Friday, September 17, 2010

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes - Life is Good!!!

Chocolate Chip Cookies are a delicious treat in and of themselves.  Now, combine them with cupcakes and you have a treat that is chocolate chip heaven!  I have been searching for recipes for a Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcake for months.  None that I found combined the taste of the cookie dough and the baked cookie.  Until this week...when I found this recipe over on Tara's Smells Like Home Blog.  These cupcakes are delicious.  Truly a Chocolate Chip Cookie in a Cupcake. The flavors meld together beautifully.  The cake is full of chocolate chips and then the surprise of the cookie dough center topped with the delight of frosting tasting just like cookie dough too!  Don't be afraid of making these.  They look more labor intensive then they really are and the results will have your friends and family begging for more.  I took them into work today and my co-workers had them devoured in no time.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes
By Tara from Smells Like Home

source: Annie’s Eats (inspired by Hello, Baker!, cake adapted from Cupcake Bakeshop, frosting adapted from The Cupcake Review and How to Eat a Cupcake)

For the cupcakes:
3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1½ cups light brown sugar, packed
4 large eggs
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
1 cup milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup mini chocolate chips (semisweet or bittersweet)

For the filling:
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
6 tbsp. light brown sugar, packed
1 cup plus 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
7 oz. sweetened condensed milk
½ tsp. vanilla extract
¼ cup mini semisweet chocolate chips

For the frosting:
3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup light brown sugar, packed
3½ cups confectioners’ sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
¾ tsp. salt
3 tbsp. milk
2½ tsp. vanilla extract

For decoration:

Mini chocolate chip cookies (I used Chips Ahoy Minis but you could make your own)
Mini chocolate chips

To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350° F.  Line two cupcake pans with paper liners (24 total).  In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and brown sugar.  Beat together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Mix in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.  Stir together to blend.  Add the dry ingredients to the mixer bowl on low speed, alternating with the milk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients, mixing each addition just until incorporated.  Blend in the vanilla.  Fold in the chocolate chips with a spatula.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cupcake liners.   Bake for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Allow to cool in the pan 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the cookie dough filling, combine the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl and cream on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Beat in the flour, sweetened condensed milk and vanilla until incorporated and smooth.  Stir in the chocolate chips.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the mixture has firmed up a bit, about an hour.

To fill the cupcakes, cut a cone-shaped portion out of the center of each cupcake.  Fill each hole with a chunk of the chilled cookie dough mixture.

To make the frosting, beat together the butter and brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until creamy.  Mix in the confectioners’ sugar until smooth.  Beat in the flour and salt.  Mix in the milk and vanilla extract until smooth and well blended.

Frost the filled cupcakes as desired, sprinkling with mini chocolate chips and topping with mini chocolate chip cookies for decoration.

Yields: 24 cupcakes

Sunday, September 12, 2010

S'mores Cupcakes - Goodbye to Summer

As much as I love summer, the warm weather and long nights, I love fall even more (mostly because I have a Birthday the end of September).  Last weekend was Labor Day and what many consider the end to summer. Even though it's official end isn't for a few more weeks.  To celebrate, I finally made a cupcake I have been wanting to make since I started to seriously bake cupcakes a year and a half ago...S'mores Cupcakes.  Who can resist the combination of Graham Crackers, Milk Chocolate and Marshmallow?  Not me.  So fire up the oven and enjoy your very own S'mores in cupcake form.

S’mores Cupcakes
Makes 16-18 regular cupcakes

Graham Cracker and Milk Chocolate Cupcakes
from Cupcakes Galore by Gail Wagman

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups finely crushed graham crackers (about 20 grahams)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup milk
1 cup milk chocolate chips (I pulsed mine in the food processor to make them a lot smaller)

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Mix flour, crushed graham crackers, baking powder, and salt together and set aside.

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add vanilla. Alternately add flour mixture and milk and beat until batter is almost smooth. Fold in chocolate chips.

Spoon batter into cupcake papers, filling cups about 2/3 full. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean.  Remove from oven and cool.

Swiss Meringue Marshmallow Frosting
by Cassie Baker of How to Eat a Cupcake

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar (I used 3/4 cup regular sugar and 1/2 cup vanilla sugar
4 egg whites
1-2 teaspoons vanilla extract (optional)

To make the frosting:

Combine egg whites and sugar in the top of a double boiler (or a glass bowl over but not touching a pan of simmering water). Whisk constantly over medium-high heat until mixtures reaches 160°F, about 5 minutes.

Pour egg white mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on high for 6 minutes or until room temperature. Add optional vanilla extract 1 teaspoon at a time until desired flavor.

Frost cooled cupcakes, sprinkle with graham cracker crumbs and top with a piece of Hershey's milk chocolate bar.