - yet for some reason, I never made them again or shared them here on the blog!

So I went digging in my recipe binder and even found the paper where I scribbled my ideas and notes for this recipe! It was meant to be!

This cupcake has a few steps involved - mixing the cocoa powder with hot water, the melting of the butter and sugar - but it's worth it! The cake comes out super velvety soft due to the sour cream and it bakes like a warm hug around the Oreo you sneakily place into the cupcake liner prior to pouring the batter in.

Shhh...don't tell anyone right away! It's always fun to see their face when they bit into a cupcake and discover the Oreo at the bottom.

Now, I will confess the frosting isn't totally from scratch. I am all for keeping it simple - just buy your favorite canned frosting and whip it up in the mixer with some crushed up Oreos. BOOM! DONE!

What's so "Easter" about a chocolate cupcake with an Oreo base and vanilla frosting full of crumbled cookies? Nothing! But I have never been one to follow the rules, ya know?

Oreo Cupcakes with Easy Cookies & Cream Frosting

  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup hot water
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups butter (3 sticks)
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sour cream, room temperature
  • 2 packages of Oreo cookies
  • 2 container of your favorite vanilla frosting (or your specialty from scratch recipe!
For your cupcakes:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line 3 muffin pans with paper liners (this will make 3 dozen cupcakes).
  2. Drop 1 Oreo into the bottom of each muffin liner.
  3. In a small bowl, mix cocoa powder and hot water until it forms a paste. Set aside.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda & powder, and salt.
  5. Melt butter in a small saucepan. Add sugar and mix until combined.
  6. Transfer your sugar/butter mixture into your mixing bowl and beat on medium-high until mixture has cooled, about 4-5 minutes.
  7. Add eggs one at a time to mixture.
  8. Add vanilla and cocoa paste and mix until well combined.
  9. Alternate adding flour and sour cream into mixing bowl and mix until just combined.
  10. Fill each cupcake liner 3/4 of the way, covering each Oreo with batter.
  11. Bake for 18 - 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
For your frosting:
  1. Crush 12 Oreos in a food processor or with a rolling pin (really, crush as many dang cookies as you want - it's a free country!).
  2. Mix your crushed cookies with your frosting. 
Note: you have 2 choices here: you can simply mix your crushed Oreo cookies into the frosting or you can dump your frosting into your mixer and let your mixer whip the frosting together with the crushed cookies. I like to add the frosting to the mixer so that it lightens up and gets nice and fluffy.

       3. Once cupcakes have cooled, spread or pipe your frosting on top and enjoy!