When I around ten or eleven years old, my best childhood friend and I made a time capsule.
A legit time capsule. Well, as legit as you could get as a tween in 1994.
We put things in it that I can’t remember – but I’m almost positive that it had to include some sort of candy striped friendship bracelet (which I’m pretty sure is now called the “chevron,” thanks 2014) made while stuck in a caboodle, country apply body spray from bath and body works because it was new back then and #omgamazing, cheddar chex mix (it was our drug of choice as we watched snick on Saturday nights) and maybe a babysitter’s club book or something.
We actually dug up part of my parents’ yard by a stop sign and buried that thing. If my dad knew we dug up the yard he’d prob be ticked, so I’m still not sure if he knows about it today.
The thing is that it’s still there. STILL! It’s been like twenty years at least. I forget when we said we’d dig it up. I’m fearful because it’s probably been chewed through by rodents or something and I’m a scaredy cat.
If my ten year old self even knew that my thirty year old self would be consuming desserts with nuts, specifically weird green ones, I’d probably punch that one in the face. Nuts would have never made it into my kiddo time capsule, unless I was making a “things I hate” time capsule in which case we could also put jeans, all vegetables, the night before school started in august and the simpsons in there too. It’s true.
Oddly enough my time capsule of rightthisverysecond proooobably wouldn’t be all that different in the sense that it would probably be flooded with neon crap, a bunch of beauty or body products and songs from twenty years ago.
My food time capsule would include things like avocado toast, pulled pork tacos, buffalo chicken pizza, chopped salads, a bunch of fried eggs and pistachio gelato because OMG I cannot get enough. Because that whole combination doesn’t sound horrific of anything.
But you get the gist.
I made these cupcakes almost entirely from scratch, aside from the gelato because I might have thirty pints of pistachio in my fridge. But guess what! You so don’t need to. You can go all semi-homemade on these things if you want. I’m sure boxed brownie mix would work. Leftover or canned frosting (I don’t hate on that triple fudge chip that you can find in the grocery store…), maybe jarred quality hot fudge.
Because let’s be honest, these little cakes are slightly high maintenance.
Like really high maintenance.
Fudgy brownie bottoms, pistachio gelato on top, cream cheese frosting (!!!), topped with gooey chocolate, crushed pistachios, sprinkles and my all-time favorite cherries.
The dang cherries. They are so freaking good. They make the best cocktails. I eat like ten at a time for a snack. ADORE. (p.s. I find mine at whole foods – they are the same brand as these pink ones.)
AND the dang cupcakes. This is my idea of perfect.
Yield: makes 18+ cupcakes
Total Time: 4 hours
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 ounces high-quality milk chocolate, melted
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2/3 cup chocolate chips/chunks
2 pints pistachio gelato/ice cream (you probably won't need ALL of this... but have some extra)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 to 2 tablespoons milk, if needed
crushed pistachios (roasted/salted is fine - your preference)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with liners and lightly spray with nonstick spray.
In a large bowl, combine melted butter with sugar and vanilla extract, whisking until combined and almost smooth. Whisk in each egg one at a time, stirring until a smooth batter forms. Stir in oil and melted chocolate. Add in flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt, stirring until combined. Fold in chocolate chips. Add about 2 tablespoons of brownie batter to the bottom of each cupcake liner. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until batter is just set. I slightly underbaked mine so they were still a bit sunk in the centers. Remove and let cool completely.
Once cool, remove ice cream from the freezer and let it get slightly soft. Add a scoop on top of each brownie cup, molding it and smoothing it out with a spoon. You want the top to be somewhat flat so the frosting can have a place to sit. Place in the freezer for 2-4 hours. Or even overnight.
To make the frosting, beat the butter and sugar in an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add the sugar and beat on low speed, increasing to high speed and scraping down the sides if needed. Add in in the vanilla extract. Beat the frosting on high for 3 to 4 full minutes. If the frosting is to thick, beat in a tablespoon of milk at a time. When ready to serve, remove cupcakes and immediately frost the tops. Top with hot fudge, sprinkles, pistachios and a cherry. Serve immediately.
[brownie adapted from my coconut ice cream cupcakes]