S'mores Brownie Cupcakes

Ingredients:

Crust

  • 1 and 1/2 cups (150g) graham cracker crumbs (about 10 full-sheet graham crackers)
  • 1/3 cup (67g) granulated sugar
  • 6 Tablespoons (87g) unsalted butter, melted

Brownies

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick; 115g) unsalted butter
  • 2 4-ounce quality semi-sweet chocolate bars (228g or 8 ounces), coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (60g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1/4 cup (20g) unsweetened natural or dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Marshmallow Meringue Frosting

  • 3 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar (do not skip!)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line a 12-count muffin pan with cupcake liners. Line a 2nd 12-count muffin pan with 6 liners. (This recipe yields about 18).
  2. Make the crust: Using a food processor, pulse the graham crackers into crumbs-- if they aren't crumbs already. Pour into a medium bowl and stir in sugar and melted butter until combined. (You can also pulse it all together in the food processor.) Spoon 1 and 1/2 Tablespoons of crust into each cupcake liner. Press down tightly to create a tight and firm crust. Set aside. (No need to pre-bake.)
  3. Make the brownie cups: Melt the butter and chocolate together in a large heat-proof bowl. I microwave in 30 second increments, stopping and stirring after each until melted and smooth. Whisk in the granulated sugar. Allow to slightly cool for 5 minutes before adding the eggs. (So as not to cook the eggs!) Whisk in the eggs, vanilla, flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Batter will be thick. Spoon evenly into each cupcake liner on top of the graham cracker crusts, filling almost to the top of the liners.
  4. Bake brownie cups for 25-28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs (no wet batter). Keep your eye on them and check after 22 minutes or so. Mine take around 26 minutes.
  5. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely in pans.
  6. Make the meringue: Place egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar in a heatproof bowl. Set bowl over a saucepan filled with two inches of simmering water. Do not let it touch the water. (You can use a double boiler if you have one.) Whisk constantly until sugar is dissolved, about 4 minutes. Transfer the mixing bowl to an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Add the vanilla. Beat on high speed for 5-6 minutes until soft, glossy peaks form. See photo above for a visual.
  7. Pipe onto cooled brownie cupcakes. I used Ateco 808 piping tip. If desired, use a kitchen torch to toast.
  8. Cover and store leftover cupcakes at room temperature or in the refrigerator for 1-2 days.

Make ahead tip: You can make the cupcakes through step 5. Cover and store the brownie cupcakes at room temperature for up to 3 days, then continue with the meringue topping. Or freeze brownie cupcakes (prepared through step 5) for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight completely, then top with marshmallow meringue frosting.

Recipe Notes:

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