Friday, January 15, 2010

Case Study 46: "The Cooky Wook"

"We all have an essential self, but if you spend every day chopping up meat on a slab, and selling it by the pound, soon you’ll find you’ve become a butcher. And if you don’t want to become a butcher (and why would you?), you’re going to have to cut right through to the bare bones of your own character in the hope of finding out who you really are. Which bloody hurts.” 
- Russell Brand 

A good friend just told me that she had two hopes for 2010. First, to take herself more seriously, focusing on the things that matter most, and second to take herself less seriously,above all not forgetting to do something important: breathe.  I think this is brilliant, because it urges us to think of bearing life's storms less like natural disaster survivors and see them more like a weatherman's blooper reel. Though I like to think I typically dance the fine line of inappropriateness and dignity with ease, the truth is, I think only good things can come of being cognizant of where we stand, and then just letting loose. 

"The Cooky Wook" is a chocolate cookie cupcake bursting with marshmallow filling, and topped with a cookies and cream buttercream and mini Oreo.  It's simple and basic, yet full of a mess of sweet childhood Fluff.

In a rare case of taking life advice from Russell Brand, maybe we need to keep an awareness about ourselves in life, but not get too wrapped up in constantly digging to the core to find out exactly who we are.  And then maybe we just need to go bonkers a little, ignoring the instincts to hold back and looking at life more like an adventure. A character from " Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" waxes about the most important rule: "Always stick around for one more drink. That's when things happen. That's when you find out everything you want to know." What might come from a little nonsense, senseless fun and a mess just might be clearer than what you were so serious about before.

"The Cooky Wook" Cupcake (makes approximately 24 cupcakes)
(adapted from Maida Hetter's Chocolate Cupcake

2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch process)
5 1/3 ounces (10 2/3 tablespoons) sweet butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 eggs
1 cup milk

1 cup Oreo cookies, finely smashed

1. Heat the over to 350 degrees and line 4 6-cup muffin tins with cupcake liners. Sift together the flour, soda, salt, and cocoa powder and set aside. 
2. Use a standing mixer or hand-mixer to cream the butter. Add the sugar and vanilla and mix to combine. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each one until smooth.
3. On the lowest speed, alternately add the dry ingredients in three additions and the milk in two. Beat only until smooth and fully combined, you don’t want to overwork the batter.

4. Fold in cookie crumbs.
5. Scoop the batter into the prepared pans. Bake the cupcakes for about 25 minutes, or until the tops are puffed and spring back when lightly pressed. 

6. Cool the cakes in the muffin tins for about 5 minutes and then remove them to a rack and let cool completely.

Marshmallow Cream Filling

1 cup Marshmallow Fluff
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Mix the Fluff and sugar together with a mixer, gradually adding milk as needed to thin.
2. Mix in vanilla and stir until combined.
3. Fill cupcakes using the cone method.

Cookies and Cream Buttercream 

2 sticks butter, softened
1 cup Oreos, crumbled finely
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup milk 

4-6 cups confectioner's sugar 

1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, or by hand, beat the butter until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the vanilla
2. Add 1 cup confectioner’s sugar and mix until combined. Mix in ¼ cup milk.
3. Mix in remaining cups of confectioner’s sugar, cookie crumbs, and additional milk depending on consistency and preference.
4. Frost cupcakes. 

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