I baked some cupcakes yesterday.
For my fellow peanut butter and chocolate loving friend.
Happy Birthday Meg.
Last year I made her this behemoth.
This year, we are classing it up a little more.
Recipe: Adapted and changed slightly from Joy the Baker
For the cupcakes:
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 cups white sugar
1 cup cocoa powder (dutch process would be fine)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup canola oil
2 teaspoons white vinegar
2 cups cold water
For the Cookie Dough Balls:
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup, plus 2 tablespoons a.p. flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons natural peanut butter
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
For the Meringue:
4 large egg whites
1 1/4 cups white sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
large pinch of salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line two cupcake pans with paper liners.
In a large bowl sift together all your dry ingredients, except the espresso powder.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, water, vanilla, vinegar and espresso powder.
Slowly whisk the wet ingredients into the dry. Do not over mix, but try to get as many lumps out as possible. It’s a wet batter.
Pour the batter into your cupcake pans, about 2/3 full. Place in your oven for 20-24 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Cool in the pan for 10 minutes and move the cupcakes to a wire rack until completely cooled.
For the cookie dough balls:
While the cupcakes are cooking, in your stand mixer (or hand mixer), fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in peanut butter, and then the vanilla extract.
Whisk the flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl. With the machine off, add all at once to the mixer and mix on low until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
Spoon a tablespoon and a half – 2 tablespoon sized bits of cookie dough into your hand and roll in a ball. If you have portion scoop for making cookies, you can use it for this. Roll 24 cookie dough balls, place onto a cookie sheet and chill in the refrigerator until ready to top the cupcakes.
For the Meringue:
In a large pot, bring 2 inches of water to a simmer.
In a large heat proof bowl, mix together the egg whites, sugar, corn syrup and salt.
Place the bowl over the simmering water and whisk until the sugar has completely dissolved. This takes about 4-5 minutes. Do not walk away at this point, make sure your whisk the entire time. If you don’t, you will cook your eggs.
Transfer the mixture to your stand mixer, now fitted with a whisk attachment. Beat the egg whites on high for another 5 minutes until stiff peaks form. It will be fluffy and glossy, and very sticky. Beat in the vanilla extract at the last moment. You can do this ahead of time, just cover and sit aside.
Assembling the cupcakes:
Using a small paring knife, cut a 3/4 inch whole out of the top of the cupcakes. Not a lot, just enough to place the cookie dough ball in.
Place dough balls on top of the cupcakes.
Place meringue in a pastry bag fitted with a medium or star tip. Pipe frosting around the edges of the cupcake and up around the cookie dough ball in a circular motion.
Turn on your broiler.
Place 12 of the cupcakes on a baking sheet. Place the cupcakes under the broiler for about a minute (slightly more if you like burnt marshmallow). You might have to rotate the pan to make sure they cook evenly.
Remove and broil the remaining 12 cupcakes.
Makes 24 cupcakes, and can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container.