Thursday, 24 March 2011

Cookie Dough Cupcakes Take 2...and King Conch!

If it's nice bake it twice! That's my rule, actually it's not - I just wanted to make up a rhyme!
but seriously these cookie dough cupcakes are so amazing that even though they have 4 different steps to make them I still made them twice!

We were going for a farewell meal with some friends of ours, we leave the Island a week today! and when I made these cupcakes originally a few weeks back we had shared them with our friends - they had raved about them so I knew there was no other option for dessert but these!

They were just as good 2nd time round, I still don't know how the flour in the frosting works but it just does! It is a whole lot of cookie goodness in a cupcake! and if you haven't made these yet you need to do so right now! 

It's up to you what order you make them in, I made the cupcakes and the cookie dough the night before and then made the frosting and the cookies for the decoration the next day.  If you can make all four parts in one day go for it, but since I work I didn't have the time.

Here's the recipe, which comes from the blog Annie's Eats

Cookie Dough Cupcakes
Makes 24 Cupcakes

For the cupcakes:
3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1½ cups light brown sugar, packed
4 large eggs
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
1 cup milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips (semisweet or bittersweet)
For the filling:
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
6 tbsp. light brown sugar, packed
1 cup plus 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
7 oz. sweetened condensed milk
½ tsp. vanilla extract
¼ cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
For the 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
For decoration:
chocolate chip cookies (I made mine using the leftover cookie dough)
Chocolate chips
For the cupcakes: preheat the oven to 350° F.  Line two cupcake pans with paper liners (24 total).  In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and brown sugar.  Beat together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Mix in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.  Stir together to blend.  Add the dry ingredients to the mixer bowl on low speed, alternating with the milk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients, mixing each addition just until incorporated.  Blend in the vanilla.  Fold in the chocolate chips with a spatula.
Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cupcake liners (filling about 3/4 full).   Bake for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Allow to cool in the pan 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
For the cookie dough filling: combine the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl and cream on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Beat in the flour, sweetened condensed milk and vanilla until incorporated and smooth.  Stir in the chocolate chips.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the mixture has firmed up a bit, about an hour. I refrigerated mine over night and just took it out of the fridge for 30 minutes before I filled my cupcakes.
To fill the cupcakes, cut a cone-shaped portion out of the center of each cupcake.  Fill each hole with a chunk of the chilled cookie dough mixture.
For the frosting: beat together the butter and brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until creamy.  Mix in the icing sugar until smooth.  Beat in the flour and salt.  Mix in the milk and vanilla extract until smooth and well blended.
For the cookies: Make 2p coin size balls of dough, (or quarters size if you're American) and flatten them with the palm of your hand.  Place them on a baking sheet and bake in a 350° F oven for about 8-12 minutes, keep checking them as they bake fast 'cause they're so tiny!
Frost the filled cupcakes as desired, sprinkling with mini chocolate chips (or regular ones if you don't have mini's - you can even chop regular ones into quarters) and top with the mini chocolate chip cookies for decoration.

Friday, 18 March 2011

Triple Chocolate Fudge Brownies

So I know I only just posted the other day but with 3 boys in the house right now my baked goods don't last for long! 

If there's one thing I love it's baking, but the thing I love most is baking for others! so I took a vote and everyone wanted brownies.  

I knew I needed to whip up a batch of these brownies that I made for Valentine's, but I forgot what problems I had with them last time! The baking time in the original recipe states 30 minutes, I kept mine going for at least an hour because I kept checking on them and they still weren't cooking in the middle! Eventually the boys were far too hungry to wait any longer and I just pulled them out and served them all warm and gooey with vanilla and fudge ice cream.  Once they had a chance to firm up they turned out pretty good in the end...

and what made them extra special was the chunks of Dairy Milk I threw in, thanks to all the bars I got brought over from England! and of course a drizzle of my favourite Madagascan vanilla Swiss white chocolate really pushed them over the decadence edge! My father in law said they were the best brownies he had ever tasted...result!

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Oh-Oh-Oh...Oatmeal & Chocolate Chip Cookies

We found that amazing conch on the beach!!

Byron has been requesting these for sometime now, and whatever Byron wants he gets! Although he did have to wait a while for these! 

Oatmeal has never featured in my daily diet, it is far too healthy! So I can't say I've ever been an oatmeal cookie fan, why would I choose to eat a semi healthy cookie when I could go for a double choc cookie or something equally delicious?! 

That all changed when By and I took part time jobs at Subway when we were students.  We used to bake the cookies in store, and oh man when those Oatmeal & Raisin cookies were baking up the smell was to die for! Even though I'm not a raisin lover, those cookies were tasty enough to change my mind!!
However Byron is an avid raisin hater, amazing smell or not there was nothing that could tempt him to try those cookies! 

At the time he said he wished he could have eaten the oatmeal cookies, perhaps if one day I made them with chocolate chips he could indulge in some too...well that day was yesterday (5 years later! yes By gets what he wants, sometimes he just has to wait a little while!)

I found this little beaut of a recipe, and it definitely produced some yummy cookies...I would take these over oatmeal & raisin any day, as would Byron! 

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Banoffee Pie...quintessentially English!

We had some American friends of ours over for dinner this week.  We wanted to make them a 'traditional' English meal so By cooked up a homemade curry! and I whipped up a Banoffee pie.  It was our friends first time trying both! For any Americans following my blog who are rather confused about our national dish...yes, it was fish and chips once upon a time but in more recent years it has been usurped by curry, Chicken Tikka Masala to be exact! It will come as no surprise to hear that Indian restaurants account for over two thirds of all eating out in England, we just love our curries - and I for one cannot wait to get back to the U.K in less than a month as I miss not having Indian restaurants on the Island! 

But I digress...back to the Banoffee, Banoffee pie is an English pastry based dessert made from banana, toffee and cream.  It always struck me as funny that this is an English dish considering when I think pie I think of America but apparently The Hungry Monk restaurant in East Sussex who first developed it in 1972, were in-fact inspired by an American dish.

Their Banoffee pie was made on a pastry base, but they can also be made with crumbled biscuits and butter (like the one I made).  The inventor, Ian Dowding, has since made the original recipe available online because one of his pet hates are biscuit crumb bases...oops sorry Ian! 

I happen to like the biscuit crumb base, and it is also a time saver rather than making pastry from scratch! Traditionally in the UK a biscuit like hobnobs would be used.  They sell these in the English aisle of the supermarket here but on the day I tried to get them they only had the hobnobs sandwiched together with vanilla cream, rather than the originals.  I had to make do with those, and as a result my crust was slightly moister than usual but still tasty! Once the crust is cooled you add a layer of dulche de leche and chill for an hour.

Here you can see the dulche de leche peeking through underneath the chopped up bananas.

You then add a generous amount of whipped cream...

and I finished mine off with a drizzle of chocolate ganache.

Whilst enjoying the dessert with our friends the power went out, which is an all too common occurrence here on the Island.  We scrambled to find candles and get a light source going, all the while our American friend was still indulging in his slice of Banoffee the dark! I'm taking the fact it was too good to stop eating it for just a few seconds as a sign of approval! 

The recipe I used can be found here

Banoffee Pie

300g Hobnobs/biscuits
60g unsalted butter, melted
397g tin Nestle Carnation Caramel
3 large bananas, sliced
350ml double cream
1 tbsp icing sugar
100g dark chocolate

Heat the oven to 150 degrees C. Melt the butter in a bowl set over a saucepan, or gently in the microwave.  Crush your biscuits using a food processor, or if you don't have one a rolling pin.  Mix the butter in with the biscuits and press your mixture into your tart tin, ideally one with a removable base.
Bake your biscuit base for 12-15 minutes.

Leave to cool and then gently release your base from the tin, and transfer it to a serving plate.  Spread the caramel over the biscuit base and refrigerate for around an hour.  

Whilst it is setting, whip the cream and sugar together in a stand mixer or with a hand beater.  Take the dish out of the fridge.  Slice up your bananas and arrange them in a layer on top of the caramel.  Top with cream and finish off with a drizzle of chocolate ganache.  I had some cream left over that I hadn't whipped so I added a dash of this to my melting dark chocolate to thicken it up a little and then drizzled it all over the cream.  


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