Sunday, August 14, 2011

Chocolate S'mores Cupcakes + Special Dedication

I recently came across this quote – “I don’t want to get to the end of my life and find that I just lived the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well.” By Diane Ackerman.  My personal motto - Live each day to the fullest and be grateful for this day.

A curve ball was thrown to me along with numerous other people this last week. My wonderful friend Carole from work lost her battle. It came as a shock to many, especially since knowing Carole, she was strong, courageous and believed she would beat the ugly beast, called cancer.

To know Carole is to love her. Over the last week, many conversations centered on all of the wonderful memories we have of Carole and how she touched each of us. Carole was kind, funny, smart and always grateful. She was my friend and confidant. I will miss her terribly.

Yesterday was the celebration of Carole’s life. The owners of our company were gracious enough to host the event at their wonderful home for both family members and co-workers to honor this very special lady. Carole loved all things food and especially loved baking. When I sent my RSVP for the celebration, I inquired if I could help by bringing something. A response quickly followed with a dessert would be wonderful. I knew exactly what I would bring and it was my way of honoring my dear friend Carole.

An all employee email went out on Monday morning informing everyone about Carole’s passing. Included in the email was a beautiful quote about Carole that I wanted to share, since it so eloquently tells you about who this special human being was.

“Carole epitomized the tenets on which our company is based. A true and genuine empathy for every person with whom she interacted, uncompromising excellence in the level of service she provided day in and day out, unquestionable integrity in thought and action. Carole’s work ethic, in combination with her pure heart, gentle persistence, effortless grace and unparalleled kindness made an impact on everyone she touched. An impact that translated to unbridled success of the business, and a posse of hearts which surrounded her, thriving in the light of her humanness.

Carole never, for a single moment, lost sight of the most important principles of what has made us successful: care, compassion and service carefully combined with savvy business smarts and hard work. Through her leadership by example, many came to know and understand the company way. Her legacy, built upon the endless moments where her light added joy to our days, is without end.

And not to go unsaid, Carole was not one who had to be noticed, who had to get the credit. She was a presence the result of which, people around her did the right thing because they wanted to, because they felt it right, because they felt good about themselves.” - Anna N.

Carole my dear friend, I will miss you terribly, but I am so blessed that I have known you over the last almost 13 years. I am dedicating this post to you. Love you.

Chocolate S'mores Cupcakes

Chocolate Cupcakes

(makes 24-27 standard sized cupcakes)

2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup boiling water


Line muffin tin with paper liners. Heat oven to 350*F.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla. Beat on medium speed for one minute.

Stir in boiling water (the batter will be thin, don't worry, this is right).

Fill liners 2/3 full with batter.
Bake cupcakes for approximately 19 to 22 minutes.

Cool completely on wire rack before frosting.

Marshmallow Frosting

2 (large) egg whites
1 cup sugar
6 Tablespoons water
1 Tablespoon light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup miniature marshmallows
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


In a large heatproof bowl (the metal bowl of your electric mixer), combine the egg whites, sugar, water, corn syrup, cream of tartar and salt.

Set the bowl over (but not touching) simmering water in a saucepan and heat mixture, stirring constantly until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is very warm to the touch (about 160*F), about 3 minutes.
Remove the bowl from the saucepan. Using an electric mixer, beat on medium-high speed, about 2 minutes.

In a small bowl, microwave 1 cup mini marshmallows 30 seconds to 1 minute, until puffed, and starting to melt.

Add marshmallows to mixture in electric mixer, reduce speed to low and add vanilla. Continue beating (on low) until the marshmallows are melted and frosting is completely smooth (about 3-4 minutes). Use frosting right away.


Frost cooled Chocolate Cupcakes with Marshmallow frosting. I used a large french tip. If desired, use a kitchen torch to brown the frosting. Top frosted cupcakes with a piece of Hersheys chocolate, and a piece of graham cracker.

Note: The graham cracker gets a bit soft from the frosting. If it's important to you that it be nice and crisp, bake the graham crackers (in a single layer on a baking sheet) about 5 minutes in a 325*F oven to dry them out a bit.

*Recipe from Glorious Treats


  1. Lisa, what a beautiful post you have dedicated... I'm certain that Carole in some way feels the spirit of it and is returning the love. Beautiful photos! Absolutely stunning, I'm sure these little guys were appreciated by all.
    My heart is with you and Carole's family... we will keep you in our prayers.

  2. I am so sorry to hear about your friend and co-worker Carole. I'm sure she would have absolutely loved these cupcakes. They look fantastic!

  3. I'm so sorry you lost such a dear've picked a stunning recipe to dedicate to her. She surely would have been deeply touched by this gesture~

  4. Great post! Cupcakes look wonderful... yum! Must try this. Thanks!

  5. Oh Lisa, so much sadness this week. I am sending you hugs and prayers of strength, and my thoughts are with Carole's family. The big C is such an atrocity, I hate and know well the pain it inflicts, not just o those who suffer, but their loved ones. What a beautiful way to celebrate her life. I will make these and think of you both.

  6. Goodness, there has been so much loss recently. I'm sorry for yours and wish you the best as you mourn your dear friend. Best to you...

  7. I am so sorry to hear about your sadness. But you know, moments like these make us appreciate life more!

  8. Wow these look incredible and so delicious! So glad I found your blog, new follower! xoxo

  9. Lisa, this was such a lovely post. Carole was clearly a special friend and what better way to honor her memory than with dessert.

  10. These cupcakes are beautiful, Lisa. A true labor of sorry to hear of your dear friend's passing. Cancer is a terrible, terrible thing that has taken several of my beloved family members and friends.

  11. Firstly, I'm sorry to hear about your friend's passing. Cancer has too taken away my companion of 3 years. Nevertheless, I'm here to Congrat you for making Top 9!!! Love love love your s'mores cupcakes. Might just bake them for my colleagues. But right now I wish I could have one too.. Am your newest follower. Feel free to follow me back. Cheers, Jo

  12. So sorry about your friend. These cupcakes look amazing.

  13. I'm sorry to hear about your friend Carole, Lisa. A lovely, hearthfelt dedication to her.

    These are the really the most deliciously, gorgeous cupcakes I've ever seen. Very beautifully done. I'm hosting a party in a couple of weeks...this will surely get some ooo's and aaah's - I think I'll be making these.

  14. Lisa my thoughts will be with Carole's family. I lost a dear friend to it too a few years ago. I'm sure this token of your gracious spirit was much appreciated.

  15. How blessed you are to have had such a great friend. I pray that sweet memories of her will be comforting. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and these beautiful pictures. Congratulations on Top 9.

  16. Lisa,
    These cupcakes are such a wonderful tribute to your friend and co-worker, Carole. My heart goes out to you and her family. Your post was eloquent and heart felt at the same time.

    I have lost two friends to cancer, and think of them often.

    Congratulations on the Top 9 today!

  17. What a lovely, thoughtful tribute to your wonderful friend. Just gorgeous. Thank you for sharing. Prayers are with you and everyone's lives who she touched.

  18. Perfect time of year for all things s'mores. Beautiful post and cupcakes. Thanks for sharing.

  19. A lovely tribute to your friend Lisa, I'm so sorry for your loss. I'm sure she would have loved these beautiful cupcakes and congratulations on your top 9! Look forward to seeing you soon;-)

  20. I came here to look at the amazing recipe, but I must say I was touched after reading the story. It's nice to get a reminder to realize how blessed we all are and appreciate every day. Thanks!

  21. Sorry to hear about your friends passing...sounds as if you all gave her a wonderful goodbye, and she will be missed! These cupcakes are beautiful, and I love the addition of the chocolate and graham cracker on top of the marshmallow frosting!

  22. A lovely tribute to a very special person in your life and a gentle reminder of how blessed we are. The love you poured into these beautiful cupcakes is evident and what better way to honor Carole.

  23. Wonderful post Lisa. Brought tears to my eyes even though I have never met Carole. A beautiful tribute.

  24. i'm so sorry you lost your friend, but this is one heck of a fabulous homage to her. my condolences!

  25. I'm so sorry for your loss, and what a lovely tribute to your friend. Your cupcakes are gorgeous!

  26. I just got back from the food blogging world. I'm so sorry to hear the bad news. Wonderful post and love the brulee on the marshmallow.

  27. A lovely way to honor her. Beautiful job on these.

  28. OMG Lisa! Unbelievable!! Congrats on Top 9 today too!! You rock Sistah! :) Happy Tuesday!


  29. I know you posted this blog a while ago but I just stumbled upon it. I'm sorry to hear about your friend. What a nice way to honor her.

    I would consider myself an amateur baker...I can bake a cake from scratch with my eyes closed but making frostings from scratch has been a long road of frustration and disappointment until I've discovered food bloggers and their helpful tips and suggestions.

    I did make these cupcakes but I'm wondering what consistency I should be getting when making the frosting. I know you said to beat the egg white mixture for 2 minutes after you take it off of the heat but mine seemed a bit foamy yet so I beat them until they had soft peaks then added the marshmallow and vanilla and beat that until it would hold it's shape but it still didn't hold the shape of the decorating tip I used so I don't think I beat it long enough in one or both places. Any suggestions?

    On an end note, I am happy to say, the frosting didn't run off the cupcakes and browning the frosting with a torch helped it set faster as well. Over all, I do count this attempt as a success and can't wait to try again!

  30. I have a cupcake blogged called My Year of Cupcakes. I featured your S'mores Cupcake recipe on Day 73. Here's the link if you wanna take a look:
    Thanks for the yummy recipe!


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