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Ridiculous Cupcakes

July 14, 2011

Guys and girls whine about how the other plays games, how it’s all so complicated.  We all claim to want it simple.  But I’m secretly hoping boys don’t like simplicity.  Because these cupcakes are DEFINITELY not simple.

Chocolate cupcakes with a little ball of peanut butter chocolate chip cookie dough tucked inside, smothered in marshmallow frosting that is toasted under the broiler to give it the look, and taste, of a marshmallow roasted over a campfire.  Like I said.  NOT simple.

I’m in the midst of applying to jobs, submitting resumes, writing cover letters, and reaching out to every corner of the earth to get some networking connections. Life is a little complicated right now and perhaps these cupcakes are my way of expressing that.  Or maybe it’s my life is mimicking the cupcakes?  Oscar Wilde once said that “Life imitates Art far more than Art Imitates Life.”  Tomorrow, maybe I’ll just make some plain ol’ chocolate chip cookies.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and Toasted Marshmallow Meringue Frosting

Ingredients:

For the Cupcakes:

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups granulated sugar

1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

2/3 cup vegetable oil

2 teaspoons white vinegar

2 cups cold water

 

For the Cookie Dough Balls:

1 stick (1/2 cup or 4 ounces) unsalted butter at room temperature

1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda (for flavor)

3/4 teaspoons salt

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2-3 tablespoons natural peanut butter (if you don’t want the peanut butter flavor, you can use yogurt instead)

1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

 

For the Marshmallow Meringue:

4 large egg whites

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1/2 cup light corn syrup

large pinch of salt

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

 

For the Cupcakes:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line two cupcake pans with paper liners and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients together.  Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, water, vanilla extract and vinegar.

Slowly whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.  Do not overmix.  The mixture will very wet– that’s ok!

Pour the batter until the cups are two thirds full and place in the oven for 20ish minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cup comes out clean.

Cool in the pan for 10 minutes then place on a wire rack until completely cool before topping with cookie dough ball.

For the Cookie Dough Balls:

In the bowl of a stand mixer fit with a paddle attachment cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy.  Add in peanut butter along with the vanilla extract and stir to combine.

Whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.  Add all at once to the butter and sugar mixture and beat on low until incorporated.  Fold in chocolate chips.

Create cookie dough balls by rolling in your palms, they should be a little over an inch in diameter. Place on a cookie sheet.  Make 24 cookie dough balls, and freeze until ready to assemble cupcakes.

For the Marshmallow Meringue:

Bring about 2 inches of water to a simmer.

In a large, heat-proof bowl (I used a glass pyrex bowl), whisk together egg whites, sugar, corn syrup and salt.  The mixture will be grainy, because of the sugar.

Put bowl over simmering water and whisk as it heats.  The sugar will dissolve after just a few minutes. Watch the mixture carefully.  If the mixture gets too hot, the eggs will cook and you will have a really gross thing on your hands.

Transfer the egg white and sugar mixture to the bowl of an electric stand mixer (thank goodness for the KitchenAid!).  With a whisk attachment, beat the egg whites, on high, until stiff peaks form.  The mixture will be fluffy, glossy, sticky, and look like melted marshmallows.  Beat in the vanilla extract.

To Assemble Cupcakes:

Use a small knife to cut a 3/4-inch whole out of the top/center of the cupcakes.  No need to cut the whole center of the cupcake out.   You just need to make a little hole for the dough ball so it doesn’t roll off and a puppy eats it.  Woops.

Place dough balls on top of cupcakes.

Place marshmallow meringue frosting in a large Ziplock bag with just a bit of the tip cut.  Use your instincts for the size of the tip.  Pipe frosting around the edges of the cupcake and over the dough ball in a circular motion.  Frost all cupcakes.

Turn on oven broiler.

Place 12 cupcakes on a baking sheet.  Place cupcakes under the broiler for about 1 minute.  Keep the broiler door open a bit.  Keep an eye on them as they toast.  They cook really fast so for realz, don’t look away.  Once toasted, remove cupcakes, and toast the remaining 12 in the same fashion.

Store these an an airtight container for up to four days.  Or just take them to the brewery you work at and let everyone there at them.  That’s my plan….

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