One of the very fun things about having a blog, I have discovered, is being able to join an online baking club! Apparently there are thousands of bloggers out there, honing their culinary skills, and blogging about nothing other than food! My college BFF and source of inspiration, Rebecca, opened my horizon to these endeavors when she started her culinary blog, Beurrista. Who knew that taking pictures of otherwise ordinary kitchen fare could be so much fun!
As I pondered the idea of joining a baking club, I considered several, but in the end, decided to start with Martha Stewart's Cupcake Club. First of all, I am a huge Martha Stewart fan. I became a charter subscriber to her magazine when I was (9 maybe? :-) and have received every issue since. I even stood in line for two hours at the Georgia Aquarium to have Martha personally sign her COOKIES book! (But that's a story for another time.) Secondly, who doesn't love cupcakes? I knew I would have plenty of occasions at which to serve them!
That being said, this club is not actually sponsored by Martha, but rather just a bunch of bakers who will attempt, at some point, to bake their way through the 175 recipes in her new CUPCAKES book! Each month, one member picks a recipe. Everyone tries their hand at baking it and posts their results on the 15th of that month. My hope is to get myself beyond my faithful boxed brownies! Because the club has already been baking for the past year, I may post an extra one each month to try to catch up! Out of respect for the publishing industry, the recipes won't be posted. You'll just have to buy the book!
My inaugural recipe is Cookies and Cream Cupcakes. The recipe is not so much a cupcake as a cheesecake hiding in a cupcake liner!
Nonetheless, I knew I couldn't go wrong when the recipe started with an entire package of Oreos!
The rest of the ingredients were few and simple: cream cheese, sour cream, eggs, vanilla, sugar and salt.
The wet ingredients were beaten and the roughly chopped cookies were folded in.
The remaining Oreos were placed in the bottom of standard sized cupcake liners and formed the crust. The batter was spooned on top of the Oreos and baked in a low temperature oven. The process reminded me of the miniature cheesecakes my mom used to make at Christmas with vanilla wafers. They always had canned Wilderness cherries on top and were the first thing to disappear off the cookie tray!
In lieu of mom's Wilderness cherries, I added a half-moon Oreo garnish.
The cheesecakes were surprisingly light and not too sweet.
The Oreo cookie softened with baking, producing a delightful crust.
Thanks to Nina's Cupcakes for choosing today's selection!