Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes

Why I chose this recipe:

For my final blog post as a part of this honors project, I wanted to try something new, something fresh. I found myself with a strong urge to create a cupcake that…..well, was more than a cupcake. After all, my experience as a part of my high school’s journalism program, is far more than just journalism. It’s been filled with heart, determination, and life lessons. A few words simply don’t encompass it. It’s complex. I yearned to find a cupcake that was equally as unique as my experience on publications staff.

In my search, I came across a well known bakers website/blog….”Annie Bakes.” This woman has created cookbooks galore, and is the epitome of all things baking. Her chocolate chip cookie dough cupcake was a fusion of all things intriguing, and I couldn’t resist giving them a try. A quick trip to the store for condensed milk, and the rest of the recipe ingredients were already present in my cabinet 🙂 Surprising, considering the multiple elements of the cupcake, yet, something I much appreciated.

What you’ll need:

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
Âź tsp. salt
1 cup milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup 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
Âź cup mini semisweet chocolate chips

For the frosting: 
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup light brown sugar, packed
2 1/3 cups confectioners’ sugar
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
½ tsp. salt
2 tbsp. milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract

How it tasted:

Every element of this creation fused so wonderfully, that I’d make this recipe again in a heart beat. The cake, cookie dough filling, and cookie dough icing appeared as though it would be rather overpowering at first. I must say, I was a little wary when beginning this recipe. However, every single element was well worth it. I devoured every bite, and highly recommend Annie’s recipe.

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Magnolia’s Vanilla Cupcakes w/ Chocolate Ganache and Marscapone Coffee Cream

Why I chose this recipe:

I spent about a week in New York City this summer, training with the Radio City Rockettes at their summer intensive in Radio City Musical Hall. Each day alway began the same: walking several blocks down to Broadway, to reach my destination and begin classes. I’m so intrigued by the atmosphere of that city; the smells, the sights, the people. I LOVE it there. Which is precisely why I chose to walk to nearly every location I traveled to.

But, in all my awe, I seemed to have missed a crucial foodie destination. Imagine my disappointment when I realized that I had, in fact, been around the corner from the world famous Magnolia’s Cupcakery…..every…..single…..day…..

And that’s where I came across the desire to craft this recipe 🙂 Having wished I’d sampled their desserts when I had the opportunity, it only seemed fit that I attempt it at home. Considering I’ve been cheating on my frosting recipes lately, I figured it was about time I started to play with a few….homeade…..frosting recipes, as well. Hence, the Chocolate Ganache and Marscapone Coffee Cream components. Both recipes stem from some of my favorite stars on the Food Network: Ina Garten (Chocolate Ganache) and Giada De Laurentis (Marscapone Coffee Cream)

What you’ll need:

Cupcakes:
1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Chocolate Ganache:

8 ounces good semisweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup heavy cream

Marscapone Coffee Cream:

3/4 cup mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
1 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup coffee liqueur

 

 

 

How it tasted:

Why….. why….why  did I not stop at Magnolia’s while in NYC?!?! I couldn’t help but moan a complaint after creating these cupcakes. If they were this delicious at home, I can’t even begin to imagine how delectable these cupcakes would be at the store. The cake was light, fluffly, sweet (but not too sweet) and the perfect canvas for any cupcake creation. It was tasty, but not overpowering.

The chocolate ganache was no innovative creation; nothing you and I haven’t seen before. But I must say, it was simple and satisfying when paired on the vanilla cupcake. I sent a batch of these back to Mizzou with friends, before they departed from Winter Break. Before I knew it, I had a received a picture of an empty container, and some very, very full engineers. I’m not exactly a shining influence in avoiding the “Mizzou 22”, but it was nice to know the recipe was received well.

Brown Sugar Cupcakes w/ Caramel Frosting and Creme Brulee Filling

Why I chose this recipe:

I’m a HUGE “Cupcake Wars” fan. I love watching the competitive baking atmosphere. Lame, I know. But also very, very true. And honesty is the best policy, right? 😉

So needless to say, after a “Cupcake Wars” marathon on television, I was more than inspired to try one of the competitors recipes, all of which are available online for those who dare to attempt. My go-to dessert when I’m out at a restaurant, has always been custard based specialities. From flan, to creme brulee, I absolutely adore the creamy texture of a custard dish. Thus, I chose to recreate the “Brown Sugar Creme BrĂťlĂŠe” cupcakes from a recent “Cupcake Wars” recipe.

What you’ll need:

Cupcakes:
10 ounces all-purpose flour
8 ounces brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
8 ounces sour cream
5 ounces eggs
3 1/2 ounces vegetable oil
3 1/2 ounces prepared vanilla pudding
2 ounces buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Creme Brulee Filling:
2 ounces granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
4 large egg yolks
1 1/2 cups heavy cream

Caramel Frosting:
8 ounces butter, at room temperature
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 pound 4 ounces powdered sugar
2 3/4 ounces dulce de leche caramel
2 1/2 ounces evaporated milk
1/4 ounce vanilla extract

 

 

How it tasted:

There is only one word for the taste this cupcake left in my mouth.

Amazing.

I was appalled by the success this recipe brought. It was kind of like a good hair day….surprising and unexpected. And, as we women do on the rare days their hair falls perfectly in place, I plan to take 100 percent credit for the awesome-ness that has occurred. So here I say it: I have finally crafted a cupcake I have absolutely NO complaints about.

I was hesitant about the batter as I was making it. In fact, I actually added a bit of corn starch to thicken it towards the end. It appeared soupy, and gloppy. Nothing like what I was used to seeing. As I placed the batter in the oven, I had all but given up. “At least I tried….” I sighed to my friends, who watched a chick flick in the other room.

Yet, when these cupcakes were finished, I realized this liquid texture was all a part of the big picture. The cake was spongey. It absorbed the filling flawlessly, and stayed perpetually moist. I substituted dulce de leche for caramel sauce (an attempt to cook on a budget) and the frosting was sweet and delicious. This recipe truly captured the creme brulee taste, and I am more than eager to recreate it in the future.

“Campfire Cupcakes”: vanilla cupcakes with a toasted graham cracker base, marshmallow cream filling, and milk chocolate frosting

Why I  chose this recipe:

I have a confession: my  friends are domestic goddesses’.  They’ve perfected the art of pleasing men with cupcakes, cookies, and delicious homeade baked goods.

Me? Not so much.

There are many ways I show those around me I care, but quite frankly, my baking skills lack about 75 percent of the time. The recipes on this blog serve to be just a few successes of many failed attempts. My oven and I have a “love-hate” relationship. But nonetheless, when your friend’s set the bar incredibly high, the word will spread.

…..and it did. I’m guilty by association.

Before long, I had my own personal request for cupcakes. I debated making a run to Shop n Save, and pawning off some store bought goodies…..but this one was much smarter than my store bought cop-outs. Plus, I needed a new blog post 🙂

One of my favorite elements of Fall, are campfires. Nothing says peace quite like circling a fire pit on a cold night, chatting with friends. With this recipe, I’ve combined all the pieces of a s’more from several digital recipes, courtesy of the Food Network, Sweet Pea’s Kitchen blog, and allrecipes.com. A graham cracker crust, vanilla cupcake, marshmallow creme filling, and milk chocolate frosting complete the campfire experience, all in one cupcake!

 

Cupcake:

  • 2 2/3 cups sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/3 cups cake flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt

Graham cracker crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups finely ground graham cracker crumbs

  • 1/3 cup white sugar

  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted

Marshmallow filling:

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar
  • ž cup Marshmallow Fluff
  • 1 ½ tablespoon heavy cream

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Blend sugar and butter until creamy.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Blend sugar and butter until creamy.

Beat eggs one at a time, and then continue to beat the mixture, adding milk, water, and vanilla.

Beat eggs one at a time, and then continue to beat the mixture, adding milk, water, and vanilla.

In three additions, beat a mixture of the flour, baking powder, and salt into the wet ingredients.

In three additions, beat a mixture of the flour, baking powder, and salt into the wet ingredients.

To create a graham cracker curst, combine the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and sugar. Press a tablespoon into each cupcake liner base.

To create a graham cracker curst, combine the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and sugar. Press a tablespoon into each cupcake liner base.

Top the graham cracker crust with the cupcake mixture, and bake for 21 minutes.

Top the graham cracker crust with the cupcake mixture, and bake for 21 minutes.

To create the marshmallow creme filling, beat butter, powdered sugar, marshmallow fluff, and heavy creme until well combined.

To create the marshmallow creme filling, beat butter, powdered sugar, marshmallow fluff, and heavy creme until well combined.

Using a melon scooper, create hole in each cake, and pipe the marshmallow filling into each space.

Using a melon scooper, create hole in each cake, and pipe the marshmallow filling into each space.

Top with milk chocolate frosting ( I purchase Hershey's....had to stay true to the original S'more!), and topping of your choice!

Top with milk chocolate frosting ( I purchase Hershey’s….had to stay true to the original S’more!), and topping of your choice!

How It Tasted:

This recipe was incredibly scrumptious. Of all the recipes I’ve crafted throughout my blog posts, I must say, this one ranks supreme. These cupcakes were a delectable combination of flavors, and tasty well after the date in which they were prepared. However, it was a bit too sweet. If I was to make this recipe again, I’d use a bit less sugar in the cupcake recipe.

 

I don’t know if I’ve reached the “domestic goddess” rank of my friends, but it’s definitely an improvement from recipes past!

Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake

Why I Chose This Recipe:

There are two things everyone should know about Saint Louis, MO:

1) The weather is unpredictable

2) Gooey butter cake is a prized dessert, here in this town.

So on an October afternoon when the weather made a turn of the worse, I embraced these two points and created a Fall version of the Saint Louis classic: pumpkin gooey butter cake. The recipe is courtesy of the Southern cooking queen, the one and only Paula Deen. As I pre-heated my oven, I channeled my inner southern-bell and put my faith in Mama Deen’s creations, hoping she wouldn’t steer me wrong.

 

What You’ll Need:

Cake:

  • 1 (18 1/4-ounce) package yellow cake mix
  • 1 egg
  • 8 tablespoons butter, melted

Filling: 

  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 8 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 (16-ounce) box powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg

 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and combine cake mix, egg, and butter to create a cake base. Pat into a greased baking pan.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and combine cake mix, egg, and butter to create a cake base. Pat into a greased baking pan.

 

to make the filling, beat cream cheese and pumpkin until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Then, beat eggs, vanilla, and butter into the mixture. After, add powdered sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Finally, spread the mixture over the cake base, and bake for 40-50 minutes.

to make the filling, beat cream cheese and pumpkin until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Then, beat eggs, vanilla, and butter into the mixture. After, add powdered sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Finally, spread the mixture over the cake base, and bake for 40-50 minutes.

The final product! I added a dollap of cool whip, for a texture contrast.

The final product! I added a dollap of cool whip, for a texture contrast.

How it tasted:

Alright, it’s honesty time:

This recipe was horrible. Paula Deen, you let me down. Hard core.

The pumpkin gooey butter cake bars were good for about ten minutes, right out of the oven. But once cooled, they were sticky and rubbery. The texture was far from that of the gooey butter cake I know and love, and I was significantly disappointed in the outcome.

Chocolate Chip Cookies Two Ways: Classic and in a Cup

Why I chose this recipe:

Why not? That’s the real question here. Chocolate chip cookies are a classic, homemade staple in the dessert world.  In fact, this is a treat that is often times more than just a dessert- it’s a memory. Who can forget the warm cookies Grandma used to make after school, or the ooey gooey chocolate chip masterpiece waiting for you when you came home from a long afternoon sledding in the snow? All too often, we associate special recipes with memorable thoughts and people. Everything about the classic chocolate chip cookie says “comfort.”

However, I don’t always have time to whip my baking tools out and make a fresh batch in the oven. And let’s face it……chips ahoy just doesn’t satisfy the craving.

Thus,  in addition to the tradional cookie, I’ve also re-created a chocolate chip cookie microwave recipe, using a typical coffee mug. Whether you’ve got the afternoon to kill, or you’re in a time crunch……these chocolate chip cookie recipes are the answer! Both are courtesy of http://www.allrecipes.com

 

What You’ll Need:

Traditional Chocolate Chip Cookies:

  • 1 cup butter, softened

  • 1 cup white sugar

  • 1 cup packed brown sugar

  • 2 eggs

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 2 teaspoons hot water

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Then, cream the butter, sugar, and brown sugar until the mixture is smooth. One at a time, beat the eggs into the mixture. Then, add vanilla. Dissolve the baking soda in hot water, and add this to the mixture along with the salt. Finally, mix in the flour and chocolate chips!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Then, cream the butter, sugar, and brown sugar until the mixture is smooth. One at a time, beat the eggs into the mixture. Then, add vanilla. Dissolve the baking soda in hot water, and add this to the mixture along with the salt. Finally, mix in the flour and chocolate chips!

 

 

Place spoonfuls evenly on a non-stick baking sheet. Bake for ten minutes.

Place spoonfuls evenly on a non-stick baking sheet. Bake for ten minutes.

They're best when eaten right out of the oven :)

They’re best when eaten right out of the oven 🙂

Chocolate Chip Cookies in a Cup:

– one tablespoon of butter

-1 1/2 teaspoons of sugar

-one teaspoon brown sugar

-one drop of vanilla

-one egg yolk

-2 tablespoons all purpose flower

-pinch of salt

-pinch of baking powder

-chocolate chips to taste

 

Melt butter in microwave, in the cup of your choice. I used a mug!

Melt butter in microwave, in the cup of your choice. I used a mug!

Mix sugar and brown sugar into mixture.

Mix sugar and brown sugar into mixture.

Add flour, baking soda, salt, and chocolate chips. I used 1/2 a cup of chocolate chips because.....I really, really like my chocolate....

Add flour, baking soda, salt, and chocolate chips. I used 1/2 a cup of chocolate chips because…..I really, really like my chocolate….

Microwave for 40 seconds, and you have a quick treat!

Microwave for 40 seconds, and you have a quick treat!

How it tasted:

I must say, I was slightly disappointed in both recipes. Perhaps this is largely in part due to the MANY cookies I have had in my 18 years (and there have been many….trust me. I have a hard time saying no.) The traditional chocolate chip cookie recipe took on a muffin-like texture. While my friends did gobble them up, I personally prefer chewier, gooey cookies. As far as the “cookie in a cup” recipe is concerned, I was also rather impartial to the results. It was edible, but had a somewhat gummy texture to the final product. It’s great if you’re in a hurry and looking for a sweet treat, however, I see it as more of a “last resort.”

Lemon Cream Cheese Filled Cupcakes w/ Lemon Glaze

Why I chose this recipe:

Monday, September 10th was National Suicide Awareness Day, and in honor of the cause, I wore a yellow ribbon representing suicide prevention, and wrote “love” on my arms to support all those who have  experienced suicide and depression. In the spirit of spreading the love, I decided to bake a cupcake recipe that tied into the “yellow” ribbon theme later that afternoon…….and nothing says yellow-y goodness like lemons. So, I adapted several recipes from the Food Network to create lemon cream cheese filled cupcakes with a lemon glaze.

What will a cupcake do to prevent suicide, you ask? Well…..not much. But YOU can do so much to benefit the cause. I started volunteering for suicide prevention as a freshman in high school, through a United Way agency called Kids Under Twenty One (KUTO). Small actions can render big results. All it took was two hours of pinning yellow ribbons on brochures, and hundreds of kids KUTO presented to in schools had valuable crisis response information  to take home with them. To learn how you can save lives, check out http://www.kuto.org! 🙂

What You’ll Need:

Cupcakes:

  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks unsalted) butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 1/4 cups cake flour or all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Cream Cheese Filling:

  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • 3/4 cup cream cheese, softened
  • lemon juice to taste
  • 1/4 cup sugar

Lemon Glaze:

  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 lemon, zest finely grated
IMG_5040

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Beat butter and sugar in a mixing bowl until well combined.

 

Add eggs and lemon juice, beat until smooth.

Add eggs and lemon juice, beat until smooth.

Add flour, baking powder, salt, and lemon zest. Continue to beat the mixture until well combined.

Add flour, baking powder, salt, and lemon zest. Continue to beat the mixture until well combined.

For filling, mash together cream cheese, lemon zest, remaining sugar, and lemon juice to taste. (I used 1/2 a cup!)

For filling, mash together cream cheese, lemon zest, remaining sugar, and lemon juice to taste. (I used 1/2 a cup!)

Fill cupcake trays halfway with batter, and drop a tablespoon of filling directly in the middle. Top the filling with one more dollap of batter, and you're ready to bake for 20 minutes!

Fill cupcake trays halfway with batter, and drop a tablespoon of filling directly in the middle. Top the filling with one more dollap of batter, and you’re ready to bake for 20 minutes!

To make the filling, heat lemon juice and confectioner's sugar in a microwave until well dissolved. Whisk in the butter and lemon zest. Top the cupcakes with just a spoonful, not too much!

To make the filling, heat lemon juice and confectioner’s sugar in a microwave until well dissolved. Whisk in the butter and lemon zest. Top the cupcakes with just a spoonful, not too much!

.....and there you have it! Lemon cream cheese cupcakes with a lemon glaze. Decorate as you please, and enjoy :-)

…..and there you have it! Lemon cream cheese cupcakes with a lemon glaze. Decorate as you please, and enjoy 🙂

How it tasted:

I was on the fence regarding this recipe……the cream cheese filling was moist and delectable, and the lemon glaze added some extra “lemon zing” that really complimented the cake. However, the cupcake itself was a tad bit dry and dense. Lemon is such a light flavor, it is better paired with a fluffier cupcake. This recipe had more of a pound cake texture. Not bad, but not amazing either.