There's lots of talk whether the cupcake is in or out, but controversy aside, the sweet little morsels and all of the endless spin-offs cannot be ignored. They and their progeny, cake pops, are still enjoying a high wave of popularity. Recently I saw another blogger bake a cake pop into the center of a chocolate chip cookie, and I wondered what other sinful combinations I could come up with when two of my favorite desserts collided. How did I fare baking a chocolate chip cookie inside a yellow cupcake, iced with cream cheese frosting? Read on to find out!
How'd it go? Do you even have to ask yourself this question? It was awesome! In this weird, inverted upside-down culinary world I created for myself anything can happen — cookies can go inside cupcakes.
I was only sad I hadn't come upon this notion before. You see, there's nothing I enjoy more (confectionarily speaking, of course) than straight up yellow cake and plain chocolate chip cookies. I love rosemary-dusted plum crostata and avocado mousse just as much as the next adventurous lady, but my heart, it lies with the plain Jane classics from my youth. Every year, my parents encouraged me to bake my own cupcakes for my school birthday, a task I looked forward to with each passing grade. What with the paper crown my teacher made for me and the yellow cake recipe I always chose, the day passed into what I remember as little kid nirvana.
Now it was this post over on SugarDerby that inspired me to deviate into unknown territory. While I'm curious to try Melissa's incarnation (a red velvet cake ball baked into a chocolate chip cookie) I wanted something based rooted in a cake dessert. I was going to a friend's birthday party later that evening and wanted to present something celebratory. It then dawned on me to reverse the cake ball/cookie idea. I used Faith's tried and true DIY yellow cake recipe (I know a superb recipe when I see one!) and for the cookies, I went with the Nestle Tollhouse recipe from the chocolate chip bag (my all-time favorite).
To gild the lily, I whipped up a batch of cream cheese frosting I read about a few months ago. Voilè, the chocolate chip cookie-stuffed yellow cupcake was born!
Notes on the Results:
• The interior cookie takes on a mild, cake-scented flavor because of its being enrobed in cake batter. It doesn't develop the caramelized texture that so defines a chocolate chip cookie. Incredibly, the cookie dough does cook all the way through though in the 20-25 minutes it takes to bake the cupcakes.
• I experimented with freezing the generous 1/2 teaspoon of cookie dough before I baked the cookie-filled cupcakes and found it made no difference than the results I got with room temperature dough. Both cookie dough centers did sink to the bottom of the cookie, and if anyone has thoughts on whether it's possible to keep the dough ball in suspension, at the center of the cupcake, I'm all ears!
• Tasters found the overall effect to be like 'eating a chocolate-chip cookie-flavored cupcake.' Interesting interpretation. Not sure how I'd feel about these if I didn't know what I was 'supposed to be tasting,' the two different desserts I knew went into the treat.
• I could see a lot of variations on this same idea — red velvet with shortbread would be visually striking as would a deep chocolate oreo cake with a blondie at the center. Why not try your favorite cookie with your favorite cake recipe? Innovation and curiosity make for very tasty results — most of the time!
(Images: Leela Cyd Ross)