Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes

Ever since I spotted Anne Byrn's (i.e. The Cake Mix Doctor) recipe for chocolate chip cookie dough cupcakes, I have really wanted to experiment with a homemade version.

My version is a homemade yellow cupcake filled with homemade chocolate chip cookie dough (the Nestle Tollhouse Recipe), topped with an eggless cookie dough swirled vanilla swiss meringue buttercream, a dollop of whipped cream, and a miniature chocolate chip cookie. There are many ways to decorate and present these delicious creations, but I chose to take inspiration from things like a kid's birthday party and ice cream sundaes.

In the spirit of Anne Byrn's wonderful recipes, I'm going to post two versions of the recipe: one, which is the simpler to make "doctored" version and the other which is the made from scratch version. Both are delicious, so take your pick!

For the (homemade) yellow cake cupcakes (makes 24+ cupcakes-you will have leftover batter!):
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
4 eggs
2 1/2 cups cake flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
1 cup miniature semi-sweet chocolate chips

Sift flour, salt, and baking powder/soda together in a large mixing bowl. Set aside. Beat butter and sugar together until creamed. Mix in vanilla extract and eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add in dry ingredients and sour cream and milk in 3 parts, alternating between the wet and dry ingredients. Mix until well combined. Scrape sides of bowl and mix for a few seconds longer, but do not over mix batter. Stir in the chocolate chips last.

Fill each cupcake liner about 2/3 way full with batter. Place a piece of frozen cookie dough (with about 1-inch dimensions) on the top of each cupcake prior to baking. Bake for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Cupcakes may sink a bit in the middle because of the weight of the cookie dough. Also, some may have cookie dough peek out (see picture) and some may not!

***For (altered) Cake Mix Doctor recipe:
Use 1 box yellow cake mix (without pudding) and DO NOT follow box recipe at all.
Combine cake mix with 1 stick unsalted butter, 1 cup sour cream, 1/2 cup cold water, 3 eggs, and 1 package dry instant pudding (mix in last).

For the Tollhouse Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough (for mini cookies and cupcake filling):
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in a large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in chocolate chips.

***I would recommend cutting the recipe in half, or be prepared to bake some extra cookies- you will have a lot of leftover dough.

Put cookie dough in a freezer bag. Shape with hands until it is shaped in a large square or rectangle with about 1/2 inch thickness. After dough has been in the freezer for at least a couple of hours, cut into 1-inch squares and place on each cupcake liner filled with batter.

Cake Mix Doctor Version
***Use your favorite "break and bake" version instead!

For the Swiss Meringue Buttercream:

4 egg whites
1 cup granulated sugar
3 sticks unsalted butter
1 tbsp vanilla

Simmer water in medium sized saucepan. Combine egg whites and sugar in large heat resistant mixing bowl and place mixing bowl inside of saucepan (DO NOT allow water to enter mixing bowl). Whisk continuously until sugar is fully dissolved and mixture is slightly foamy and bubbly (should register 160 degrees on a candy thermometer).

Place mixing bowl on stand mixer with whisk attachment. Beat on high for several minutes until mixture is thick and whipped, like meringue. Once mixture is fully cool, beat in butter one piece at time, mixing well after each addition. After all butter is added, switch to a paddle attachment and beat for an additional 2-3 minutes. Add in the vanilla extract and beat to combine.

Once frosting is done, create "eggless cookie dough" by using the Tollhouse recipe, sans eggs and WITH miniature chocolate chips. Add in additional flour bit by bit until the mixture is somewhat crumbly and able to clump together. Pour cookie dough pieces in frosting and stir in with rubber spatula or spoon.

Frost cupcakes as desired, once cooled.

TIP Be sure to use miniature chocolate chips in the frosting ESPECIALLY if you plan to pipe the frosting on. I wasn't thinking and used regular sized chips, so I had to spread my frosting on each cupcake instead.

"Doctored" whipped cream frosting:
1 quart heavy whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
cookie dough pieces (use homemade cookie dough, pre-made dough that uses pasteurized eggs, OR even sprinkle "Cookie Dough" Candy onto the top of each frosted cupcake).

Pour whipping cream into mixing bowl and whip on high with whisk attachment until it is thick and fluffy. While mixer is still running, slowly add in the sugar bit by bit. Lastly, remove bowl from mixer and stir in cookie dough, OR pipe directly on cupcake and top with cookie dough pieces.

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