Monday, February 27, 2012

a little love.

my dessert philosophy has always been, "more is better".

actually that kind of describes my food philosophy in general.  food and i go way back.

my mom brought me one last box of cookies from Two Smart Cookies when they moved from georgia.  they are, hands-down, the best sugar cookies you will ever tantalize your tastebuds with.  and i am not a sugar cookie person.

i made a "trial batch" of these cupcakes on thursday.  they were delicious.

obviously my frosting skills leave something to be desired.  but the more important item of note is that this photo was taken on my new phone!  that's right, i finally sucked it up and handed over $60 for a prepaid phone to switch my SIM card into.  a phone with a blurry camera.  and one which apparently doesn't have a volume control.  (seriously.  i can't find it.)  BUT it doesn't freeze up when i text and i can both make AND receive calls.  score.

the trial batch turned out exceptionally well, so i made a real batch for the girls' camp auction saturday night.  they went to a good home.  and then i realized i forgot to take pictures of them so i made yet another batch on sunday and brought them over when we had dinner with my parents and randy.

three times in 4 days.  that's saying something.

make these for someone you love.  everyone could use a little more love.

Brownie Batter-stuffed Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

adapted from here and here

yield:  about 24

brownie balls:

1/2 c butter, melted  (i use salted)
1 1/2 c white sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 c all-purpose flour
1/2 c cocoa powder

In a bowl, melt the butter.  Whisk in the sugar until incorporated, then add the eggs and vanilla.  Add the flour and cocoa and stir until just combined.  Place batter in the freezer for 10-15 minutes, so it becomes easier to work with.  Shape 1/2 tablespoons of dough into balls (it helps to wet your fingers) and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment or foil.  Freeze for several hours.

note:  you may end up with more balls than cupcakes.  do not fret.  they taste excellent right out of the freezer.

and yes, my inner 11 year-old giggles every time i type "balls".

cupcake batter:

3 c all-purpose flour
2 c white sugar
1/2 c cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2/3 c vegetable oil or melted butter (both work beautifully)
2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp white vinegar
2 c water

Preheat oven to 350.  Prepare your muffin tin by either greasing the cups or using paper liners.

In a large bowl, sift together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.  Add oil/butter, vanilla, vinegar, and water.  Whisk together until smooth.  (You can eat some.  There's a little wiggle room since the brownies displace some of the batter....)

Spoon a little cupcake batter into the bottom of each muffin cup.  Place a frozen brownie ball in, then continue to fill the cups until they are about 3/4 full with batter.

Bake for about 15 mins, or until a knife inserted comes out clean.  (I'd stab 'em a little off-center when you're checking, because the brownie batter center isn't supposed to cook all the way through.)

Allow to cool before frosting.

basic cream cheese frosting:

1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
1/4 c butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 c powdered sugar

Cream butter and cream cheese.  Add vanilla, and then powdered sugar.  Frost cupcakes as desired.   Mad props if your cupcakes don't come out looking like a four year-old did them.  Also excellent on leftover blueberry pancakes you found sitting on the counter.

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