Sunday, February 5, 2012

Chocolate Chip Cupcakes with Brown Sugar Frosting

I have yet to share a recipe on my website, and i thought it would be fun to start with cupcakes.  If you remember my first giveaway a couple months ago, you know that i LOVE cupcakes!  And this recipe is fantastic, though it does take a little bit of time and a few extra steps, its definitely worth it!  I made these for my husband's co-workers and they went over so well that i made them again a week later for my in-laws too.

The cake itself is light and fluffy and i paired it with a delicious brown sugar frosting.  so good!!!  If you are a coffee lover (which i am) they also tasted great with an espresso buttercream.  These would be so much fun to make for Valentine's day...just add some heart shaped sprinkles and you will be good to go! 

Have A Sweet Day!

Chocolate Chip Cupcakes
3/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon sifted cake flour (not self-rising)
4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk (i used 1%)
1/2 cup plus 6 tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 3/4 cups sugar
5 large egg whites, room temperature
2 cups (12 oz) semisweet chocolate chips

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line standard muffin tins with paper liners.  Whisk together 3 1/4 cups cake flour, the baking powder, and salt.  Stir the vanilla into the milk to combine.

2) With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter until smooth.  Adding the sugar in a steady stream, beat until pale and fluffy.  Reduce speed to low.  Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of milk mixture, and beating until just combined after each.

3) In another bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, whisk the egg whites until peaks form (do not overmix).  Fold one-third of the egg whites into the batter to lighten.  Gently fold in the remaining whites until just combined.  Toss chocolate chips with remaining tablespoon of cake flour, and then gently fold into batter.  This simple step really helps to keep the chocolate chips from falling to the bottom of each cupcake while baking.

4) Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full.  Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean and the tops are springy to the touch, about 22 minutes.  although baking times will vary depending on your oven.  i only baked mine for about 18 minutes and they were perfect.  Make sure to check on your cupcakes towards the end, this batter seems to overbake quickly.

5) Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes.  Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.

6) To finish, frost your cupcakes.  Decorate with mini chocolate chips, sprinkles, etc.  Have fun with it!

Brown Sugar Frosting
3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup light brown sugar, packed
3½ cups confectioners’ sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
¾ tsp. salt
3 tbsp. milk
2½ tsp. vanilla extract

1) To make the frosting, beat together the butter and brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until creamy.

2) Mix in the confectioners’ sugar until smooth.

3) Beat in the flour and salt. Finally, mix in the milk and vanilla extract until smooth and well blended.

4) Decorate as desired.  I like to use a 1M tip for cupcakes.

Espresso Buttercream (an extra frosting option, in case you are in a coffee mood)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2½ cups powdered sugar
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1½ teaspoons espresso powder

1) Mix the espresso powder into the vanilla until dissolved; set aside.

2) Using the whisk attachment of a stand mixer, whip the butter on medium-high speed for 5 minutes, stopping once to scrape the sides of the bowl. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the powdered sugar a little at a time, waiting until it is mostly incorporated before adding more.

3) Once all of the powdered sugar has been added, scrape the sides of the bowl and increase the speed to medium-high and whip until fluffy, about a minute or two. Add the espresso and vanilla mixture and continue to mix at medium-high until it is completely incorporated, scraping the sides as necessary.

Sources:  for the cupcakes, Martha Stewart's Cupcakes
             for the espresso buttercream, Brown Eyed Baker
             for the brown sugar frosting, Annie's Eats 
                (if you visit Annie's page, check out her cookie dough
                    cupcakes, they are amazing!)



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