Monday, February 15, 2016

Strawberry Savannah Smile Cupcakes

With all the beautiful weather we've had over the last couple of weeks, I find myself longing for Spring - for sunshine and flowers, longer days and the chirping of birds.  And of course...Girl Scout cookies!  For those who are linked in to the Girl Scout community, you know that the beginning of Spring is when Girl Scout cookies are delivered and girls of all ages begin to pop up at local grocery stores, working hard at setting up their booths and telling their community what service projects and fun trips they hope to support with the money they earn through all of their hard work.  I myself am a Girl Scout leader and the Troop Cookie Manager for our troop so I swear I live, breath and dream all things cookie from January through March.
What better way to celebrate the beginning of all that hard work than to make a cookie inspired recipe for the Girl Scouts of Western Washington recipe contest?  And I can't think of any better way to get people in the mood for Girl Scout cookies and booth sales than to make some Girl Scout cookie cupcakes!  Savannah Smiles seem like the perfect cookie to evoke images of springtime, sunshine and the thrill of Girl Scout cookie sales!  

Cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy.

Add in the eggs one at a time.

Mix in the flour/cookie mixture and milk in turns.

Add in the lemon zest.

Fold in the strawberries.

Scoop into the cupcake liners and bake for 18-20 minutes at 350F.

Beat butter in a stand mixer until smooth and creamy.

Add in the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time and add the lemon juice and vanilla extra.  Beat until light and fluffy on high speed.

Frost cooled cupcakes and top with sprinkles!

Strawberry Savannah Smile Cupcakes
Makes 12 cupcakes

Roughly 1/2 box of Savannah Smile cookies, crushed, enough to make 1 cup crumbs
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
zest of 1 lemon
2 eggs, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 cup milk, room temperature
1 cup diced strawberries

Preheat oven to 350F and line a cupcake pan with 12 liners.  In a stand mixer, beat butter and sugar until lighter in color and fluffy.  While that is working away, in a medium sized bowl, whisk together the Savannah Smile crumbs, flour, baking powder and salt.  Add the eggs to the butter mixture, one at a time and beat until fully incorporated.  Add in the vanilla and lemon juice and mix well.  Add in 1/3 of the cookie/flour mixture followed by 1/2 of the milk.  Repeat until all the flour and milk are incorporated.  Fold in the strawberries and lemon zest.  Scoop by the 1/4 cup into the 12 waiting cupcake liners and bake at 350F for 18-20 until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the middle.  Cool completely before frosting.

Lemon Buttercream Frosting
1/2 cup butter, I prefer using salted
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
sprinkles (optional)

In a stand mixer, beat the butter until nice and fluffy.  Add in the powdered sugar about 1 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition.  Add in the vanilla and lemon juice and beat on high speed until the frosting is light and fluffy.  Using a piping bag, frost each cupcake and top with sprinkles if desired.