March 24, 2013

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cupcakes

So I finally finished watching Parade's End.

OMG. Sooooo good.

The book is totally on my to-read list now.

It's a costume drama, in a similar vein as Downton Abbey. Although less about the soap operatic details of everyone's lives and more about the last vestiges of the British upperclass trying to hold on to their ideals and traditions in the modern era.

And it shouldn't surprise you, but I'm so totally in love with Christopher Tietjens, it's not even funny. Intellectual, suffragette sympathizer, loves horses, great with kids, oh yeah, and looks like Benedict Cumberbatch. Honestly though, Benedict may have brought me to Parade's End, but the character of Christopher Tietjens is what kept me there. Ooh, he completely melted my heart when he was soothing his son out of a nightmare. And when he had to leave his son to be raised by his sister, you could see how completely devastated he was. I may or may not have done a little snifflin' myself there.

But what I don't get is why did Christopher sleep with Sylvia in the first place? I realize that that's the bit that starts the entire story, but it seems so out of character! Christopher is so bound by his set of morals and idea of honor even though the rest of society thinks they are outmoded, that he sacrifices his own happiness to hold to them. But he's okay with a quickie on a train with a woman he barely knows?

This is why I need to read the book.
Anyway, forgetting for a moment that Christopher Tietjens is currently threatening Mr. Darcy's position on my literary crush list (I have to read the book before Mr. Darcy can be dethroned, however), I realized that it's been quite a long time since I've given you a cupcake recipe. That seems like complete crazy-talk, but it's true. And what have I been giving you instead? Weirdy foodie recipes with goat cheese and browned butter and quinoa and beans.

I'm freaking out a little here. I never set out to be one of those bloggers. I was always like, "who would want to eat that? Can't they post normal food?"

What have you done to me???

Deep breaths. Clear blue ocean, clear blue ocean. I'm okay. Of course I'm okay. I'm the king of okay... no that's a rubbish title. Forget that title.

Anyway, this was something that needed to be rectified. Immediately. I needed something normal. Something anyone would like. Something in a cupcake.

Cookie dough. Who doesn't like cookie dough? Cookie dough is cool. Like bowties are cool.
So I made these Cookie Dough Balls (from the cookie queen herself, Kayle the Cooking Actress) because even baked, they still taste like cookie dough. And then I put them in a brown sugar cake, and I baked it, and I put chocolate frosting on top. And umm, the insides weren't quite as gooey as I wanted (the first time that's ever been a problem in a cupcake recipe), but the flavor was right, so it was kind of like a really big, really soft chocolate chip cookie. And when is that ever a bad thing?

So they're not cookie dough cupcakes. Well, you're no Christopher Tietjens. But I think we'll both survive.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cupcakes {Printable Version}
Yield: 12 cupcakes

For the cookie dough:
1½ cups all-purpose flour
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. baking soda
½ cup packed brown sugar
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
1 tbsp. granulated sugar
1 egg
½ tsp. vanilla
½ cup chocolate chips

For the cupcakes:
1 cup flour
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
6 tbsp. granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
½ tsp. vanilla
1/3 cup vegetable oil

For the frosting:
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
2 2/3 cups powdered sugar
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla

Prepare the cookie dough: In a mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl with electric beaters, beat the sugars and butter. Add the egg and vanilla, beating well after each addition. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix well (dough will be very thick). Gently fold in the chocolate chips. Roll the dough into tablespoon-sized balls and freeze minimum 1 hour

Prepare the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugars together on medium speed until fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla, beating well after each addition. Gradually add the dry ingredients, alternating with the oil, until fully incorporated. Divide the batter equally between 12 muffin cups. Add one frozen cookie dough ball to each muffin cup, pressing it into the batter. Bake 15-20 minutes, until the cake springs back when lightly pressed. Cool completely on wire racks.

For the frosting: In a small mixing bowl, mix together the powdered sugar and cocoa powder. In a different bowl using electric beaters, beat the butter on low speed. Add the vanilla. Gradually add in the sugar and cocoa, alternating with the milk. Beat on high speed until smooth.

Tip: Keep the extra cookie dough frozen until a cookie craving strikes. Bake at 350°F for 9-11 minutes, until set and the bottoms are lightly browned.

Cookie dough recipe found via The Cooking Actress. Frosting recipe adapted from Hershey’s Homemade. Cupcake recipe by Kim
P.S. My surprise series starts in less than a week. Have you guessed what it is yet? Hint: It's a celebration for something that's been around a very long time...