It's been a very decadent week here on Pop.Bop.Shop. On Monday we were pairing wine and donuts, yesterday we dove into a five course ice cream menu and today we're baking chocolate chip cookie dough cupcakes.
Yeah, you heard me.
If you're a regular reader of the blog, you know that I am much more of a dining out foodie than a cooking foodie. My idea of cooking is taking Morningstar Farm products out of the freezer.
In fact, I have a pretty strong fear of cooking. I think it relates to my horrible personality trait in which I refuse to do anything unless I know I'll be great at it. Remember when I went to Paint Nite and got hysterical when people around me were creating better paintings than me?
So when the lovely folks at Harvard Sweet Boutique reached out to ask if I'd like to try my hand at one of their recipes, needless to say I was hesitant. However, with two recipes under my belt (the red delicious veggie burger and the artichoke, spinach and red pepper grilled cheese), I was feeling like perhaps the third time's the charm.
Armed with Harvard Sweet Boutique owner Sue George's recipe, I headed to the grocery store to get my ingredients.
This recipe, the chocolate chip cookie dough cupcakes, is actually three separate recipes combined to form a cupcake on steroids.
I started with the cupcake batter. I lined up all my ingredients on the counter. I like to put away each item as I use it, so I can visibly see my progress.
Step one was to boil water and combine one cup of water with the cocoa powder and some espresso powder. I couldn't find espresso powder at the grocery store, so I used instant Folgers instead.
While the boiling water mixture was cooling, I combined the flour, salt and baking powder.
In a separate bowl, I creamed the butter and sugar. I don't have beaters or a standing mixer, so I did the creaming with nothing but elbow grease.
Once the sugar and butter had combined it was time to add the eggs.
Once mixed, I poured the chocolate mixture into the batter. The moment I did so, I realized I had made a monstrous mistake. The recipe states that you should allow the chocolate mixture to cool, then add it to the batter. Well, I didn't check to see what temperature the chocolate mixture was, I just dumped it in. The result of that impulsive decision was very hot water turning my batter into soup.
Despite this set back, I carried on.
I tried to give the batter time to cool before pouring it into each of the cupcake wrappers. I was planning to take these cupcakes to a bridal shower the next day, so I picked up these cute polka dot wrappers at Party City in Brighton.
Once the tray was full, it was time for them to go into the oven.
While the cupcakes were baking (and not rising because the batter was too thin) I turned my attention to recipe number two, the frosting! This was just three ingredients - confectioners sugar, butter and vanilla extract.
The instructions call for you to cream the butter and sugar (that's a second time with no mixer!) and as I was doing so, I thought the two components would never bond together. I was going into panic mode. Should I buy frosting at the store? Is that giving up? Maybe I didn't sift the sugar enough?
Before running to the store for back up, I decided to add in the vanilla extract to see if that would help bond everything together and sure enough, it did! The result was a beautiful bowl of vanilla buttercream frosting.
The third and final recipe was for the chocolate chip cookie dough. Sue's version calls for this component to be homemade, but certainly if you wanted to buy a roll of pre-made cookie dough, you could.
I lined up my final set of ingredients and got to work.
For the cookie dough batter I had to cream the butter and sugar for a third time, no mixer, and let me tell you, I was feeling pretty diesel.
Once the batter came together, I added in the chocolate chips.
With the cookie dough completed, it was time to begin assembling.
Because my cupcake batter was too thin, the cupcakes needed to bake for an extra seven minutes and when they came out, they sunk like bad soufflés. Wah Wah. Sue's recipe encourages you to core out the center of the cupcake and pipe the cookie dough into the cake. Well, since my precious babies sunk, there was no way to core them without ruining them. So, I decided to simply taking a layered approach - a layer of cake, a layer of cookie dough and then a layer of frosting.
Each cupcake got a scoop of cookie dough and then was frosted with the vanilla buttercream.
Post-frosting I put each cupcake back into the tray.
The tray was part of a new cupcake carrier I just bought at Target. These carriers leave plenty of head room for frosting and garnish, unlike Tupperware, which squishes them.
The next day I took the cupcakes to the bridal shower and added the finishing touch, a cookie to the top of each one. Sue's recipe calls for a cookie you've made from your favorite recipe. Well, I was a bit traumatized by my sunken cupcakes, so I took a shortcut and bought Chips Ahoy minis to use as my topper. Sorry, Sue!
When the ladies at the bridal shower took their first bites of these cupcakes I was holding my breath. Would they be able to taste that my batter had been too thin? Would they be able to tell I creamed the frosting myself and the sugar wasn't as fine as it could have been?
Nope! They loved them. Each person devoured theirs and some even licked their fingers! Success!
While I am definitely still a novice in the kitchen, I'm working on cutting myself some slack and realizing that not everything can be perfect on the first try.
If you would like to try your hand at Sue George's incredibly decadent chocolate chip cookie dough cupcake recipe, you can find that below. You can also visit the Harvard Sweet Boutique and sample many more of her confections.
Sue George's Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 tablespoon instant espresso powder
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1/3 cup flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 unsalted butter (1 stick)
- 1 cup white sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Add cocoa powder and espresso powder to boiling water and leave to cool (really cool! Test the temp!)
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and salt
- In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar
- Add eggs, dry ingredients and cocoa powder/water mixture to the butter/sugar mixture and mix to combine
- Fill cupcake pans 3/4 of the way full and bake at 350 degrees for 10 - 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean
- Set aside to cool completely
- 1/2 pound unsalted butter (1 stick)
- 1 lb. confectioners sugar, sifted
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Combine all three ingredients in a mixing bowl and cream until smooth
Cookie dough ingredients:
- 1 cup of flour
- 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- A pinch of salt
- 1/4 cup chocolate chips
- 1 tablespoon vanilla buttercream (which you already whipped up!)
Cookie dough assembly:
- Combine flour, butter, dark brown sugar, vanilla extract and salt until dough forms
- Add chocolate chips and buttercream to the dough and combine until the mixture holds together
- Core each cupcake by scooping out one tablespoon of cupcake and using a pairing knife or a cupcake corer. Put the cookie dough into a pastry bag and cut 1/2 inch off the tip. Fill each cupcake with approximately 1 tablespoon of filling.
- Fill another pastry bag with the vanilla buttercream and pipe a generous amount of icing on top of the cupcake
- Garnish the cupcakes with a wedge of your favorite chocolate chip cookie