chocolate chip cookie dough cupcakes

If you’re afraid of sugar – just look away now.  These chocolate chip cookie dough cupcakes are sinful. And truly, I don’t normally cook like this. Or eat like this. Honestly. There’s been homemade baked beans, sweet potato lasagna, curried butternut squash soup, and a couple of beautiful frittatas, and all manner of other reasonable, healthy food in my kitchen over the course of the last couple of weeks. But as great as a kale, sausage,and feta frittata is, how could it possibly compare to a cupcake? Especially a chocolate chip cookie dough cupcake?

I was working on a freelance story a couple of weeks ago, when the person I was interviewing happened to mention these cupcakes in passing. “WOW,” I said, swooning ever so slightly over the mere thought of them (I was very hungry at the time), “May I please have the recipe?”

Turns out, I never got the recipe so I Googled and put my own recipe together. One of my daughters (grown-up and working on her master’s degree) has a birthday coming up and I thought I’d do a trial run. I used my regular chocolate chip cookie recipe (essentially brown sugar shortbread with dark chocolate chips to which I normally also add crystallized ginger) and a standard vanilla cupcake recipe. The crowning glory – cookie dough frosting. The cupcakes didn’t hang around long. The birthday is next week and I’ll be making another batch. These are seriously festive party food. Cupcakes for adults.

You need to start well ahead of when you’ll need these because the chocolate chip cookie dough should be frozen first. Once you have that done – the cupcakes are a breeze to whip up. The cakes will rise up beautifully but when you take them out of the oven – they will collapse. Don’t worry. That’s normal. The frozen dough will do that but it’s part of the charm. There’s no egg in the cookie dough so there’s no risk of poisoning everyone either. A win win! 😉

This will make about 12-14 cupcakes depending on what size cupcake liners you use. I used extra-large (not jumbo) and the proportions seemed about right.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes

For the cookie dough:

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup of unbleached all-purpose flour
  • dash salt
  • 1 cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips – use mini chips or lightly process the larger chips in your food processor to make for easier cutting of the frozen dough

For the cupcakes:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1/2 cup safflower oil (or other decent quality oil)
  • 1 & 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (sour your own with a tbsp of lemon juice or white vinegar)

For the cookie dough frosting:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 1/4 cups icing sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • dash salt
  • 1 tbsp milk or cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Cookie Dough:

Begin well in advance by mixing the chocolate chip cookie dough. Cream the butter and sugar together, add the flour and salt. Mix in the chocolate chips. Roll the dough into a long sausage and cover in Saran wrap or wax paper and freeze for at least four hours.

Cupcake batter:

To make the cupcake batter, beat the eggs and sugar for about a minute. Add the vanilla and oil and beat another minute. Stir together the dry ingredients and add half the mixture, then half the buttermilk and mix gently. Repeat using up the flour mixture and buttermilk, and mixing gently until just combined.

Heat oven to 350 (I used convect bake).  Line a couple of cupcake tins with cupcake/muffin liners.

Place a tablespoon or so over cupcake batter into the bottom of the cupcake liners.

Remove the frozen dough from freezer and slice into 14 equally sized, approximately 3/4 inch / 2cm high discs.

Place the discs of frozen dough on the cupcake batter. Cover with remaining cupcake batter. Make sure the cookie dough is covered. You can fill the liners at least 2/3 full and possibly a little more. If you have leftover dough – make a plain cupcake or two.

Place the cupcakes in the oven and bake for 12-14 minutes or until risen and browned. You want the cupcake batter cooked so you can test with a toothpick but the cookie dough will remain doughy. if the cupcake batter is cooked, remove the cupcake and let them cool completely in the pan. Don’t overcook these. Mine were ready at 12 minutes. If you err on the side of caution – you will end up cooking your cookie dough too – and the cupcakes just won’t be as fabulous.

Cookie Dough Frosting:

Using a hand beater (or stand mixer if you have one – I don’t) – beat all the ingredients until well-mixed. Adjust if necessary by adding a tiny bit more milk or icing sugar to achieve correct consistency. Frost the cooled cupcakes. 

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