Facebook 1

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Extra marshmallow-y Rice Krispie Treats

I've been on a mission to make a super marshmallow-y Rice Krispie Treat.  A few months ago, I attempted some, and they were good and marshmallow-y, but not as marshmallow-y as I had wanted.  I had heard about these super delicious Rice Krispie treats from this place called the Crispery, and when I saw a picture, I knew that that was what I wanted my super marshmallow-y Rice Krispie Treats to be like.  So I went back to the drawing board.


What I ended up doing might be considered a bit weird, but it's what I thought would make the most perfect super-duper extra marshmallow-y but still crispy Rice Krispie Treats. I made homemade marshmallow, and then when it was just freshly beaten, I added Rice Krispies.  Lots of them (about 8 cups).  I folded them in by hand.  Then, I poured them into the pan, filled it to the tippy-top (not my intention, but who would complain if they were served a 3" high Rice Krispie Treat), and smoothed them out.  Then I waited....and waited....and waited (this is the one place where these Rice Krispie Treats do not trump the good old fashioned ones -- those are ready immediately for consumption) for them to set.  And then I waited a little more*...


But, let me tell you.  They were worth the wait!!

*why, you may ask, did I wait a little more?  Because the homemade marshmallow is more moist than melted marshmallows, the Rice Krispies were a little soggy as soon as they set up.  No worries, waiting a little longer for them to dry a little, made them TOTALLY worth the wait!!

Extra Marshamallow-y Rice Krispie Treats
I used my plain vanilla marshmallow recipe for these

Ingredients:

1 cup water, divided
3 Tbsp. + 1 1/2 tsp. unflavored powdered gelatin (3 envelopes – envelope is 1/4 oz. each, for 3/4 oz. total)
2 cups granulated white sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 tsp. fine salt
2 Tbsp. pure vanilla or vanilla bean paste -- I might cut this down a little bit, maybe 1.5 Tbsp, if eating them plain.  If you're coating them with the coconut, I'd do either 1.5 or 2 Tbsp.

8 cups Rice Krispies cereal (you might need a little more)

Directions:

Spray a 9x13 inch baking pan with baking spray.

In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, pour in 1/2 cup of the water and sprinkle the gelatin over.
Let stand.

In a medium saucepan over high heat, stir together the sugar, corn syrup, salt and the remaining 1/2 cup of water.
Stir until sugar dissolves and mixture begins to boil.
Stop stirring and once mixture comes to a rolling boil, continue boiling for 1 minute.
Remove from the heat and pout into 2-cup glass measuring cup
The mixture is very, very, very hot.  Be extremely careful!

Turn the mixer to low and mix the gelatin a bit to loosen.
Very slowly and carefully add the hot sugar mixture by pouring it gently down the side of the bowl.
Continue to mix on low until all the sugar mixture is added.

Turn the mixer to high and whip the mixture for 10 to 12 minutes until the marshmallow batter almost triples in size and becomes very thick.
If you have a smaller mixer bowl, you may need to scrape down the sides of the bowl frequently to avoid the batter overflowing as it grows.
Stop the mixer, add the vanilla, and then whip briefly to combine.  When I added the vanilla, mine thinned out a bit.  Just an FYI.

Working quickly, fold in the Rice Krispies into the marshmallow mixture, 1-2 cups at a time.
Be sure that you get all the marshmallow at the bottom of the bowl.
If your mixer bowl is small, you may have to remove some of the coated Rice Krispies and put them in the pan, then add some more Rice Krispies in batches to the remaining (mostly marshmallow but some remaining Rice Krispie) mixture.

Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking pan (a silicone bowl scraper works like a charm for this) and use a spatula or bench scraper to spread the marshmallow evenly in the pan, pushing it down into the corners.
Mine literally came to the tippy top of the pan!
Work quickly, as the marshmallow becomes more difficult to manipulate as it begins to set.

Spray a sheet of plastic wrap liberally with cooking spray and lay it across the top of the marshmallow, sprayed side down.
Using you fingers, smooth the plastic wrap on top of the marshmallows a bit to seal it smoothly and tightly against the mixture.

Leave the marshmallow to set at room temperature for at least 3 hours or, even better, overnight.
The marshmallow will be too sticky and soft to cut if you try too soon.

When they are set, cut the Rice Krispie Treats.
Taste them, they're yummy....but the Rice Krispies themselves may be a little soft and not too crunchy.  But don't worry, they're still tasty, and we will remedy the slightly soggy Rice Krispies.

Put them on a baking sheet to dry slightly, rotating them so that the bottom side doesn't remain soggy.  It took about 3-4 hours for mine to be as crispy as I like.  I know it seems like a lot of time, but these are SO worth it!!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Pumpkin spice marshmallows

OK, I'm going to stop right now -- before I even get started -- and toot my own horn for just a second.  I know, I know, it's something I rarely (if ever) do.  But I had this idea for a delicious holiday marshmallow and I came up with a recipe and I just made them and they're awesome (yes, that was a run-on sentence, and yes, I'm sure my 3rd grade teacher would reprimand me for it, but it's just my overexcited way of "saying" it to you).


Back to the marshmallows.  I wanted to make a festive flavored marshmallow for the holiday season.  Pumpkin is, in my opinion, synonymous to everyone with Thanksgiving.  These pack a mild hint of pumpkininess with the perfect blend of spices -- hint of pumpkin pie flavor without being overpowering!  (I will spare you my normal diatribe about how I hate pumpkin and pumpkin pie spices because frankly it just works so darn well in these!)


And if you are a fan of the seasonal pumpkin spice latte from my favorite coffee chain, I suggest you try these in a cup of coffee and let me know how it tastes (I have yet to try this, I'm just saying I think it'll be good)...



So, let me just cut to the chase and share with recipe with you:

(FYI, I always have issues with cutting my marshmallows, since I end up with 20-25 super huge marshmallows.  Somehow this time I managed to do it just right....they're the perfect size!  And, I got 42 marshmallows!)

Pumpkin Spice Marshmallows

Ingredients:

For the marshmallows

1/2 cup water, plus more if needed (I used 1 Tbsp)
1/2 cup canned PURE pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
3 Tbsp. + 1 1/2 tsp. unflavored powdered gelatin (3 envelopes – envelope is 1/4 oz. each, for 3/4 oz. total)
2 cups granulated white sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 tsp. fine salt
1 tsp pure vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp nutmeg
pinch of ground cloves (more to your taste, I'm personally not a huge fan)

For the coating

3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup corn starch
1 tsp ground cinnamon

Directions:

Spray a 9x9 or 7x11 inch baking pan and line with parchment paper (Recommendation: cut to fit flat on the bottom, with the edges of the paper over-hanging the sides. The ends are fine just sprayed.)

In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, pour the 1/2 cup of pumpkin and 1 Tbsp of water (add more if you need).
Mix a few times to allow them to mix.
Sprinkle the gelatin over the pumpkin and water mixture.
Let stand.

In a medium saucepan over high heat, stir together the sugar, corn syrup, salt and the 1/2 cup of water.
Stir until sugar dissolves and mixture begins to boil.
Stop stirring and once mixture comes to a rolling boil, continue boiling for 1 minute.
Remove from the heat.
Pour the mixture into a 2-cup glass measuring cup, to make it easier to pour into the mixer.  *The mixture is very, very, very hot.  Be extremely careful!*

Turn the mixer to low and mix the gelatin a bit to loosen.
Very slowly and carefully add the hot sugar mixture by pouring it gently down the side of the bowl.
Continue to mix on low until all the sugar mixture is added.

Turn the mixer to high and whip the mixture for 10 to 12 minutes until the marshmallow batter almost triples in size and becomes very thick and opaque.

While the mixer is going, mix the spices and vanilla in a small bowl into a paste.
Stop the mixer, add the vanilla and spice mixture, and then whip briefly to combine.

Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking pan (a silicone bowl scraper works like a charm for this) and use a spatula or bench scraper to spread the marshmallow evenly in the pan, pushing it down into the corners.
Work quickly, as the marshmallow becomes more difficult to work with as it begins to set.

Spray a sheet of plastic wrap really well with cooking spray and lay it across the top of the marshmallow, sprayed side down.
Smooth the plastic wrap on top of the marshmallows a bit to seal it smoothly and tightly against the mixture.

Leave the marshmallow to set at room temperature for at least 3 hours or, even better, overnight.
The marshmallow will be too sticky and soft to cut if you try too soon.

Meanwhile, mix the coating ingredients in a bowl.

When marshmallows are ready, grab the edges of the parchment and lift the marshmallows from the pan.
Remove the plastic wrap from the top and fold down the parchment on the sides.
Using a pizza cutter or a large knife, cut the slab into 1x1 inch squares.
Roll each of the freshly cut marshmallow squares in the coating mixture.
Put them on a baking sheet to dry slightly before packaging them up (about 30 – 45 minutes).

Shortbread sprinkle bites

Confession #1: I have been wanting to make this recipe since I pinned it on Pinterest over a year ago.  They just looked so cute and festive and fun.  Which brings me to confession #2...

Confession 2: I'm getting into the holiday spirit early.  I know, I know, it's not even Thanksgiving yet and I'm talking about a holiday cookie.  But truth be told, these cookies could be made for any holiday -- just change the color of the sprinkles.  It just to happens to be that earlier today when I was at the craft store, I bought red, white, and green nonpareils (and hence I had easy access to them.  So maybe I'm not getting into the holiday spirit as much as I had originally stated....).


But let's get back to these cookies themselves.  They're teeny, tiny, bite-sized 1/2-inch squares of pure buttery shortbread deliciousness, with a little extra crunch from the nonpareils!  The recipe makes at least 140 cookie bites...The only problem is that when they're this tiny and poppable, they likely won't last long!!




Shortbread Sprinkle Bites
Original recipe found here

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups flour
3 Tbsp sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cold, and cut into pieces
1 Tbsp nonpareils or sprinkles or baking bits, I used a little extra for good measure

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 325F.

In a food processor (using the knife blade), pulse flour and sugar until combined.
Add in butter and pulse until dough becomes together.
Place dough in a medium bowl.
Using your hands, gently knead in the nonpareils (or sprinkles or baking bits) until evenly blended and the dough forms a ball.

On a lightly floured piece of wax paper, pat the dough into an 8" x 5" rectangle.
Freeze for 15 minutes.
Cut the dough into 1/2-inch squares.

Place the squares on an ungreased large cookie sheet (I used parchment paper) 1/2 inch apart.  You might need two cookie sheets...

Bake the cookies 18-20 minutes or until lightly browned on the bottom (mine baked for 15 minutes and were a little more than lightly brown).
Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool.

The recipe says to then repeat with remaining dough.  I think using two cookie sheets would negate the need to bake them twice.  But thats's just me and my practicality.

Store the cookies in a tightly covered container at room temperature up to one week, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Triple peanut butter chewy dark chocolate cookies

The majority of my life is spent making rationale, logical, evidence-based decisions.  I do it in my work life, for sure.  And mostly in my personal life, too (there are a few -- a very, very few -- times when I throw caution to the wind and just "do" [which is usually followed by buyer's remorse, but nice new shoes....but I digress]).  Tonight, however, was not one of those nights.


I got out of work at a decent hour.  Met my sisters for dinner, and we were even able to move our plans earlier.  Took some food to go for B, ran an errand, and dropped the food off at his place (he's working on a huge project now, but I knew he needed to eat!).  Then I got home, a little after 9 p.m., and did I stop for a second and relax?  Nope.  Did I hop in the shower?  Nope (that was later on).  I made some cookie dough and baked some cookies!  Which normally wouldn't have been too insane, but I do have to be at work at 8 a.m. tomorrow and that does mean that I have to leave my apartment a little before 6:30 a.m.  But again, here I am going off on a tangent...



Let me tell you about these cookies.  I used the chewy dark chocolate cookie base from one of the most amazing cookies ever, these Chewy Chocolate Cookies with White Chocolate Chips.  But then I didn't stop there, I decided to mix things up a bit.  And thus the Triple Peanut Butter Chewy Dark Chocolate Cookies were born!  I added 3 different kinds of peanut butter goodness to these cookies: Reese's Pieces, Mini Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, AND Peanut Butter Chips!  They were AMAZING!!

Triple Peanut Butter Chewy Dark Chocolate Cookies
Based on these amazing cookies

Ingredients:

1 3/4 cups flour
1 1/4 cup Dark Chocolate Cocoa Powder (I used Hershey's)
2 tsp baking soda
1 cup white sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 cup butter, room temperature
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup Reese's Pieces
1/2 cup mini Reese's Peanut Butter Cups (they come unwrapped in a bag)
1/2 cup peanut butter chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F.
Grease cookie sheet (or line with parchment paper).

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffy.
Add eggs one at a time, beating well with each addition.
Add the salt and vanilla.

In another bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, and baking soda.
Gradually add to the butter mixture.
Fold in the peanut butter cups, pieces, and chips.
Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto the prepared sheets.

Bake for 8-10 minutes until fluffy but still soft.
Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Mint chocolate chip buttercream (on dark chocolate cupcakes)

Let's face it, I like to bake.  Sometimes, I bake things just to bake them, with no actual event to attend or people to serve it to.  Other times I find a reason to bake...and yet sometimes there's an event scheduled and a reason to bake and so I bake.  This was one of those times!


My parent's neighbor wrote a book and she threw a party for the book's launch (I was one of the fortunate people to have read it before it was released).  Naturally, I offered to bake.  Originally, I was going to go with a theme -- nail polish bottle cookies (the book is called "Mani-Pedi STAT") -- but then I found out that one of her friends had beat me to it and had already offered to make those.  So instead I went with mini cupcakes.  A variety of mini cupcakes, to be exact.

I had grand plans.  It's the overachiever in me.  I was going to make 5 different kinds of mini cupcakes -- seriously, have I mentioned how overzealous I am sometimes? -- but that fell by the wayside.  Instead, I simply went with dark chocolate mini cupcakes.  Then, I mixed them up with the icings.....Mint chocolate chip buttercream and Oreo icing.  For the Oreo cupcakes, click here for a link to the cupcakes, and here for a link to the icing.  But the new recipe was this heavenly mint chocolate chip buttercream!!  And it went oh-so-well with the dark chocolate cupcakes (same as the ones above for the Oreo cupcakes) I've been making a lot lately...they were simply amazing!!

Mint Chocolate Chip Buttercream
Icing is slightly adapted from this recipe
They go great on these dark chocolate cupcakes...

Ingredients:

3/4  cup butter, partially softened (preferable half salted and half unsalted -- I didn't have salted butter, so I just added a little pinch of salt)
1/2 tsp mint extract (I used peppermint, even though the original recipe said not too, so I just used less)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups powdered sugar
Green food coloring (I used about 5 drops) -- color to your liking
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (The original recipe said to used finely chopped chocolate, which I might try next time, since it made the icing look more chocolate chippy [totally a real baking term, OK?])

Mini ice cream cones, for decoration.  I made mini cupcakes and the mini cones were just the right size, although I think I'd stick with mini cones even on full-sized cupcakes...

Directions:

In the bowl of an electric mixer using the paddle attachment, whip the butter on medium speed until it's light and fluffy.
Scrape down the sides and bottom often.
Blend in the extracts.
Add in the powdered sugar, first on low until it's incorporated.
Add the food coloring.
Increase mixer speed and beat until very light and fluffy; again continuing to scrape the bottom and the sides of the bowl.
Fold in chocolate chips.

Using a mini ice cream scooper or a cookie scoop (for mini cupcakes), scoop icing onto cupcakes.
(This got quite tiresome for me, so after a while, I piped it on with a large round piping tip, being sure to pile it on a little high, so that it still looked like a scoop of mint chocolate chip ice cream!)
Top each frosting scoop with an upside down mini ice cream cone.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

York peppermint patty cupcakes -- Belated blog birthday post

I am the worst blog-mommy ever.  My sweet (no pun intended) little baking blog turned 3 on October 16th, and I skipped right over it.  Didn't mention it on the blog.  Nothing.  I didn't even realize that I missed it until October 29th -- nearly two weeks later!!  I am THE.  WORST.  EVER!


But the funny thing is that I baked a day or two before (this babka....it was a delayed post), and again two days later (when I made these brownies for the second time -- to rave reviews, yet again).  But neither for this momentous event.

Again, I SUCK.


Here's the thing -- I just didn't want JulieBakes to feel neglected and let it's birthday pass too long without mention, so I'm mentioning it now and am including this very, very, very belated (we're talking 17 days belated) blog birthday treat post!!!


I had actually been wanting to make this cupcake that I had come up with for a while.  I was inspired by all of those new (and not-so-new) mini candies -- unwrapped miniature candy bars in 1- or 2-bite sized pieces.  The ones that were calling to me the most were the York Peppermint Patty minis...and I wanted to make a cupcake for them.  


So my idea was to make a dark chocolate cupcakes with a white mint buttercream....and top them off with a mini York patty and a little dark chocolate drizzle....so that's exactly what I did!

I present to you the very belated "happy 3rd birthday, JulieBakes" York Peppermint Patty (dark chocolate peppermint) cupcakes!!

The dark chocolate cupcakes have become my go-to as of late....I made them first in July for B's birthday and then pretty recently for the spooky graveyard cupcakes.  They're super easy and uber chocolatey, and well, it's hard to go back to another chocolate cupcake when these are so darn delicious.  The white peppermint buttercream is completely my own recipe (albeit, when you've made enough buttercreams over time, I guess they all have a pretty basic base recipe).  The chocolate drizzle is straight from the Hershey's Special Dark Syrup bottle, but I put it into a small squeeze bottle to get a finer drizzle.  If you wanted to go completely homemade, a dark chocolate ganache would work well (which I wanted to make, but was out of cream).

York Peppermint Patty Cupcakes

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes
From Brown Eyed Baker
Makes 12 cupcakes

Ingredients:

8 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped (I used semisweet since the store didn't have bittersweet.  They're basically the same thing anyway).
1/2 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
2 large eggs
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/2 cup sour cream

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350F (325F if using a nonstick pan).
Line standard-sized muffin pan with cupcake liners.

Combine butter, chocolate, and cocoa in a medium heat proof bowl.
Set bowl over saucepan containing barely simmering water, and heat mixture until butter and chocolate are melted.
Whisk until smooth and combined.
(...or you could microwave the mixture at 50% powder, stirring every 30 seconds, until completely melted.  Which is exactly what I did.)
Set aside to cool until just warm to touch.

Whisk flour, baking soda, and baking powder in a small bowl to combine.

Whisk eggs in another bowl to combine.
Add sugar, vanilla, and salt until fully incorporated.
Add cooled chocolate mixture and whisk until combined.
Sift about 1/3 of the flour mixture over the chocolate mixture and whisk until combined.
Whisk in sour cream until combined.
Sift the remaining flour mixture over and whisk until batter is thick and fully incorporated.

Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake liners.
Bake until a skewer inserted into the center of the cupcakes comes out clean, about 18-20 minutes.

Cool cupcakes in muffin pan on a wire rack until they are cool enough to handle, about 15 minutes.
Place cupcakes on a wire rack.
Cool to room temperature before icing, about 30 minutes.

Peppermint Buttercream
Recipe by yours truly

Ingredients:

2 sticks of butter
3 cups of powdered sugar
Pinch of salt
1 tsp peppermint extract, or more to taste (I used 1 tsp and found it to have just the right amount of mintiness aka not TOO minty...you could always start with 1/2 tsp and then add gradually to taste)
Few drops of vanilla extract (I used about 9 drops)

I wanted my icing to be white to mimic the filling of a York Peppermint Patty.  You could always add some green food coloring if you wanted to go for the typical "green" mint.

Directions:

Beat the butter with a hand mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment fir a few minutes until light and fluffy.

Add the powdered sugar, about 1 cup at a time.  
Make sure that the mixer is not on high speed, otherwise you'll end up wearing powdered sugar!
Once all the sugar is incorporated, increase the mixer speed.

Add the salt and the extracts, and beat until incorporated.
Add more peppermint extract, as needed, for taste (I didn't need to add any).

Other ingredients you'll need:

12 York Peppermint Patties
Dark Chocolate Syrup (or homemade ganache.....you can always use the recipe from these cupcakes)

Assemble the cupcakes

Place the icing into a piping bag fitted with a large circle tip.

Pipe icing onto cupcakes.
I did half with a spiral, and half with a big dallop of icing on top.

Place cupcakes on a papertowel/piece of wax paper/piece of foil.
Drizzle the chocolate syrup on top of cupcakes -- I went back and forth a few times in a zigzag pattern.
Top each cupcake with a York Peppermint Patty mini.

Halloween treat #4: Spooky graveyard chocolate cupcakes

These were my original idea for a Halloween treat.  The idea that prompted the once-a-week Halloween treats that have graced the blog (some a little belated...oops!) this month.


Chocolate cupcakes...chocolate buttercream....covered in crushed Oreo "dirt" -- with the addition of ghoulish, spooky, totally Halloween-y bright green chocolate bones!  This was my vision.  I just had to make it happen!

I started with the chocolate bones.  A year or two ago I had purchased a Wilton candy mold with skeleton shapes.  It had been in my baking/craft closet since then just dying (haha...bad pun) to be used...and this was the moment.  I thought I had the original idea to make bright green chocolate bones when, on a recent trip to Michaels, I had come across some vibrant green candy melts.  When I fished the mold out of the closet, to my surprise, the packaging had those same bright green bones on it. So either great minds think alike, or my subconscious had stored that idea of green chocolate bones for over two years...



But I digress.  I started with the chocolate bones.  I made them two days before and let them set up in the fridge.  Since most of the cavities in the mold are long and skinny, I actually used a disposable piping bag with just the tip of the corner cut off to fill them.  Genius move, I tell you!  It was so easy and wasn't the least bit messy!  I just melted the chocolate in a bowl in the microwave at 30 second intervals until melted and then transferred it to the piping bag.

Next up were the cupcakes.  I wanted chocolate cupcakes since I was going for a dirt/ground/graveyard feel.  Same reason I chose chocolate icing, although any color or flavor would work since they're coated in finely ground Oreos to really make it look like diet.  Then, I strategically put the chocolate bones into the icing at different angles and viola, graveyard cupcakes!!

Spooky Graveyard Cupcakes

First, start with the chocolate bones....make them...

Then, make the cupcakes...

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes
From Brown Eyed Baker
Makes 12 cupcakes

Ingredients:

8 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped (I used semisweet since the store didn't have bittersweet.  They're basically the same thing anyway).
1/2 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
2 large eggs
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/2 cup sour cream

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350F (325F if using a nonstick pan).
Line standard-sized muffin pan with cupcake liners.

Combine butter, chocolate, and cocoa in a medium heat proof bowl.
Set bowl over saucepan containing barely simmering water, and heat mixture until butter and chocolate are melted.
Whisk until smooth and combined.
(...or you could microwave the mixture at 50% powder, stirring every 30 seconds, until completely melted.  Which is exactly what I did.)
Set aside to cool until just warm to touch.

Whisk flour, baking soda, and baking powder in a small bowl to combine.

Whisk eggs in another bowl to combine.
Add sugar, vanilla, and salt until fully incorporated.
Add cooled chocolate mixture and whisk until combined.
Sift about 1/3 of the flour mixture over the chocolate mixture and whisk until combined.
Whisk in sour cream until combined.
Sift the remaining flour mixture over and whisk until batter is thick and fully incorporated.

Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake liners.
Bake until a skewer inserted into the center of the cupcakes comes out clean, about 18-20 minutes.

Cool cupcakes in muffin pan on a wire rack until they are cool enough to handle, about 15 minutes.
Place cupcakes on a wire rack.
Cool to room temperature before icing, about 30 minutes

Then, make the icing.....I used chocolate buttercream:

Chocolate Buttercream
Originally from here

Ingredients:

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
3 1/2 cups confectioner's (pwodered) sugar
1/2 cocoa powder (I used about 1/6 cup dark cocoa powder and 1/3 cup regular cocoa powder)
1/2 tsp table salt
2 tsp vanilla extract or 1 tsp almond extract (I use vanilla)
4 Tbsp milk or heavy cream

Directions:

Cream butter for a few minutes in a mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed.
Turn off the mixer,
Sift 3 cups of powdered sugar and cocoa into the mixing bowl.
Turn mixer onto low speed until the sugar and cocoa are absorbed into the butter.
Increase the speed to medium and add vanilla, salt, and milk/cream.
Beat for 3 minutes.
If frosting needs a more stiff consistency, add a little more sugar/if it needs to be thinned out, add additional milk/cream by 1 Tbsp at a time.

Then, make the Oreo "dirt"...

20+ Oreos
Pulverize the Oreos in a food processor until they look like dirt.
Put Oreo "dirt" crumbs in a bowl.

Assemble the Cupcakes 

Pipe the icing onto the cooled cupcakes.
Put them in the fridge for a few minutes, so that the icing isn't too mushy.

Coat the icing in Oreo crumbs.
I usually roll the cupcake at an angle to get the edges covered in the crumbs, and then use my hand to pat some of the crumbs on top.
Put them back in the fridge for a few minutes (not more than 5).

Strategically -- and artistically, and spookily -- place the bones into the icing.
I liked mine coming out at an angle.  You could also rest them on top of the icing, if you'd like, but they won't stick well since there will already be Oreo crumbs on it.

Keep in fridge until about 30-45 minutes before serving.