Two-Bite Homemade Hostess Cupcakes
Sometimes I think that Chad might be from another planet.
And I’m not talking about that Men are from Mars crap.
I’m talking about normal cultural references… stuff I thought most people our age (most ages) knew. This all started a few weeks ago when we began toying with the idea of furniture shopping for a few things we need around the house. I’m a sucker for Rooms-To-Go and Ikea marketing; everything in one place at a discount!!! Plus I am really not good at decorate-ey fashiony sort of girl stuff, so wandering through places like that gives me some idea about what in the world I’m supposed to do. A Rooms-To-Go ad appeared in our mailbox and I flipped through it, commenting on things I may want to go see. I said something about liking these chairs but that they were probably sort of pricey because they have Cindy Crawford’s name on them. And then he said this:
“Who’s Cindy Crawford?”
So I’m like, “You know. CINDY CRAWFORD. Supermodel. Pepsi commercial. Very distinctive mole. Cindy Crawford!” And he still had no clue.
I busted out some Youtube and pulled up the Pepsi Commercial thinking he’d go, “Ohhhhhh. Cindy Crawford.” But no. Chad has no idea who Cindy Crawford is.
I guess maybe I should be thankful for that?
Saturday afternoon gave him some lazy time on the couch while I worked out some elaborate kitchen project (but for the life of me I have no idea what we ate on Saturday…?). He was scrolling through the Netflix library looking for something suitable to half watch/half sleep through, and then IT HAPPENED AGAIN.
Chad asked me, “What’s ‘Heathers‘?” Ummmmmm, are you kidding me?
First of all… my name is Heather. And though I bear absolutely ZERO resemblance to anyone in the movie, I’ve spent my whole life having people draw references to it when I say my name. PLUS I thought ‘Heathers’ was one of those movies that you everyone HAS to see. It’s like saying you’ve never seen The Breakfast Club.
So I told him that. AND THEN he said that he’d never seen The Breakfast Club.
I almost fell over from shock.
I’m pretty sure both of the kids have seen The Breakfast Club. Where has Chad been? Under a rock? And how do you find your way into adulthood in the year 2012 knowing who Conway Twitty is but not Molly Ringwald?
To be fair, he sort of saved himself a little bit when he said, “Oh, you mean the one with all the kids in detention and that one weird girl eats Cap’n Crunch on her sandwich?”
So I made these little two-bite homemade versions of Hostess cupcakes. Chad DID know what a Hostess cupcake is… I was worried there for a minute. These taste exactly like the real deal, except better because the filling doesn’t have that odd sugar-flavored-but-flavorless-vegetable-oily thing going on. AND I topped them with a chocolate ganache. AND this recipe makes about 48 little squishy two-bite chocolate dreams, which is waaaay more than you’ll get out of a box of those cupcakes. AND since they’re so small you can have two without the guilty compulsion to run 16 miles. Even Cindy Crawford might indulge.
Two-Bite Homemade Hostess Cupcakes (adapted from THIS recipe at Can You Stay for Dinner)
1/2 cup hot brewed coffee
2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped (I used semi-sweet chocolate chips)
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup granulated sugar
Pre-heat the oven to 325. Line a mini-muffin pan with paper liners and then lightly spray over the whole lined pan with non-stick cooking spray. In a medium bowl, pour the hot coffee over the chocolate, let it stand for about a minute, and then stir with a fork until smooth. Mine had lumps at the bottom and wasn’t so pretty at first; don’t worry. Set the chocolate aside and in a large bowl beat the egg until it’s frothy- about 30 seconds. Add the sour cream, vanilla, and oil. Then beat in the chocolate.
In another large bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, unsweetened cocoa, and sugar. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined, making sure to scrape down the sides. Use a tablespoon to portion the batter into the prepared mini-muffin cups.
Bake for 10-12 minutes; a pick inserted into the center will come out clean, or with just a few sticky crumbs, The tops will be a little bit springy to the touch. Let the cupcakes cool completely.
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
3 cups confectioner’s sugar
3-4 tablespoons heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Beat the butter for just a minute to smooth it out. Then beat in the confectioner’s sugar a cup at a time, mixing until smooth in between each addition. Follow the same procedure with the heavy cream, adding it a tablespoon at a time and beating until smooth in between each addition until you’ve reached your desired consistency. Then beat in the vanilla.
Using a tiny paring knife cut the middles out of your tiny cupcakes. The cupcakes will be really soft and this part won’t look perfect. It’s fine. Just use clean fingers to gently press and shape the opening in the top of the cupcake, but not too much. The frosting will fill it and there will be glaze to cover all this up.
Fit a pastry bag with a good tip for filling (I used a Wilton star tip 22 and put all the filling in one bag instead of dividing it because the star tip 22 worked for piping the curly-cues across the finished cupcakes, although it wasn’t totally “Hostess authentic”) and put about 3/4 of the filling in the bag. You can also use a ziploc bag with one corner lobbed off. Fill the tiny cakes with the vanilla buttercream just to the top (try not to go over the lip of the opening).
Chocolate Glaze (Chocolate Ganache)
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup heavy cream
Put the chocolate chips in a medium bowl. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan heat the heavy cream until it simmers. Pour the heavy cream over the chocolate chips and let it stand for about a minute. Using a small whisk or a fork, whisk the chocolate and cream together until smooth. If the mixture is too liquidy for you just let it stand for a few more minutes, stirring occasionally. It will thicken as it cools.
Spoon the chocolate glaze onto each cupcake, using the back of the spoon to smooth it out. Work as quickly as you can because the ganache doesn’t smooth as easily (or look as pretty) as it starts to cool.
After I spooned the chocolate glaze over my cupcakes I refrigerated them for a few minutes, to let the ganache set up. Then I used my pastry bag to pipe the little swirl across the top of each cake using the last 1/4 of the buttercream.