One of my best friends and I have a saying we use all the time: “You don’t need to worry, I’ve already over thought it.”  No doubt this is one reason she and I get along so well – we think the same way, and we both over analyze nearly everything.  Really, everything.  Sometimes this can be a bit of a burden, but when I’m experimenting with recipes in the kitchen it can be pretty useful.  We’re in the midst of birthday season at work and when a coworker chose samoa cupcakes, my mind immediately went into overdrive.  “How do I ensure that the chocolate cake doesn’t overpower the flavor of the topping?  Should I even use chocolate cake?  How do I incorporate the shortbread cookie component?  What kind of frosting should I make?  Does frosting even belong on these cupcakes?”  These are just a few of the questions I pondered out loud and poor Ben did his best to humor me with a response.

As for my final answers to those questions, here’s where we ended up: I made small shortbread cookies for the base of the cupcakes (though you can use store bought, I won’t tell.)  The cupcake itself is my favorite chocolate cupcake, and it turns out that no, it didn’t overpower the other flavors.  I decided frosting had no place on these cupcakes but that a caramel coconut ganache would do much better, and it did.  Oh yes, it did.  Finally, the cupcakes are topped with the classic coconut-caramel concoction that we all know and love, and I decided to poke a little indentation in it to mimic the cookie shape.  Drizzle with a little bit of extra ganache and there you have it.  Though I have no scientific evidence, I believe this is the most popular treat I have brought into work ever.  Truly.  The only disappointing thing about these is that I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to top them.  But I’m kind of okay with that.

As a former Daisy-Brownie-Girl Scout (whose favorite cookie is Caramel DeLites/Samoas), I approve these cupcakes.