Did you read the title of this blog?  Be prepared.  This is the most amazing thing you will ever eat.  I am not kidding, it really is hands down the best cupcake ever!  I came across this recipe on a blog, and I knew that even with my dietary alterations, they would still be divine.  How can graham cracker, chocolate cake, and toasted meringue frosting be bad?  It simply can't be. 

Even though I saw this months ago, I needed to make a necessary purchase before attempting them.  As you can see from the picture, the marshmallows are perfectly toasted (just like a real s'more!).  That fun part is done with a kitchen torch. I didn't have one and was seriously going to purchase one just for these cupcakes (and you should too if you don't have one).  Luckily, my sister had one that she didn't use, so I just stole it from her kitchen.  

I finally had an occasion to make them and was so excited for the experience. Just making them is fun!  The final product doesn't only look impressive, but tastes amazing. Each bite has graham, chocolate, and toasted meringue - better than a s'more! I garnished each cupcake with either a graham cracker (for us health conscious folks) or a Hershey's chocolate. Everyone at the party loved them and they were devoured quickly.  I know I will be making this frequently in the future!

Try them!  They are a perfect summer dessert.  


For the graham cracker crust: 
  • 20 organic graham crackers (organic is a MUST, the others are full of unhealthy ingredients)
  • 6 tbsp maple syrup
  • 6 tbsp vegetable oil
For the cake: 
  • 2 cups plus 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup plus 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil 
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water
For the frosting: 
  • 8 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two cupcake pans with liners. 

Using a food processor, grind the graham crackers into fine crumbs.  Add the oil and syrup and pulse until combined.  Place one tablespoon of graham cracker crumbs into each cupcake liner.  Press the crackers down in each cup with the help of a bottle, glass, spoon, etc.  The flat back of my espresso measuring spoon was perfect for this. Bake the graham crackers for 5 minutes in the oven. Remove the pans and set aside, keep the oven on. 

In a large mixing bowl, sift together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Mix well. In the bowl of a standing mixer, mix together the eggs, skim milk, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix on low for 30 seconds.  Scrape the side of the bowl and mix on high for 2 minutes.  Meanwhile, boil the water in the microwave or on the stove top.  Add the boiling water to the batter and mix to combine. The batter will be thin.  

Fill each liner about 3/4 the way full with batter.  Place the cupcakes in the oven and bake for 18-20 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.  Make sure to rotate the pan once while baking.  Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for 5 minutes and then cool completely on a wire rack. 

After the cupcakes have completely cooled, make the frosting.  Note: make the frosting the day you want to eat the cupcakes, the meringue will not maintain well over a day or two. I made the cupcakes the day before the event and then the frosting the day of the event. 

Using a double boiler (I just put a large mixing bowl over a medium pot of simmering water), whisk together the eggs, sugar, and cream of tartar.  Whisk constantly until an instant read thermometer inserted into the mixture reads 160 degrees.   At that point, put the mixture into the bowl of a standing mixture fitted with the whisk attachment.  Start whisking on low and the gradually move up the speed to medium high.  Let mix for a few minutes until stiff, glossy peaks are formed.  Be patient, this may take a while!  Once you have stiff peaks, mix in the vanilla extract.  

Using a piping bag or zip lock bag with the corner cut off, pipe some frosting on each cupcake in a swirl pattern.  Then, using a kitchen torch, toast the top of each cupcake.  Be prepared to quickly blow out some little fires if the torch accidentally makes the cupcake liner catch fire :). Garnish the cupcakes with a piece of graham cracker or a Hershey chocolate.  

Serve the same day and enjoy!  Be prepared to receive lots of compliments!

Tasty Treats By Michi Original

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I have officially perfected Swank-friendly brownies! In fact, I have gone back and deleted my previous brownie post, because there is just no point in keeping it up anymore.  These brownies are rich and decadent, and not "diet" tasting at all. The previous brownies were delicious, but they didn't have that level of richness that all brownies need.  Since they were missing a little something,  I decided to test the recipe again and this time added dark chocolate cocoa powder, a little white sugar, skim milk, and vanilla extract.  That paired with cooking the brownies at a perfect temperature turned out to be an ah-mazing brownie. 

These brownies are in no way fat free, but being that they don't have butter, real chocolate, or any other ingredients high in saturated fat, they are quite impressive.  Definitely try them! Yum!

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt 
  • 1 cup raw sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg whites
  • 3 tbsp applesauce
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup natural/organic crunchy peanut butter
  • 8 tbsp Hershey's Dark Chocolate Cocoa Powder
  • 1/4 cup skim milk 
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Nonstick cooking spray

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 

Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, raw sugar, brown sugar and white sugar together in a large mixing bowl.  The raw sugar may not fit through your sifter, so just pour the remains in the bowl with the other ingredients.  Stir well with a wooden spoon. 

In the bowl of a standing mixer, mix together the eggs and egg whites. Gradually at the vegetable oil to the eggs.  Add the applesauce and mix some more. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet.  Scrape the bowl to ensure all the ingredients are evenly incorporated. 

Add the peanut butter to the mixture and mix again. After that, add the cocoa powder, skim milk, and vanilla extract.  Mix, mix, mix.

Pour the brownie batter into 9x9 inch cooking pan greased with nonstick cooking spray.  Cook 35-40 minutes or until a tester comes out almost clean (make sure not to overcook them!). 

Tip: Spray the measuring cup with nonstick spray in order to coax the peanut butter to slide right out. 

Let the brownies cool completely before cutting. 
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Tasty Treats By Michi Original
I'll give you one guess as to why this delicious dessert and snack is called Puppy Chow. Did you figure it out?  It looks like dog food! I think even if I had a good camera (not my iphone) this dish would still look pretty ugly.  But, I don't care what it looks like, its sooo darn good.  I mean how can chocolate, peanut butter, and powdered sugar mixed with cereal be bad?  This is so yummy, and so easy to make too.  

The original recipe calls for melted chocolate, so this recipe uses a chocolate sauce as a substitute that is made from cocoa powder.  You really do not notice the difference at all in the consistency of the dessert.  Even though this dessert is low fat and Swank-friendly, it's definitely not healthy.  There is tons of sugar in it, so be aware of that.  But, we all have to indulge sometimes, right?  

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do! 

  • 8 tbsp cocoa powder, preferably fat free if you can find it
  • 4 tbsp canola oil 
  • 1 cup of powdered sugar, sifted and divided 
  • 4 tbsp skim milk, divided 
  • 1/2 cup organic creamy peanut butter (only peanuts and salt in ingredients)
  • 5 1/2 cups of Chex cereal 
  • 1 1/2 cups of sifted powdered sugar for topping 

Using a large microwave safe bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder and canola oil.  Whisk until smooth and the cocoa and oil are completely incorporated.  Then, add 1/4 cup of the powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon of skim milk.  Whisk until smooth. Continue adding the remaining powdered sugar and remaining milk the entire cup of powdered sugar and four tablespoons of skim milk are mixed in with the cocoa and canola oil.  

Next, add the creamy peanut butter to the mixture.  Whisk more until the mixture is smooth again.  Now, microwave the mixture for 30 seconds.  Add the cereal to the chocolate mixture and stir together using a large spatula.  Finally, transfer the cereal mixture to a sealable bag or container along with the remaining one and a half cups of powdered sugar.  Shake the bag or container well several times.  Make sure that powdered sugar is covering each piece of cereal.  You don't want the cereal to clump together, so mix, mix, mix! 

After mixing, put the cereal in the freezer for 15 minutes and serve immediately. Store the remaining cereal in the refrigerator to enjoy later. :)
This is my birthday speciality!  This is actually a recipe from Ina Garten called Beatty's Chocolate Cake that I altered in order to fit my diet.  Everyone loves the diet version! Just writing this up makes me want to cook it again! 

Cake Ingredients: 
  • 1 3/4 cups of all purpose flour
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 3/4 cup good cocoa powder (I like Ghiradelli Sweet Ground Chocolate)
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup McArthur Cultured Lowfat Buttermilk, shaken
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil (I like Mazola)
  • 2 extra large eggs, at room temperature 
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract (I recommend Nielsen-Massy Madagascar Vanilla Extract)
  • 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee (or espresso!)
  • Pam for Baking with Flour

Frosting Ingredients: 
  • 4 cups sifted powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup of 1% or skim milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/3 cup creaming organic peanut butter (I like the Publix brand in the jar, found in the peanut butter aisle, not the deli) 
Directions for the cake: 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. 

Combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined.  With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet.  With the mixer still on low, add the coffee/espresso and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a spatula. 

Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.  Take the cakes out of the pan immediately, turning them over onto a cooling rack.  Let them cool there completely. 

Directions for the frosting: 

Beat peanut butter in a mixing bowl until its fluffy. Add 2 cups of the powdered sugar gradually, beating constantly.  Add 1/4 cup of milk and the vanilla; slowly beat them in.  Slowly beat in the rest of the powdered sugar and another 1/4 cup of milk. If necessary, add a little more milk if the frosting is not spreadable.  

Place one layer, flat side up, on a flat plate or cake pedestal.  With a knife or offset spatula, spread the top with frosting.  Place the second layer on the top, rounded side up, and spread the frosting evenly on the top and sides of the cake. 

*Tip: Frost the cake right away.  This frosting will harden and not be smooth enough to spread after it dries.  Also, wetting the knife will also help spreading if the frosting hardens. 

Enjoy this deliciously moist cake!