Pre-Op Cupcakes

February 7, 2009

We had a weird day yesterday. My older son was recently diagnosed with a hernia and his surgery was scheduled for yesterday. He has also had a herniated belly button for two years now and the surgeon figured it would be best to fix it at the same time since it would need fixing eventually anyway.

Before they took him back to the OR, the doctor examined him one more time and was having trouble feeling the hernia. He decided that since he was going to be operating on the belly button anyway, they would send a scope in through the navel to take a look and see if there was, in fact, a hernia. When all was said and done, the surgeon said he was 99% sure there was no hernia and just fixed the belly button.

I feel relieved and also somewhat puzzled. My son has been complaining of pain and I and all the medical people involved thought a hernia made sense. Now that that is not what it is, I wonder and worry about what it is that is causing him pain. But on the bright side, the surgery is over and he was a total trooper. He is a little weepy and sleepy today but seems just fine. Watching him walk back to the OR with the anesthesiologist made me burst into tears – after he had rounded the corner of course.

Cupcakes? Oh yes, the cupcakes. Well, if you or anyone you know has had surgery, you know that you are not allowed to eat or drink after a certain time. You also don’t really feel much like eating after the surgery, even if you are allowed to. I knew his last good meal for a while was going to be dinner the night before the operation and I also know that my son LOVES cupcakes. So I made him chocolate chip cupcakes with a chocolate glaze. These little beauties come from a simple little cookbook called Cupcakes! which I kind of scoffed at at first. But I have made quite a few recipes from the book and they all have been delicious. My husband said he liked these best of all. My son was too busy eating to give his opinion.

The cake part of these cupcakes has the flavor of a chocolate chip cookie but the texture of a brownie – nice and dense. I actually made these a few weeks ago, allowed them to cool completely, wrapped them well in foil, and froze them. They didn’t suffer one bit from their time in the cold. When I thawed them, I made sure to lay them out so that they didn’t stick together. The glaze is quite thin so I just put a little dollop on top and allowed it to harden at room temperature for an hour or so. If you follow the recipe as written, you will have more glaze than you need for the cupcakes, but you can refrigerate any extra for 2 weeks in a covered container and just reheat portions of it as needed.

Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

Adapted from
Makes 18 regular cupcakes

I didn’t have cupcake liners on hand so I just sprayed my muffin tins really well. They came out of the pan just fine. I think if you plan to freeze them, I would skip the liners anyway. If you plan to freeze them, do not glaze them – do it after they have thawed.

2 cups flour
2 cups packed light brown sugar

1 tsp. baking soda

1 stick cold butter, cut into pieces

1 large egg

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup sour cream

1/4 cup whole milk

2 cups (12 oz.) semisweet chocolate chips

Position a rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line 18 muffin tin cups with paper cupcake liners.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on low speed, mix the flour, brown sugar, and baking soda to blend them. Add the butter and mix until the butter pieces are the size of peas, about 2 minutes. You will still seem some loose flour. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bow as needed during mixing. Mix in the egg and vanilla. The batter will still look dry. Mix in the sour cream and milk until the batter looks evenly moistened; you may still seem some lumps of butter. Mix in the chocolate chips.

Fill each paper liner with a generous 1/4 cup of batter, to about 1/3 inch from the top of the liner. Bake just until the tops feel firm and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Cool the cupcakes for 10 minutes in the pans on wire racks.

Carefully turn out the cupcakes on to the wire racks and turn right side up to cool completely. Add the chocolate glaze either by drizzling with a fork or by spooning a bit on top of each cupcake. Allow to sit until glaze is firm. The cupcakes can be covered and stored at room temperature for up to 2 days.

Chocolate Glaze
Makes 2 cups

1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into 2 pieces

3 tbsp. light corn syrup

9 oz. (1
1/2 cups) semisweet chocolate chips
tsp. vanilla

In a medium saucepan, heat the cream, butter, and corn syrup over low heat until the cream is hot and the butter has melted. The mixture should form tiny bubbles – do not let it boil. Remove the pan from the heat, add the chocolate chips, cover, and let them sit for about 30 seconds to soften. Add the vanilla and whisk the sauce until it is smooth and the chocolate has melted. Allow to cool slightly.


  1. Glad to hear your son dealt with the surgery well. Hopefully his pains will subside! :)
    And regarding the cupcakes, that glaze looks great. I didn’t think it would harden like that at room temperature.

    Comment by Chris — February 8, 2009 @ 11:18 pm

  2. So glad he is doing well! I knew he would do great. The nurses loved him, didn’t they? I’m sure I will be a wreck if one of my boys ever needs surgery. You deserve a medal for holding out until he rounded that corner.
    Can’t wait to try these cupcakes, as cupcakes around here earn a happy dance of thanks.

    Comment by Mara — February 8, 2009 @ 11:33 pm

  3. This recipe looks fantastic! Thank you for sharing. My best wishes to your son. I’m sorry the little man had to go through that. Poor thing!

    Comment by redmenace — February 9, 2009 @ 3:19 pm

  4. Dana, so glad to know your son is ok! hope he enjoyed the scrumptious looking cupcakes :)

    Comment by veggie belly — February 9, 2009 @ 5:31 pm

  5. Dana, I wish your son the fastest recovery! I hope he will feel better soon.

    Comment by Vera — February 10, 2009 @ 6:10 pm

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