Friday, October 22, 2010

Snickerdoodle Cupcakes with Marshmallow Meringue Frosting

Some of you may remember my obsession with snickerdoodles a year ago, during the last trimester of my final pregnancy.  If not, let me just assure you that "obsession" is not an overstatement.  I'm talking at least a batch a week, sometimes 2.  Obsession.  My kind Facebook friends were sharing with me links for snickerdoodle scones, for snickerdoodle biscotti, snickerdoodle soup (ok, not really that one....but you get the "obsession" part, right?).  In the interest of personal snickerdoodle recovery, I have cut back my cinnamon-sugar intake significantly.....until now.  Snickerdoodle cupcakes.  Are you kidding me??!  Kill me now.

When all was said and done and baked and frosted and shared (yes, I do share!), they lasted all of 24 hours in my house.  Fortunately for me, I have a lot of the frosting left stay tuned for my creative use of the remainder.

Snickerdoodle Cupcakes with Marshmallow Meringue Frosting
Source: Martha Stewart

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups cake flour (not self- rising), sifted
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon, plus 1/2 teaspoon for dusting
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 3/4 cups sugar, plus 2 tablespoons for dusting
4 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups milk


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Sift together both flours, baking powder, salt, and 1 tablespoon cinnamon.

With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of milk, and beating until combined after each. 
Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes. 
Cupcakes can be stored up to 2 days at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.  
To finish, combine remaining 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 2 tablespoons sugar. Using a pastry bag fitted with a large plain tip (Ateco No. 809 or Wilton No. 1A), pipe frosting on each cupcake: Hold bag over cupcake with tip just above top, and squeeze to create a dome of frosting, then release pressure and pull up to form a peak. Using a small, fine sieve, dust peaks with cinnamon-sugar. Cupcakes are best eaten the day they are frosted; keep at room temperature until ready to serve.

For Frosting (also called "7 Minute Frosting"--I thought "Marshmallow Meringue" sounded more intriguing!)
1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
2/3 cup water
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
6 large egg whites, room temperature

Combine 1 1/2 cups sugar with the water and corn syrup in a small saucepan; clip a candy thermometer to side of pan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves. Continue boiling, without stirring, until syrup reaches 230 degrees.

Meanwhile, in the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk egg whites on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. With mixer running, add remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, beating to combine.

As soon as sugar syrup reaches 230 degrees, remove from heat. With mixer on medium-low speed, pour syrup down side of bowl in a slow, steady stream. Raise speed to medium-high; whisk until mixture is completely cool (test by touching the bottom of the bowl) and stiff (but not dry) peaks form, about 7 minutes. Use immediately.

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