I’m going to sound like a huge party pooper here, but I’m over the whole cupcake thing. I subscribe to many a blog and when they post about cupcakes, I just hit delete. I’m over the multitudes of new cupcake shops opening all over this and every other town. I’m just over it. About the only place I like to see cupcakes is in these illustrations.
But I have children and children love cupcakes. I hit up the local shops and I bake them for my boys. My boys love sweets but nothing makes them happier than a cupcake. Just seeing their faces makes me feel over my “over it” attitude.
This week, I need several desserts. We had a high school friend of Randy’s over for dinner last night, I am teaching a cooking class on Thursday, and we need to celebrate the birthday of our incredible babysitter. I made one big batch to satisfy all needs.
A word about Erika, our babysitter. She watches the boys two mornings a week and has babysat for us over two separate weekends. She is amazing for many reasons. First of all, I like her. I feel comfortable around her and enjoy her company. She cleans up around the house, does laundry, takes the boys outside to the park and to the local doughnut shop, and she plays all kinds of crazy games with them. Most importantly, she loves them. She really truly does and tells them so. I have informed her that she can never move and she can never get married because I can’t imagine our life without her.
This Friday is her birthday and I know the boys will want to celebrate with her, seeing as “Happy Birthday” is one of their favorite songs. I know they will enjoy sharing these!
The cupcakes come from a book my husband (who will never be over the cupcake thing) bought me a couple of years ago. It is entitled, imaginatively, Cupcakes! and it has become my go-to for this type of dessert. There are lots of good recipes, from the basic to the fancy. If you have cupcake lovers in your house, I highly recommend it.
Mississippi Mud Cupcakes
Adapted from Cupcakes!
Makes 18-24 regular cupcakes
I used Newman’s Own for the cookies. The recipe says the yield is 18, but I got 24 – never a bad thing!
2 1/4 cups crushed chocolate sandwich cookies , in 1/2 inch to 1/4 inch pieces
1 cup (6oz.) semisweet chocolate chips
Chocolate Sour Cream Cupcake Batter (recipe follows)
3 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped
Position a rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 18 muffin tin cups with paper cupcake liners.
Spoon 1 tbsp. of the cookie pieces into the bottom of each paper liner, then spoon about 8 chocolate chips over the cookie pieces in each liner. Spoon a scant 1/4 cup of batter over the chocolate chips. Sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips and cookie pieces over the tops, pressing them gently into the batter.
Bake just until the tops feel firm and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 22 minutes. Cool the cupcakes for 20 minutes in the pans on a wire rack.
Carefully lift the cupcakes from the pan and place them on a wire rack to cool completely. Put the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl and place it over, but not touching, a saucepan of barely simmering water. Stir until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Remove from the water and set aside to cool slightly.
Use a small spoon to drizzle thin lines of melted chocolate over the top of each cooled cupcake. The cupcakes can be covered and stored at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Chocolate Sour Cream Cupcake Batter
This is a great basic cupcake to have in your repetoire. All kinds of frosting taste great on top.
3 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup water
Put the chocolate ina heatproof bowl and place it over, but not touching, a saucepan of barely simmering water. Stir until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Remove from the water and set aside to cool slightly.
Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl and set aside.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter and sugar until smoothly blended and creamy, about 2 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl as needed during mixing. On low speed, mix in the melted chocolate. On medium speed, add the eggs one at a time, mixing well until each is blended into the batter. Add the vanilla and beat until the mixture looks creamy and the color has lightened slightly, about 1 minute. Mix in the sour cream until no white streaks remain. On low speed, add half of the flour mixture, mixing just to incorporate it. Mix in the water. Mix in the remaining flour mixture unil it is incorporated and the batter looks smooth. Proceed with above recipe.