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I’m not being dramatic when I say that these Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough cupcakes will change your life. No, really! They will knock your socks clean off!  Rich, buttery, and sweet–these cupcakes are cookie dough bliss in a cute little wrapper.  The cake tastes like a very soft chocolate chip cookie, filled with an egg-less chocolate chip cookie dough, and topped with a brown sugar butter cream, that is reminiscent of, well…of chocolate chip cookie dough.  Oh, there’s massive quantities a little butter involved.

Are you picking up what I’m throwing down?

Chocolate chip cookie dough brings back memories of the many, many times that a couple of friends and I would buy a tube of Pillsbury cookie dough, and eat it with a spoon while talking about boys.  In college, the ritual evolved to include a wine cooler to wash it down. Because the boys were probably being jerks. And we were classy like that.

This particular cupcake recipe comes via Annie’s Eats.  If you haven’t happened across Annie’s blog, you should. Girlfriend has some mad culinary skills coupled with beautiful photography. My food wants to look as good as hers when it grows up. I’ve made these cupcakes several times over the past year, making a few minor changes each time. This recipe is the result of those efforts.

Annie’s recipe. A few changes. Amen.

In the interest of full disclosure, I must say that this recipe is a little involved, but that’s only because of having to make a filling in addition to the cake and frosting. No biggie. You can totally do this! And you should.

I’ll break it down into four stages: Cake, filling, frosting, and assembly. Besides, the recipe makes around 36 cupcakes, so it is perfect for parties, or as in this case, a classroom full of sugar-deprived 5th graders.  Or you can bless your friends and neighbors with cupcakes ’til the cows come home–that’s what I do when I don’t have a classroom full of sugar-deprived 5th graders waiting for cupcakes.

For the cake you will need: unsalted butter, light brown sugar, eggs, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, milk, vanilla extract, and miniature chocolate chips (semisweet or bittersweet.)

I want to interrupt this recipe tutorial in order to celebrate the fact that I actually remembered to get 8 of the 10 cake ingredients into the cast shot. Progress, people. Progress.

Moving on. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (F), and line 36 muffin cups with paper liners. If you are not a kitchen-dork like me with three 12-cup muffin pans, then you’ll have to bake in batches. Or you can stop by and borrow my pans. (But it might cost ya a cupcake.)

Cream together the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. This will not be the last time in this recipe that you cream together butter and brown sugar. You mark my words.

Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing until each is well incorporated before adding the next. Once all of the eggs have been incorporated, stir in the vanilla extract.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Dump about a third of the flour mixture into the butter mixture, and stir until blended.

While the mixer is running on low speed, pour in half of the milk, and continue stirring until the milk is worked in. Repeat adding another third of the flour (with mixer off, then turn back on low speed, to blend,) then pour in the remaining milk (with mixer on low,) ending with mixing in the last third of the flour mixture.

Fold in the miniature chocolate chips. I like to use the mini chips as opposed to the regular ones because they make the over-all texture of the cake much nicer.

Fill prepared muffin cups 2/3 full of batter. Bake in the preheated 350 degree (F) oven for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centers come out clean.  Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pans for 5 minutes, then gently transfer from the pans to a wire rack to cool completely.

While the cupcakes are baking and cooling, make the filling with:  a little more unsalted butter, light brown sugar, all-purpose flour,  sweetened condensed milk, vanilla extract, and more miniature semisweet chocolate chips. (Hooray! Everything’s in the shot!)

Cream together butter and brown sugar. Add the flour, sweetened condensed milk, and vanilla extract, mixing until smooth.

Then toss in a handful of chocolate chips, and stir them in until evenly distributed.  Cover and refrigerate the filling until if firms up a bit–about an hour. That gives plenty of time for the cupcakes to finish cooling and to make the frosting.

And because this is the third cast shot in this post, I thought I’d change it up a bit and add some text. Yeah, I’m crazy like that.  The brown sugar butter cream needs: brown sugar, still more unsalted butter, salt, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, milk, and flour. Take a deep breath. It’s going to be wonderful.

Cream together the butter and brown sugar. (Last time–promise!) Add the powdered sugar, a little at a time, beating well in between until all of the powdered sugar has been worked in.

Dump in the flour and salt. Mix it in until it’s fully incorporated.

Pour in the milk and vanilla extract; stir to combine.

Cover the frosting, and set aside at room temperature while we being the assembly process. Hang in there–we are almost to the best part–the eating!

By now, the cupcakes should be completely cooled.  If they are not totally cooled, wait until they are before beginning the assembly process. Use a sharp paring knife to cut a cone out of the top-centers of the cupcakes.

Put the cut-outs into a small bowl. Those little cake bits are great to toss in the mouths of any cupcake-hounds that are impatiently buzzing around the kitchen.

Grab the cookie dough filling from the fridge, and scoop a heaping teaspoonful into the center of each cupcake.  There will be leftover filling. Eat it with a spoon with your friends and talk about boys.

Moisten your fingers with a little water, and lightly press the filling into the cupcake.  Wetting your fingers first will help keep them from getting super sticky.

The filling should be about level with the top of the cupcake.

Frost the tops of the cupcakes with the implement of your choosing. I decided to get all fancy-pants and use a plastic decorator bag fitted with a 2D tip. Step-by-step directions for such decorating shenanigans can be found here.  If you are not feeling exceptionally fancy-pants, then a butter knife or an off-set spatula would do the job, too.

Garnishing the tops with a few more miniature chocolate chips makes for a sweet presentation.

And look! From overhead, the cupcakes look like chocolate chip cookies!  But more importantly, these particular cupcakes taste like three layers of chocolate chip cookie dough bliss.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes

http://comfortablydomestic.com

Adapted from a recipe by http://Annies-Eats.net

Makes 30-36 standard cupcakes

For the cupcakes:

3 sticks unsalted butter

1½ cups light brown sugar, packed

4 large eggs, at room temperature

2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking powder 1 tsp. baking soda

½  tsp. salt 1 cup milk

2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 ¼  cup miniature chocolate chips (semisweet or bittersweet)

For the filling:

4 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened

6 tbsp. light brown sugar, packed

1 cup plus 3 tbsp. all-purpose flour

7 oz. sweetened condensed milk (about ¾ cup)

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/3 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips

For the frosting:

3 sticks unsalted butter, softened

¾ cup light brown sugar, packed

3½ cups powdered sugar

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 tsp. salt

2 tbsp. milk

2 tsp. vanilla extract  

For garnish:

Mini chocolate chips

For the cupcakes:

  1. To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350° F.  Line muffin cup pans with paper liners; set aside. (Prepare 36 total—you will have to bake in batches).
  2. In a large bowl slowly combine the butter and brown sugar with a mixer on low speed. Increase speed medium-high speed and cream together until light and fluffy.  (About 3 minutes.)
  3. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  4. Stir in vanilla until incorporated.
  5. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  6. Gradually alternate adding the flour mixture and the milk to the creamed mixture on low speed, stirring well between additions. Be sure to begin and ending with the dry ingredients.
  7. Stir in the miniature chocolate chips.
  8. Using a large scoop, fill cupcake lined cups 2/3 full. Using one (large) level scoop of batter per cup should yield 36 cupcakes.
  9. Bake in a 350 degree (F) preheated oven for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  10. Remove from the oven, and set cupcakes cool in the pans for 3-5 minutes, before carefully transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.  If you are not a freak like me with three 12-cup muffin pans, then bake in batches, by repeating the process with remaining batter until all of the batter has been used. While the cupcakes are baking, make the filling.

For the filling:

  1. In a small bowl, cream the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. (About 2 minutes.)
  2. Add the flour, sweetened condensed milk and vanilla, mixing until fully incorporated and smooth.
  3. Stir in the miniature chocolate chips.
  4. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the filling has firmed up a bit. (About an hour.)Once the cupcakes have completely cooled, use a paring knife to cut a cone-shaped portion out of the center of each.
  5. Use a small cookie scoop to portion dough into balls, and fill each hole with a chunk of the chilled filling. (About 1 rounded teaspoon each.)

For the frosting:

  1. Cream together the butter and brown sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, stirring well between each addition.
  3. Add the flour and salt, mixing until combined.
  4. Pour in the milk and vanilla extract, and continue stirring until frosting is smooth and creamy.

To finish cupcakes:

  1. Frost the filled cupcakes as desired. I like to put the frosting into a plastic decorator bag fitted with a 2D tip to make a swirling star-like design.  An offset spreader or knife works well also.
  2. Sprinkle frosted cupcakes with more miniature chocolate chips, for garnish.
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