meringues from King Arthur Flour, cupcakes and frosting from Chocolate & Carrots
(meringues) 4 egg whites, room temperature
(meringues) 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
(meringues) 1 cup natural cane sugar
(meringues) mini chocolate chips, black or brown food coloring or a food safe black pen (for eyes)
(cupcakes) 1 cup milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)
(cupcakes) 1 cup natural cane sugar
(cupcakes) 1/3 cup olive oil
(cupcakes) 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
(cupcakes) 1 tablespoon McCormick vanilla extract
(cupcakes) 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
(cupcakes) 1/3 cup cocoa powder
(cupcakes) 1 teaspoon baking soda
(frosting) 1/2 cup high quality dark chocolate chips
(frosting) 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
(frosting) 1 teaspoon McCormick vanilla extract
(frosting) 1/3 heavy cream
(frosting) 3 cups powdered sugar
5 chocolate cream filled cookies, cream removed (I used Who-Ku)
First, you have to prepare the meringues. You may want to do this the night before.
-To do so, in your stand mixer or with your electric mixer, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar on low until foamy. Now, slowly increase the mixer’s speed until your mixture has doubled in size and begin to look opaque.
-While continuing to beat, slowly add half of the sugar and continue to beat until it becomes glossy and stiff. Slowly add the remaining sugar and beat until it can hold a stiff peak.
-Preheat the oven to 200°F.
-With a large pastry bag and round pastry tip, squeeze out tall mounds of the meringues. If you’re using the mini chocolate chips as the ghost’s eyes, gently place them on the meringues (otherwise you’ll add the eyes later).
-Bake for 60-90 minutes until hard to the touch.
-Turn off the oven and crack the oven 1-2 inches and let sit until the oven is cool (I left mine in overnight). Once they’re completely dry, gently peel off the baking sheets and if you haven’t added eyes, draw them on now with the food color and a toothpick or with the food safe pen.
Next, you’ll make the cupcakes.
-Preheat the oven to 350°F.
-Line a muffin pan with paper liners.
-Beat the milk, sugar, olive oil, apple cider vinegar and vanilla until combined and uniform in consistency (about 1 minute with an electric beater).
-Add in the remaining ingredients and beat until combined.
-Fill the cupcake liners in a muffin tin 2/3rds full (don’t over fill, they’ll spill over the top). Mine made 13 cupcakes, so I did it with two muffin pans.
-Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
-Allow to cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Allow to cool completely. Place in the fridge for 15 minutes to quickly and completely cool.
To make the frosting:
-In a microwavable bowl, microwave the chocolate chips in 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until melted. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
-In a large bowl (or your stand mixer), beat the butter until creamy (20 seconds).
-Beat in the vanilla and heavy cream.
-Beat in the powdered sugar (1 cup at a time) until incorporated.
-Pour in the melted chocolate and beat until mixed.
-Place in a pastry bag with a large round tip.
To make the ‘dirt’:
-In a blender or food processor, blend the chocolate cookies until fine.
-Place in a small ramekin.
Finally, to assemble the cupcakes:
-Squeeze a large circle of frosting on top of the cupcakes.
-Dip the cupcakes in the ‘dirt’.
-Squeeze a small amount of frosting underneath the ghosts and place the ghosts on top of the cupcakes.
Servings: 12 cupcakes + a few extra meringues for a snack.