I used to “like” football (“like” is used loosely here) because it meant getting together with people and eating things that I’d deny myself on a weekday. Then I started hanging out with this guy who knew a lot (a lot) about football and cared passionately and my appreciation for the game grew, just by proximity. Suddenly I understood what a “down” meant (I only pretended in high school). Years later, I LIKE football, without the “”. It’s athletic. It’s strategic. It’s kind of weird. And it’s emotional. It’s sort of the perfect ritual for dark, wintry Sundays. It keeps you lively in January.
This is all to say that this past weekend was full of football playoff game-watching, which culminated in Sunday afternoon’s headliner, NY Giants v. Green Bay Packers. The game itself was a heartbreaker for me, an Aaron Rodgers fangirl (I love a Berkeley man), but the day wasn’t a total bust. I was pleased to whip up a batch of my friend Meghan’s notoriously decadent Seven-Layer Cupcakes, which she invented and then presented to us while we spent the holidays in Bellingham, Washington. Meghan writes about her adventures, ranging from competing in marathons to IronMans to baking cupcakes to traveling the globe, at her blog Meghan’s Wanderings. Today I’m linking up with her, because you should read what she does (she’s rad), and because I want to share her cupcake recipe (it’s rad).
Ms. Meghan created these cupcakes, inspired by her mom’s seven-layer bars, as part of her 30 While 30 challenge (I’ll be undertaking a similar challenge inspired by Meg during my 30th year; more on that later). This took the better part of an afternoon to make, because a. I’m a painfully slow and deliberate baker, b. I don’t have an electric mixer, so I do everything by hand, and c. there are seven layers here, people! In the end, it’s all worth it.
Meghan’s Decadent Seven-Layer Cupcakes
*SL NOTE: italics are my own.
First I mixed crushed graham crackers with about a tablespoon of butter (I was only making 4 of this flavor for this test run so it was about 1/4 cup crushed graham cracker and a tablespoon of butter although I think I could have used a bit more melted butter). I also added a splash of sugar. (SL: I was making one dozen cupcakes, so I ended up using about 1 c. of crushed graham crackers, and 1/4 c. melted butter and coconut oil mixed together). Then I covered the bottom of the cupcake liners and patted it down – I used a narrow bottle from the refrigerator to pack it in. Baked those for about 5 minutes at 350.
I sprinkled butterscotch morsels on top of the graham cracker layer.
Vanilla cupcake batter (SL: Meghan uses this recipe, I halved it) – bake for about 25 minutes at 350.
I made a quickie ganache – melting chocolate chips with warmed milk and then dipped the tops of the slightly cooled cupcakes. (SL: for ganache, I used a whole Mast Brother’s Conacado 73% cacao bar melted into a splash of milk. Fancy!)
Sweetened Condensed Milk Buttercream Frosting adapted from this recipe (I didn’t follow the measurements really and just winged it). (SL: divided frosting in half and mixed in food coloring for festive team colors.)
Crushed walnuts to sprinkle on top of frosting. (SL: used crushed salted cashews. A worthy alternative.)
Coconut flakes to sprinkle on top of frosting.
Meghan, they turned out great, although a bit messier than I remember. I think it was my lack of whipping the icing to a nice fluffiness (I was tired and we had to get to Brooklyn). Thanks for the sweet recipe, hope I made you proud, mama! xx
In other news: today I did a bit of “modeling” (“modeling” is used loosely here) for Refinery29 at my new fave Nolita boutique, Condor. Good times sporting a bikini top in the January rain on Elizabeth Street. Resort wear! Photos will be up on R29’s site on Thursday, I’m told.