Fall into Romance Hop & GIVEAWAYS!

Ahhh…Autumn! Whether it’s the crisp smell of apples or the crunch of leaves underfoot, fall is definitely my favorite time of year. It’s the special time of year where long summer days fade into cool evenings spent in front of the firepit cuddling with my favorite honey.

And nothing suits my mood better than a brand new batch of cupcakes to celebrate the season.

Those of you who follow my romance know that I am a bonafide cupcake FREAK. In fact, each of my hot romances features an original recipe for tempting treats in the back. So, in honor of fall, I’m featuring my favorite S’mores cupcake recipe and a new giveaway with the Sexy Scribblers.

Behold…the S’mores Cupcake!

S’mores are the perfect dessert to enjoy by the fire–but even if you can’t strike a match, you can fan the flames of desire for this chocolatey-marshmallow treat in cupcake form! (Pssst…Want more delicious recipes and good stuff? Subscribe to my VIP Newsletter!)

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Sorry for the horrible photo cropping. But don’t they look deliciously toasty?!

But before I hand out the recipe at the bottom, here’s the fantabulous Rafflecopter giveaway from the Sexy Scribblers. The Scribblers are a group of authors banded together to write traveling stories that you can enjoy for FREE. And just to give you a little something to keep you warm, we’re offering a load of free books for one lucky winner! a Rafflecopter giveaway

And, just because…I’m ALSO personally offering a $5 Starbucks gift card as a personal giveaway! Because, what goes better with cupcakes than some delicious coffee (or Coffey?)

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Two steps to win my personal giveaway, 1- Subscribe to my VIP newsletter AND 2- Comment below with “Done”, “I’m a member already” or “Not interested, thanks” and tell me what beverage you plan to get with the gift card!  I’ll be announcing the winner on November 22nd, before Thanksgiving, because I am SO thankful for my readers!! Be sure to check back.

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**UPDATE**- My contest is ended. Congratulations to the winner, Rhianona!

 

Now for the cupcakes to keep you company with their ooey-gooey deliciousness on these cold Autumn nights. Or mornings. Or…lunch…because, ain’t nobody judging you.

S’mores Cupcakes – makes 24

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So cute on my kitchen counter!

Ingredients
Graham Cracker Crust
•1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (from about 20 squares)
•5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
•1/4 cup sugar
•9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
Chocolate Cupcakes (or use your favorite chocolate box mix)
•2 cups all-purpose flour
•3/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
•1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
•1 teaspoon baking soda
•1/2 teaspoon salt
•2 eggs
•1 cup milk
•1/2 cup canola oil
•2 teaspoons vanilla extract
•1 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
•2/3 cup boiling water
Meringue Frosting
•6 egg whites
•1 1/2 cups sugar
•1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
•1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
 Instructions
Make the graham cracker crust first:
1.Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line two 12-cup muffin pans with cupcake liners.
2.In a medium bow, mix together crumbs and sugar. Add melted butter until well blended and no dry crumbs remain.
3.Place 1 tablespoon of the mixture into each liner. Press the crumbs flat into the liner using the bottom of a small glass. Sprinkle about 2 teaspoons of chocolate over each crust. (Reserve remaining graham cracker crumbs and chopped chocolate to top the cupcakes before baking.)
4.Bake crusts for 8 minutes. Remove the pans and let crusts cool for at least 5 minutes before adding cupcake batter.
For the cupcakes:
1.After crusts are prepared, increase oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
2.In a large bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
3.Then combine eggs, milk, oil and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add sugar and mix until combined. Then add flour mixture. Blend at low and then increase to medium. Beat for 2 minutes until blended and smooth. Remove bowl from stand and add boiling water. Gently stir with a wooden spoon until smooth. Batter will be thin. Then let batter rest for 15 minutes and stir again gently before using. Fill liners with prepared crusts three-quarters full with batter. Sprinkle with reserved chocolate and graham cracker mixture. Bake about 16-20 minutes until done. Cool in pan for 5 minutes and then remove to a rack to cool completely.
Make the meringue frosting:
1.Combine egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar in the heatproof bowl of a stand mixer. Set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water without letting the bottom of the bowl touch the water in the saucepan. Hold the handle of the bowl with an oven mitt while whisking the egg white mixture until the sugar is dissolved and the whites are hot to the touch… about 4 minutes. Then transfer bowl to the stand mixer. Using the whisk attachment, beat the mixture, starting on low and increasing to high speed. Beat until stiff, glossy peaks form and the meringue has cooled, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the vanilla and whisk just to combine. Use frosting immediately.
2.Place the frosting in a pastry bag fitted with star tip. Pipe high swirls on the cupcakes and brown the meringue using a kitchen torch and serve immediately.
Enjoy!!
Source: Trophy Cupcakes & Parties! by Jennifer Shea, 2013
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