Thursday, January 31, 2013

Cupcakes for the Office

It was Wayne's turn to bring in something for his office's monthly birthday celebration, and he requested cupcakes.  I wanted something more than just plain cupcakes from a mix, and the internet came to the rescue.  He actually wanted to take at least 3 dozen, and since one batch is usually 2 dozen, I had an excuse to try two different recipes.  That was a good thing, because I couldn't decide between these two - 
Cookies and Cream Cupcakes and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes - both of which received rave reviews.
I'll let you go to the original website for the recipe, and you definitely should give these a try some time.  Then you can let me know which one you like better.  Both of them were a hit with the co-workers, and we were asked to bring them again next time.  That's a pretty great compliment! 

The first step in the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes is to make the filling so that it can chill for an hour or so.  I decided to do that before I went to the grocery store to stock up on the unsalted butter the recipe required (two pounds - these aren't low calorie!), and it's a good thing I did, because I discovered that sweetened condensed milk can turn into dulce de leche all by itself just sitting in your pantry for years (or maybe that needs a day in a moving van in June).  Anyway, I needed to add that to the list.
The filling
While the filling's getting malleable, make the cupcakes and bake them.
The cupcake batter
Ready to bake
Once they're cooled, scoop out a bit of the cupcake, roll the filling into balls, and place in the center. I forgot to read the instructions first and didn't replace the cone tops as directed.  And I only used half the filling, so I probably should have cut bigger cones.  Isn't it nice that you can improve in the future?
Adding the filling - the "cone" method 
Once that's done, make the frosting.
The frosting
Then frost and sprinkle with chocolate chips.  The original recipe said to garnish them with a mini chocolate chip cookie as well.  However, it also said to do that just before serving so they wouldn't get soggy.  Since they were going to be sitting in the break room for a few hours, I decided to skip that step.  I don't think anyone missed the extra cookie!
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes
Showing cookie dough filling under frosting.
I forgot to take pictures of the process of making the Cookies and Cream Cupcakes, but it was pretty similar.  The little "extra" in these is an Oreo half sitting in the bottom of the cupcake.  When filling the liners, place a teaspoon of batter in each one, then the cookie, then another 1/4 cup or so of batter.  
After baking
Just like the other recipe, these were supposed to have an Oreo sticking out of the top.  I decided that was a bit much, so omitted that step.  I also thought they looked pretty plain, although I did end up sprinkling crumbs on all of them.
Showing the Oreo half at the bottom.
Bottom line?  I preferred the Cookies and Cream Cupcakes, and I think they would taste just as good without the cookie at the bottom, although it does provide a neat "cool" factor.  The other cupcakes were a bit too sweet for my taste, and a bit too grainy. However, the graininess was mentioned in the reviews so I was expecting it.  It's part of the unique "chocolate chip cookie dough" taste.  I also prefer my chocolate chips to melt in my mouth; I don't like crunching down on them at room temperature.  Anyway, that was our project for yesterday.  Let me know when you give them a try which variety you prefer!

I remembered to take pictures when I made them this year: