Sunday, June 5, 2011

Hamburger Cupcakes

Not made out of meat, as my sister asked.   Cupcakes.  Brownies.  Frosting.  Yum.  My Dad's favorite meal is hamburgers.  I have been wanting to make this recipe for him for, I don't know, two years now.  But last year he wasn't eating sugar.  So, hopefully this year he will set aside some of his calories for this tasty treat.  If not, I can guarantee there are several little girls who are willing to devour anything with frosting on command.  So, let's get started:

Make a box of brownies and just use the directions on the box.  Sit out to cool.  I used Fudge Brownies, that was my first mistake.  I would say go with a regular brownie mix.  The fudge made them too gooey.  Although, because I cut them too big, it turned out to be in my favor as I mushed them together and then formed my patties.

Next make my Faux Gourmet Cupcake recipe that uses any cakemix you like.  Just use the ingredients listed here and you will have a winner of a cupcake

Faux Gourmet Cupcakes1 box cake mix, any flavor you like
3 large eggs
1/2 C. melted butter (that's 1 stick)
1 C. water

Preheat oven 350 F
Add all ingredients to stand mixer.
Mix on low 2 minutes with wire whisk attachment. 
Scrape as needed.
Mix on high 1 minute.

Line 2 standard muffin tins with cupcake liners.  (Make sure to choose really stylish liners, it'll make you feel fancy).
Scoop batter 2/3 full in each cup.
Bake for 18 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.
Cool completely on wire rack
Frost as desired.

As usual, I struggled with the 2/3 full amount.  So I had to scoop some out of the extra full cups to fill the 2 empty cups this time.  Yeah, I did especially bad this time, I had 2 left over without batter.  But as I hover over my oven it appears that I got it just right.  I don't have any of my cupcakes tops spilling into each other.  Hurray!

Take your store bought white frosting and tint it yellow, red and green.  To my red frosting I added a small drop of brown to try and make it not so pinkish.  I only needed one container of white frosting.  I split it evenly between my 3 colors.  Next time I might use two containers if I want to be more liberal with my frosting.  But 1 was just fine.  If I was to use only 1 container again, I would do a little less yellow and more green.  I used the yellow to fill in any gaps in my frosting and so that was the color I used the least. I was just careful in not putting too much on any one.  If you have coconut, which I did not, you can also dye your coconut green for a more realistic lettuce look.  I would have done it, but I didn't want to go to the store for the 3rd time for this recipe.  I wasn't sure of all the ingredients the first time.  The 2nd time I was sure I had coconut so I didn't look.  Oh well.  Frosting will be just fine.

After your cupcakes have cooled, take a serrated knife and slice the tops off and set aside.  These will be your top bun so don't toss, or eat as they are needed later.  My 2nd mistake was sitting the tops upside down on top of each other on a platter.  This caused the tops to have crumbs on them when I flipped them over.  I would say lay them all flat on parchment.

 If you happen to have a round cookie cutter (I do not) cut your brownies into little rounds.  These are the patties.  I simply cut my brownies into squares, forgot to count and only cut 16.  So next time I would make 2 batches of brownies.  Because as it turns out, having to mush and shape them, makes the patties quite thin and I think they look better with a nice thick piece of meat.

I am a firm believer that a cupcake needs tasty frosting.  If you do not feel this way, you can skip the chocolate frosting part.  I used chocolate frosting as the glue to connect the "patty" to both sides of the "bun".  I just put a dollop of chocolate right in the middle of both "buns" ready to hold everything in place.  But really I suppose your lettuce and condiment frosting would work fine as glue as long as you spread it all over the cupcake.  I personally think store bought frosting is yuck, except for chocolate.  So to me, what's the point of eating nasty frosting. 

Put your patty on the bottom bun and I just piped a nice thick line of ketchup around the patty and then later smoothed it down with a knife.  This saved on using too much red frosting.  On top of the patty I piped the lettuce in a thicker, wavy pattern.  Put top bun in place.  Any place that had cupcake exposed, I dotted with yellow mustard.

 I got a paper towel wet and lightly moistened the bun tops and then sprinkled on some un-toasted sesame seeds.  This allows them to stick.  And there  you have the most delicious hamburger cupcake around!  Enjoy!

Here is an example of a burger with a thicker patter and one that I had to form.  Much cuter with thicker brownie.

So, in retrospect, these cupcakes were slightly more difficult to make than I had expected.  I had to mush my brownies and shape them instead of just placing a piece of brownie on top.  If I made two batches of brownies, this obviously would have been easier.  I don't know, as I cut off all the crunchy edges, but I think they would be difficult when eating and the cupcake would fall apart.  So I would probably say cut off the crunchy edges.

Don't put your cupcake tops on top of each other, this will make them crumby and ruin the sesame seed effect.  I used a paper towel and managed to lightly brush of all the excess crumbs, so everything turned out fine.

I think they're darn cute though, I am guessing they are not going to be my favorite tasting cupcake because of the frosting.  The store-bought plasticy tasting frosting of course has ruined them, but for looks, they can't be beat.  So if you're not worried about them being the tastiest cupcakes ever and just want them to be adorable, use store bought frosting.  If I was ambitious and planning on making these again, I would probably make home made frosting.  Much tastier. 

Update:  The cupcakes were a major hit!  People couldn't believe they were actually cupcakes.  And they were gobbled up left and right!  So, if you are in charge of dessert for a bbq, or if your Dad, like mine is a hamburger fan, then you should make these asap.


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