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Relive some of your childhood memories with these moon pie cupcakes.
The first time I realized I was pregnant with my older son happened while watching TV. One of those dog food commercials came on — you know, the sappy ones with David Duchovny doing the voiceovers — and it was all tears as I watched those cute little puppies in the shelter. While I’ve always been a bit of a sentimental person, having children firmly moved me into the highly emotional category.
That might be why, when I watched Inside Out in a dark theater and tried to keep in my sniffles, I felt so much connection with Sadness. It wasn’t just because Sadness was the leader inside Mom’s head, but because in Sadness we’re shown that it’s okay to be sad. Tears are fine, and in some cases, they help us feel better.
Sadness’ empathy brought us even closer to Bing Bong, the character we didn’t know we were going to ache for. I don’t remember having an imaginary friend as a child, but just thinking about the possibility of forgetting about a beloved companion has me reaching for the tissues.
I wanted to create a dessert that brought us all back to our childhoods, and these Take Her to the Moon Pie Cupcakes were born. Now, I didn’t grow up with Moon Pies, but the combination of graham, marshmallow, and chocolate is one everyone can get behind. I decorated the cupcakes with a sweet flower of candied sunflower seeds to honor Bing Bong and what he represents.
These cupcakes are the perfect addition for my Inside Out viewing party! I was so excited to get my hands on a copy that I was at Target bright and early on release day. I mean, not that that is very odd, considering I’m at Target multiple times a week. Y’all know what I mean here.
While there, I picked up ingredients for these cupcakes as well as some extra snacks for our viewing party. Being able to get everything in one place (yes, I bought a toy for myself, too) is a lifesaver when I already have a billion other things on my to-do list.
There are a few steps for these cupcakes, but they’re not difficult. In fact, the hardest part is waiting between them. You’ll start off with crushing the graham crackers, either by pulsing in a food processor or using the therapeutic method of smashing them with a rolling pin.
I like the latter. The crumbs need to be fine because they’re a stand-in for much of the flour. Alternatively you can use graham flour, but it is much more expensive and harder to find than graham crackers.
Mix the crumbs with flour, baking powder, and salt, and set aside. Then you’ll combine the butter, sugars, egg, and vanilla. Using brown sugar here adds to the toasty flavor that you need for moon pies. Alternate mixing the flour and milk into the butter mixture, and then you’re ready to fill the cups.
As the cupcakes cool, make the frosting. Marshmallow frosting always seemed really hard to me, but it’s actually quite easy! Keeping a close eye during the process will help ensure a smooth but stiff end result, which will help you pipe it onto the cupcakes and make it stick. You don’t want it sliding off into the chocolate dip! (Trust me on that one.)
Pipe the frosting on with a pastry bag (no need for a piping tip here) and pop the cupcakes into the fridge while you prepare the chocolate dip. Simply melt chocolate chips and vegetable oil together and you’ve got a smooth, chocolatey dip that’s perfect for cupcakes, ice cream, and more! As it dries it creates a hard shell, which is why I love it for these moon pie cupcakes.
If you like, you can use coconut oil, but be aware that it will slightly affect the taste of your finished cupcakes. If you love coconut flavor, go for it!
Make sure to chill the moon pie cupcakes to ensure the chocolate sets. Any leftover cupcakes should be stored in the refrigerator and eaten within two days.
- 1 1/2 cups crushed graham cracker crumbs, about 1 1/2 packages
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 3/4 cup milk
For the topping
- 2 egg whites
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
- 2 tablespoons cup vegetable or coconut oil
- Candy-coated sunflower seeds, optional
- Preheat oven to 350°F and line a cupcake pan with paper liners.
- In a medium bowl, sift together graham cracker crumbs, flour, baking powder, and salt.
- In a large bowl, cream together butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, then vanilla.
- Alternate mixing the dry ingredients and milk into the large bowl, starting and ending with the dry.
- Divide batter among papers and bake for about 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry. These cupcakes will have flat tops.
- Remove from pan and let cool completely.
- To make the topping, set a stainless bowl (preferably your stand mixer bowl) over a pot of simmering water.
- Add the egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar, and whisk continuously until the sugar is dissolved and the whites are warm.
- Remove bowl from pot and immediately begin whipping at low speed, then gradually increasing to high. Beat for about 6 minutes, until glossy and quite thick.
- Spoon into a piping bag, cut off end, and pipe onto cupcakes. Place cupcakes in the refrigerator.
- To make the chocolate dip, combine chocolate chips and vegetable/coconut oil in a tall microwave safe measuring cup. Heat in 30 second intervals, stirring after each time, until chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Let cool to room temperature.
- When chocolate is cooled, VERY QUICKLY dip cupcakes upside-down into chocolate and replace onto rack. Repeat with remaining cupcakes. Alternately, you can drizzle chocolate on top with a spoon, though excess will run off the sides.
- Chill cupcakes for about 5 minutes, until topping is starting to set but still tacky. Decorate with candy-coated sunflower seeds, if desired. Chill until just before ready to serve.
Adapted from bon appetit
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1 cupcake
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 380Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 53mgSodium: 852mgCarbohydrates: 46gFiber: 3gSugar: 32gProtein: 7g