I think it goes without saying that if you're a chocolate chip cookie fan, these cupcakes are right up your alley! Each component - from the brown sugar chocolate chip studded cupcake base to the eggless cookie dough filling to the buttercream frosting - is utterly delicious and really does taste like cookie dough. This was a project I took on for our New Year's Eve get-together with friends, and though I'd tasted each component separately, I wondered if the combination would be too sweet or too rich, especially for our friends, who don't necessarily have a sweet tooth like mine. My concerns were quickly put to rest; the cupcakes were a big hit with everyone. In fact, after trying them, Shane was disappointed I'd only made enough for him to eat two cupcakes.
There are quite a few components to these cupcakes so I think the best strategy is to make them over the course of a few days. I started off by baking the cupcakes, and while they were in the oven, I made the filling. The cooled cupcakes went into an airtight container for the night while the filling sat in the fridge. The next day I tackled the frosting and assembled the cupcakes. Also, because I thought they were adorable, I took the extra step of making mini chocolate chip cookies (recipe here) to top them, per Annie's suggestion. The best thing about that decision? We had a ton of extra cookie dough, which I stuck in the freezer, and have used to bake fresh chocolate chip cookies for dessert most nights this week. Not much beats a warm chocolate chip cookie from the oven :) For those who like to scale back recipes as much as I do, I quartered this one and it worked beautifully - I got 6 cupcakes, and each of the components worked well, though the measurements do get a little tricky with some of the ingredients.
Regardless of how many you make, these cupcakes are completely worth the effort. I wish I'd taken a photo of the inside to show you, but I didn't make enough to try one before we went to our friend's house and completely forgot by the time we dug in. Next time, I promise!
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes
from Annie's Eats
3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk (I used whole milk), at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
6 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
7 oz. sweetened condensed milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
3 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons milk
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
To make the cupcakes: preheat oven to 350 F. Line two 12-cup muffin pans with paper liners. Measure the flour into a medium bowl. Remove 1-2 tablespoons of the flour (don't worry about being exact) and add them to a second bowl with the chocolate chips, mixing with your fingers to coat the chips with the flour (we're doing this to keep the chips from sinking to the bottom of the cupcakes when they bake); set aside. Add the baking powder, baking soda and salt to the bowl containing only the flour and whisk to combine.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and brown sugar on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 4-5 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. With the mixer on low, alternately add the dry ingredients and the milk to the bowl, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients, beating just until incorporated. Mix in the vanilla. Finally, add the chocolate chips that were combined with the flour, and use a rubber spatula to combine until evenly distributed.
Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans, filling each well about 3/4-full. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool for about 5 minutes in the pan, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the filling: Use a hand mixer to cream the butter and brown sugar in a medium bowl until pale and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Add the flour, sweetened condensed milk and vanilla and beat to combine. Switch to a rubber spatula and mix in the mini chocolate chips. Wrap the "dough" in plastic wrap and refrigerate until it firms up, at least an hour. (I left mine in the fridge overnight and it was fine - I just let it sit on my counter for 30 minutes or so the next day before I filled the cupcakes.)
To fill the cupcakes: Use a paring knife to cut a cone-shaped piece from the center of each cupcake (if you've never done this, helpful photos here). Place a piece of the cookie dough filling in the hole in the center of each cupcake.
To make the frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and brown sugar until creamy, about 3-4 minutes. Add the confectioners' sugar and beat until smooth. Finally, add the flour and salt and beat briefly to combine, then add the milk and vanilla extract and beat until incorporated.
Frost the filled cupcakes and garnish, if desired.