So when it was announced that this round of Iron Trash would have the theme ingredient of chocolate, I got very excited, because a surplus of chocolate is one thing we DO have in our house. This is primarily because my husband & I just got married back in July. We had a cash budget to stick to, so for our wedding favors we bought up Hershey's kisses during the after-Easter sales (since our wedding colors were blue & green, and Easter Hershey's kisses are wrapped with blue, green, and pink foils...as you can guess, we ate the pink ones).
And while our wedding was lovely, it was also the hottest day of the year (up to that date), so we were about 50-60 guests short of what we were expecting....which led to a lot of leftover cake, food, beer, wine....and wedding favors. We polished off most of that within a month or so after the wedding, but we still have a surplus of Kisses in the freezer that we dip into occasionally.
I figure leftover Easter candy at Halloween time would be worthy of a few trash points. :)
But of course, what to DO with said candy? We need something else trashy to combine with it, don't we?
...what about beer? My brain says. Great idea, brain! And how do we combine these two trash-tastic ingredients? Well, chocolate beer bread, of course. BUT-- beer bread isn't quite trashy enough...so let's crank it up to 11 and make beer CUPCAKES.
What do we need to start this magical journey, you ask?
1 1/2 c flour
1/2 tsp of salt (generic, of course)
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 c cocoa powder (preferably of an unknown age, dredged up from the recesses of your pantry)
1/4 tsp white pepper (nope, not a typo. The recipe I found called for pepper, and I'm all for weird ingredients)
1 1/4 tsp baking soda (also generic)
1/2 c Kisses (original recipe called for chocolate chips--we'll chip-ify our Kisses in a moment)
1/2 c (aka 1 stick) of margarine (original recipe called for softened butter, but we all know its not true Iron Trash without some margarine)
1/2 tsp vanilla (Kroger store brand, but of course)
1/2 c packed brown sugar (also preferably of a questionable age, but not so old that it's solidified into a sugary brick)
1 c of dark beer, such as a porter. I figured chocolate beer would make the most sense. I realize there's nothing inherently trashy about craft beer, but in my defense, Rogue Mocha Porter IS the cheapest chocolate beer the store had.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and break out the muffin pan.
I use muffin papers because I'm lazy & hate to clean muffin pans. (FYI--if you know how to keep your cupcakes from sticking to the paper, I'd love to know.)
Mix all the dry ingredients together in one bowl--if you have them, use the totes-kewt measuring spoons you got as a wedding gift:
Then mix the eggs, vanilla, brown sugar, & margarine together with an electric beater (or your Kitchenaid--another wedding gift):
(be sure to make off-color phallic remark about how your butter & egg seems to share something in common with Lance Armstrong...)
Beat these ingredients together until well mixed, & then add in your cup of beer:
HEY! We need some chocolate chips! So add half a cup of Kisses into a food processor (or just smash 'em up with a meat mallet if you don't have a food processor) and chop until you get a decent "chunk" size:
Add these into your dry mix & stir...then slowly add your dry ingredients into the mixing bowl & mix well.
Scoop batter into the muffin cups & fill about 3/4 of the way, & pop 'em in the oven for 22-25 minutes:
(Please ignore our filthy pizza stone.)
Go watch some Season 2 of Fringe while you wait....
...and then 22-25 minutes later, you have these:
But, as we all know....this is just a muffin at this point. And "chocolate beer muffin" doesn't have quite the right ring to it...so what's the inherent difference between a muffin and a cupcake?
Why, ICING, of course!!!
Now, I spent some time pondering what would be the perfect icing for this beer cupcake. I thought about getting super-creative, trying to make some sort of equally trashy & delicious topping...and if I'd had the chance, I would have picked up some Whipahol....but I'm lazy, as we've discussed previously, so we used what we had...another ingredient that I believe has been featured on Iron Trash in the past...
So top your cupcake with some recently-removed-from-the-freezer cool whip (generic or non-generic), garnish with one of the Kisses, and then enjoy with the remaining beer, while waiting for your favorite team to make it to the World Series (in your favorite glass, which was a wedding gift). Serve on a paper cake plate that is ALSO left over from the wedding.
For the record, these turned out AWESOME. Not overly sweet, plenty chocolately, a nice crisp top, fairly moist, & a hint of the porter flavor. I think it would have been even better if we'd gotten one of the coffee + chocolate stouts...but the one I saw at the store was $5 a bottle...and yeah. I'm a little cheap for that.