Sunday, December 6, 2015

Red Velvet Truffle Cupcakes with Oreo Cream Cheese Frosting

GUYS. These cupcakes are gorgeous. GORGEOUS! I don't usually toot my own horn...but man, I fell in love with these cupcakes the moment the idea came to me--and they did NOT disappoint in the looks department! (It definitely helps that they match my fabulous Christmas tree, Carmen! Yes. I named my tree. Judge all you want!!)
My sweet friend Annette came into the US this week and had a very specific request that I meet her at the airport with cupcakes and Gatorade. She flew about 16 hours total, from Ghana to here, with her 17-month-old daughter. She definitely deserved a little cupcake love. She didn't have any particular flavors in mind; she just asked that I surprise her.

Of course, I can't do anything plain, and I don't like to repeat recipes, so I started thinking: "What have I never done before? What would be absolutely delicious? Can I do something festive?" These cupcakes fit the bill on all fronts. I knew I wanted to have a surprise inside, so I added the truffles knowing that they would melt and create a lovely, creamy center.
The Oreo frosting was an on-the-fly idea--I bought the cookies at the store and decided to incorporate them into the frosting at the last minute! I'm so glad that I did, because it was absolutely decadent--and I used the leftover frosting to top some fudge brownies I made last week. (I'm telling you--when I get going, I have some really delicious ideas!) Look how pretty it is, all speckled with Oreos! Mmm. YES!)
Now, if you ever figure out how to keep Oreos from getting soggy after being removed from the package, let me know. That's the only downside to these cupcakes: the Oreo garnish became more of a soft Oreo mush after being out for a little while, so that was disappointing. Otherwise, these were a home run, both with Annette, and also with the people who ate them at the White Elephant Christmas party I attended tonight! Add them to your Christmas menu immediately. You won't regret it.
  • 1 box red velvet cake mix (and ingredients to make it)
  • 1 packet instant pudding mix (I used vanilla)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-2 packages Lindt truffles, any flavor (they were all out of white chocolate at the store, which was what I wanted, so I went with the Stracciatella truffles, which are white chocolate with slivers of cocoa. Also delicious!) 
  • 12-24 Oreos (for garnish)
For the frosting:
  • 1 8-oz package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar (I didn't measure--you may need more)
  • 1/2 cup Oreo cookie crumbs (I threw about 7-10 cookies into the blender and processed until I had crumbs)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tablespoons heavy cream, milk, or half-and-half (the frosting can get a little thick; I used the half-and-half to loosen it a bit).

Preheat oven to 325 (if using a dark tin; otherwise, 350 for glass or lighter metal tins) and line two cupcake tins with paper liners; set aside. Prepare the cake mix according to directions on the box, and add pudding mix and vanilla extract. Be careful not to overmix!

Fill your cupcake liners about 2/3 full, and add one unwrapped truffle into the bottom of the batter in each well. Bake for 19-24 minutes. The toothpick test doesn't exactly work here because of the melted truffles in the middle, but when done, the tops should lightly spring back from your touch. Cool completely before frosting.

Meanwhile, make your frosting: beat the butter and cream cheese until smooth and creamy, then add vanilla extract. Slowly incorporate the powdered sugar, scraping down the sides of the bowl to ensure there are no dry spots at the bottom, then add the cream or half-and-half. Fold in your Oreo cookie crumbs with a spatula; mix until incorporated. Chill until ready for use, and pipe onto cooled cupcakes. Garnish with Oreos if desired!

No comments:

Post a Comment