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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Toasted Marshmallow Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes

 Peanut allergies aren't easy. They require so much effort when going out to eat. You have to tell the server to let the kitchen know that you have a peanut allergy. After they go tell the kitchen, the server usually comes back saying that they have almonds in the kitchen.
Peanut allergies are confusing to most people, but let me explain. 
Peanuts are not nuts. They are no where related to almonds or cashews. 
They are legumes. Related to chick peas, or soy, or bean sprouts. 
This recipe called for peanut butter, but I geniusly substituted yogurt to bind the cookie dough together. It worked.
 These cupcakes were delicious, but annoying as hell, and I would have to call them a disaster. 
I would never make them again, at least, I'd omit the marshmallow (meringue) frosting, and use a different one. 
I tried making the meringue twice. The first time it was very runny and never formed stiff peaks, the second time it was barely stiff enough to make 9 cupcakes, and then became to soft to nicely frost the rest of the cupcakes. A-nn-oy-in-g.
 That's not to say that they weren't delicious, because they were. I just wouldn't recommend making the meringue the same way that this recipe says to. If you have a better way, use that way.
None-the-less, if you make these, and they come out right, you'll be saying "yumm". 

Toasted Marshmallow Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes
makes 24 cupcakes
cupcakes from Organic and Chic
meringue from Take a Megabite

For the Cupcakes:
(if you don’t want to use all organic ingredients… this recipe will still turn out wonderfully)
2 1/4 cups organic all-purpose flour
2 cups organic cane sugar
1 cup organic unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon organic vanilla extract
2/3 cup organic canola oil
2 teaspoons organic 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 (i know we’re not baking them, it’s 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 have a nut allergy, 2 tablespoons of yogurt will work as a binder as well)
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

For the Meringue:
4 large egg whites
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
large pinch of salt
2 teaspoons pure 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, sift 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 being careful not to overmix.  The mixture will be quite wet, but that’s ok.
Pour the batter until the cups are two thirds full and place in the oven for 20-24 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 (or with a large bowl and a wooden spoon) cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about three minutes in the machine.  Beat in peanut butter (or yogurt if using) 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 stir until incorporated.  Fold in chocolate chips.
Spoon a scant tablespoons size amount of dough in your hand.  Roll into a ball and place on a cookie sheet.  Make 24 little cookie dough balls, and refrigerate until ready to top the cupcakes.

For the Meringue:
In a large pot, bring about 2 inches of water to a simmer.
In a large, heat-proof bowl, whisk together egg whites, sugar, corn syrup and salt.  The mixture will be grainy, because of the sugar.
Place bowl over simmering water and whisk as it heats.  The sugar will dissolve after about 5 minutes.  Keep and eye on the mixture, it shouldn’t get warm enough to cook the eggs.  Yucky.
Transfer the egg white and sugar mixture to the bowl of an electric stand mixer.  With a whisk attachment, beat the egg whites, on high, until stiff peaks form (about 5 minutes)  The mixture will be fluffy and glossy and look like melted marshmallows.  It’ll be sticky too.  Beat in the vanilla extract last.   Cover, and set aside until ready to frost cupcakes.

To Assemble Cupcakes:
Use a small paring knife to cut a 3/4-inch whole out of the top/center of the cupcakes.  Don’t cut the whole center of the cupcake out… just make a little hole for the dough ball to rest without rolling off.
Place dough balls on top of cupcakes.
Place meringue frosting in a pastry bag (or large Ziplock bag) fitted with a medium-large tip.  Use your instincts for the size of the tip.  Any size (star or round) medium tip will do for frosting these cupcakes.  Pipe frosting around the edges of the cupcake and over the dough ball in a circular motion.  Frost all cupcakes.
Turn on oven broiler.  Yea… it’s about to get real.
Place 12 cupcakes on a baking sheet.  Place cupcakes under the broiler for about 1 minute.  Don’t even close the broiler door.  Keep an eye on them as they toast.  You may need to remove the cupcakes and rotate the pan to ensure that they cook evenly.  Once toasted, remove cupcakes, and toast the remaining 12 in the same fashion.
Serve cupcakes!
Cupcakes will last, in an airtight container in the refrigerator, for up to 4 days.  They’re delicious.

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