The trials and tribulations of a scatter-brained kitchen junkie.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Crimes Against Humanity Cakes

The name pretty much says it all. I set out to make some über delicious terrifyingly sweet cupcakes for a last minute birthday party invite. The catch, I had very little in the house, and even less desire to do heavy grocery shopping on an early Sunday afternoon when the stores were packed. Couple this with the birthday girl's insatiable love of chocolate and Crimes Against Humanity Cakes are born. The idea came from a series of random things I've found spread over the zillion cooking/baking forums I frequent. The basis came from an instructables post that I then tweaked a bit to clog the arteries  please the palate of the cake eaters. This recipe was perfect because all I needed (or so I thought...) was to pick up some Oreos.

A glimpse at the chaos inside.

What You'll Need
  • Box of brownie mix + the ingredients it calls for OR the ingredients and your favorite brownie recipe
  • Oreos regular or Double Stuf 
  • Smooth/creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 c vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 c butter softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (clear if you want the frosting to be really white)
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp milk or water (I use water so the frosting is safe to sit out at a party/gathering all night)
  • Patience
  • Dishwasher

Assembling the (Cup)Cakes
  • Preheat oven to 350°   
  • Line a standard cupcake pan with 12 cupcake papers.  
  • Place one Oreo (I used Double Stuf because the BF insisted that the party guests would thank me) in the center of each cupcake paper.
    Single layer of Oreos
  • Pipe about 1/2 tbsp of peanut butter onto the top of the Oreo. It doesn't need to be measured, just eyeball it.Try to spread it across the whole cookie, leaving just a small ring of cookie showing underneath. Seriously, don't try to spoon it onto the cookie. Even with warmed peanut butter this was really messy and kept pulling the cookie up every time I tried to lift the spoon away.
      First round of peanut butter
  • Put another Oreo on top of this monster in the making. Try to keep your stack centered in the cupcake hole.
  •  Pipe a second layer 1/2 tbsp of peanut butter on to that sucker.
    Second round of peanut butter.
  • Mix up your brownie mix per the directions on the box/recipe you are using.
    Mmmm, brownie batter.
  • Scoop about 2 tbsp of brownie batter carefully on top of the peanut butter.
    Try to hit as close to the center as possible and let it slide down the sides of your cookie/peanut butter mountain. I used a medium cookie scoop and this worked beautifully. Especially compared to my efforts to cleanly transfer the batter using a regular table spoon. 
    Scooping the brownie batter.
  • Bake those suckers for 20-25 minutes, this varies depending on the mix you used. 
  • Insert a toothpick slightly off to the side to test for doneness. Obviously you can't poke straight down the  center as you usually would since the center is fully of still-fairly-hard-cookie. I pulled my brownies when the toothpick was mostly clean, but the brownies still appeared a bit tender. I wanted that gooey-ish texture to contract the crunch of the cookies.
  • Let rest in the pan, on a cooling wrack, until completely cooled. Trying to pull these from the pan while they are even slightly warm still results in the brownie tops separating from their cookie counterparts. 
A bit ugly, but that's what frosting is for!
Making the Frosting

Quick confession, I used gasp store-bought buttercream, but I promise I can explain! I had a giant tub of store-bought, though delicious, buttercream that was given to me by an aunt who had bought waaaay too many supplies to make her son's birthday cake. She wound up with a full extra tub of unopened frosting that she sent my way figuring I would use it up before her. It's now been kicking around my house for several months, so it needed to find a home. I also happened to have run out of powdered sugar, well I had about a cups worth which isn't enough to do anything of value with, so the tub saved me from a second trip to the store. All I had to do was crush up the Oreos (which was also a disaster because my food processor is no more) and mix them in. Had I made the frosting from scratch, this is what I would have done.
Crushing the cookies barbarian style.
  1. Cream the butter and shortening with an electric mixer on low-medium. 
  2. Add the vanilla and stir until combined.
  3. Sift in the powdered sugar slowly, scraping the sides down as necessary. Mix until thoroughly combined. 
  4. Add in the milk/water and beat until fluffy. Add more milk/water as necessary if the frosting appears too thick.
  5. Crush/grind up about 1 cup of Oreos. 
  6. Stir in the crushed Oreos.
  7. Use a butter knife or small spatula to spread the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes.
  8. Design/decorate as you see fit.
  9. Eat. 
The finished product

This was one of the messiest and most enjoyable recipes I have made in quite sometime. The calories are sky-high to match the joy level attained from whipping up a batch of these. The party guests, and most importantly, the birthday girl, were quite pleased with the results. I was too. We spent the night dancing, singing karaoke, and drinking cheap beer. Did I mention it was a Sunday night? Work the next day was...interesting. I'm very clearly not 18 anymore. I mean, 21, umm, cuz you know, that's the legal drinking age. ;)

Happy Baking!


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