Friday, September 30, 2011

Hamburger Cupcakes

My all time favorite food has to be cheeseburgers.  When I'm feeling grumpy and need a pick me up.... cheeseburgers.  When I've had a few too many to drink and need something to soak it up... cheeseburger.  When I had too much to drink the night before and need something in my stomach... cheeseburgers.  To me they are the absolute perfect food and just make me happy. 

For book club this month we read the book Thinking in Pictures by Temple Grandin.  This book tells the story of Grandin, who is autistic, and how she revolutionized the way cattle are taken to be slaughtered.  So what better to have be the book club theme than hamburgers (yes I'm aware that its a little morbid!)  As soon as Katie announced the theme, I knew it was time for me to finally rock the hamburger cupcakes!

My original idea was to do the hamburger cupcakes with a side of sugar cookie fries drizzled in "ketchup" frosting.  I had already had one bad experience with trying to make hamburger cupcakes and failing a few years ago, but I was determined to succeed this time around. 


I started with my favorite yellow cupcake recipe.  I ALMOST used a box mix (i know i know) but i realized it would probably not be dense enough.  These cupcakes are simple enough that it wasn't a huge time issue.  I baked them in wrappers, even though I knew I'd be taking them off.  I just didn't want the cupcakes to stick to the pan or get oily from the spray.   It worked out well.   I will also admit that i used a box mix for the brownies.  Brownies from a box are just a)so delicious and b) so easy, that I had to!  I am currently on a quest for a good brownie recipe so once I find one I'll use it. 

The assembly of the cupcakes is where the fun happens!  I started out by cutting a circular piece of the brownie.  I actually used the cupcake as a pattern to make the cuts, but I bet a small cookie cutter would have worked a little better

Then I pulled the cupcake wrapper off and  cut the cupcake in half.  I was very lucky that they didn't fall apart, which i think was because the batter was so dense.  I also was happy that they wrapper came off cleanly :)
Removing the wrapper

Cutting in half
The next step was to put the brownie on top.   I thought the brownie was far too large for the cupcake so also trimmed them.  This step could have been avoided if i had made them in a 9x 13 pan rather than the smaller one i used.
Then the fun part came!  Icing!  I made a batch of my favorite buttercream  and then died part of it green and part of it red.  If you wanted to, you could also die part of it yellow for the "cheese", but I had other ideas. There was more than enough.   I simply put on flat tips on the end of a pastry bag (I believe they are actually flower tips) and drizzled the green and red on the bottom to make it look like there was tomatoes and lettuce on it.


Lettuce and tomato!

Put back together

Now no good cheeseburger goes without cheese!  I decided to be "fancy" and make a white chocolate topping and dye it yellow.  But as I learned in my first cupcake blogging experience, white chocolate and liquid do not get along.  So even with the gel food coloring, it was not a pretty outcome.    I then just decided to make it white American (or provolone? cheddar?) and leave the white chocolate as is.  I think it added a nice texture to the cupcakes!  But icing would have worked as well.

White chocolate on top of the brownie

The last step was to add sprinkles to the top to make it look like sesame seeds.   I needed a way to make them stick so i spread Kahlua on top of the cupcake.  It also added nicely to the flavor :)   And it looked like i had cooked toasted the bun.   Definitely a good decision!   I didn't take a picture of this process but I do have a picture of the finished product!

Cheeseburger Cupcakes!

Now, I have yet to mention the disaster of the sugar cookie fries.  I tried twice... and was never able to make them work.  No matter how thinly I sliced them, they came out of the oven looking like this
I will definitely have to do more research before trying again.  At least they were a good snack :)

Overall I was very pleased with how the cupcakes turned out... as were all the participants at book club!

 
Jeanette eating

Our awesome Chef Chris



















While it was definitely a lot of work.... It was also a lot of fun!  I would definitely make them again if the "theme" demanded :)

Cupcakes from Better Homes and Garden
Icing from Sweet Revenge

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