A few weeks ago I stumbled upon a recipe for root beer cupcakes on the Smitten Kitchen blog. I love me some root beer. In fact, it is the only soda I drink. Root beer combined with a chocolate cupcake would have to be perfection. There was no going wrong with that combination.
However, because my in-laws were coming home and I'm planning on making cupcakes the next weekend for the 4th of July, I wanted to do something different and a little more impressive. I decided to use the cupcake batter recipe, but instead make cupcake bites. Yum! I had picked up the peanut butter cup candy mold about a month ago so I could effectively make them without a cookie cutter, and I had all the candy melts and sprinkles. It sounded like a great idea!
I went ahead and made the whole cake recipe, and baked it in a 9x13 pan. The batter turned out pretty good, but at first I thought I was a little disappointed in the root beer flavor, but I went ahead with the plan. Even after tasting the final baked cake, I was still disappointed in the lack of root beer flavor. Next time I make the cake I'll use regular cocoa powder rather than dark chocolate. I think that would help. I felt the dark chocolate was too overpowering for the root beer.
I let the cake cool, then crumbled it up in a big bowl, mixed it with Whipped Cream frosting (yes, I cheated here; I used a can of frosting!), then rolled the mixture into small balls. I was amazed that I made almost 100 of these! How are we going to eat all of these?? (Just as a side note, the cupcake bites are getting close to being gone. My husband is going to a party tomorrow and will take a good part of what's left with him so no worries, we found a place for all the cupcake bites!)
After letting the cake balls set in the freezer for about 20 minutes, I started melting the chocolate candy melts for the bottoms. Here is what took forever. Somehow, when I was picking up the candy mold, I only thought to buy one. However, one only makes 11 bottoms at a time so when you have almost 100 cake balls, this starts to take forever! I had to fill the molds, set the rolled cake balls on top, stick them in the freezer for 10 minutes to set, then pop them out and start all over for the next 11. This process went on and on!
Hours later, after all the cake balls had cupcake bottoms, I started to dip them in the white candy melts. I decided to do only white thinking it looked a little bit like ice cream, then topped it with a red M&M to represent a cherry and chocolate sprinkles. I wanted them to look like root beer floats! So cute!!!
Finally, after all the tops were dipped and decorated, I got to try one. The verdict? These cupcake bites taste yummy! I think they look like root beer float cupcakes, and they taste like how I would envision chocolate root beer tasting. Yum, yum, yum! Plus, aren't they so pretty???!
Here's a link to Bakerella for more specific (and better!) directions on how to make cupcake bites: http://www.bakerella.com/cupcake-bites-made-easy/
I used the root beer cupcake recipe from Smitten Kitchen. The changes I made include not making cupcakes (obviously!) and baking the batter in a 9x13 pan. Also, I added 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract. I used 1 1/2 cups root beer and 1/2 cup root beer schnapps. Here's the link: http://smittenkitchen.com/2010/06/root-beer-float-cupcakes/