My mom had been gone for nearly two weeks. Her oldest sister has been sick for a long time now. She flew home to be with my aunt for some surgery. And the surgery didn’t go well. So she stayed. In the end, after a long fight, my aunt died. That was last Monday.
|The Oreo on the bottom!|
These cupcakes would not be simple. They would be fun. But certainly not simple.
Movie in, I ventured into these cupcakes, following every instruction. The first, and possibly most difficult (aside from not eating the entire package) was splitting the Oreos, ensuring that all the cream stayed on one side.
Great Scott! I know! Back to the Future! And when one was over, I could just put in the next disk. My sister and I have a habit of reciting movie lines to each other. I think it started as a way to pass the time on the long road trips we took as children. But it has evolved into just a random comedy routine now. As a result, I can recite most movies from the 80s front to back and then some. Back to the Future and the two that follow are definitely in my head. Forever.
|The hardest part.|
Not eating these.
Once that task was tackled, I moved through the recipe like an old pro. One thing I am noticing as times goes on, is that the process becomes more familiar. I like this. I like the feeling of knowing that I am doing what is right, as if almost by instinct.
The same with the movies. It is almost by instinct that I can yell "Great Scott!" at precisely the right time. That I can tell the story of exactly how Doc Brown came to invent the Flex Capcitor, and even tell you that he did not invent the time machine for financial gain, he invented the time machine to travel through time. All this without looking up at the television. All this only by barely paying attention.
It is these instincts, this sense of the familiar, that cooking is slowly bringing to my life. As I continue, things become routine, and I barely have to look up anymore. While I know I still have a long way to go, I feel as though I am getting there. I mean, seriously, Back to the Future has been part of my life for 26 years now. Of course I know it. In the very same way, a year has passed since I entered the kitchen, and I am beginning to feel as though I know it, as well.
|Practicing with the |
The cupcakes turned out beautifully. I was proud to take them to work on Monday for my mom. But more than that, I was honored to have the feeling of loving someone, of wanting to show someone that love, and bring a little bit of joy to someone who has not had much lately.
|Oreos, inside and out!|
Cookies and Cream Cupcakes
Yield: 24 cupcakes
For the cupcakes:
24 Oreo halves, with cream filling attached
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 2/3 cup sugar
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup milk
20 Oreo cookies, coarsely chopped (I quarter them)
For the frosting:
8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
2 tbsp. heavy cream
Oreo cookie crumbs
24 Oreo cookie halves
Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Line the wells of two cupcake pans with 24 paper liners. Place an Oreo halve in the bottom of each liner, cream side up. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt; stir together with a fork to blend and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugar and beat together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Blend in the egg whites one at a time, beating well after each addition. Blend in the vanilla extract. With the mixer on low speed, beat in half of the dry ingredients just until incorporated. Add the milk and beat just until combined, then mix in the remaining dry ingredients. Gently fold in the chopped Oreos with a rubber spatula until evenly incorporated, being careful not to over-mix.
Evenly divide the batter between the prepared cupcake liners. Bake for 18-20 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pans 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the frosting, combine the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on medium-high speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Blend in the vanilla extract. Beat in the confectioners' sugar until incorporated and smooth, 1-2 minutes. Add the heavy cream to the bowl and beat on medium-low speed just until incorporated, then increase the speed to medium-high and whip for 4 minutes until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Frost the cooled cupcakes as desired. Sprinkle with Oreo crumbs and garnish with Oreo halves.