Am I serious with this cupcake right now? What kind of munchy monster would create such a decadent, over-the-top indulgence? Apparently I would, because I not only dreamed up the idea, but also saw it through to completion (big step!). It started with wanting to try cookie dough frosting. Then it needed to be paired with chocolate, and lots of it. And well... why not throw a fudge brownie in the mix as well, just for kicks. Do I even have to tell you that these were freaking fantastic? Definitely not when you can so clearly see it for yourself. Yum. Yum. Yum. The presentation is just jaw-dropping, and I know everyone at our work holiday party will be beyond thrilled to indulge.
I used a pretty standard chocolate cupcake recipe, but to be honest, I'd probably just use boxed mix next time to make this process a little easier. Thankfully, the cupcakes themselves had a nice mild chocolate flavor that helped tone down the overt richness of the final product. I did use a boxed fudge brownie mix for the brownie bites because I'm not a complete sadist.
After a little research, the cookie dough frosting became an amalgamation of several recipes, tweaked to my liking (to avoid sickly sweetness, believe it or not). One slight but crucial change I made to these formulas was the addition of lemon juice to cut through the cloying sugar. I have to admit, it was a genius idea that took the frosting from passable to lick-the-bowl-clean in no time. My favorite part of cookie dough is the slight crunch of mini chocolate chips so I added those as garnish. Then I thought to myself: there is clearly not enough s%#& piled on this dessert yet, so I drizzled it with ganache. Hello, heaven.
Chocolate Cupcakes with Cookie Dough Frosting & Fudge Brownie Bites
Makes 24 cupcakes
24 chocolate cupcakes (sample recipe here)
Baked brownies (store-bought, boxed, or from scratch; whatever you prefer)
Cookie dough frosting, recipe below
1/3 cup miniature semi-sweet chocolate chips for garnish
4 oz. semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup heavy cream
Allow both baked cupcakes and brownies to cool to room temperature. Cut brownies into 1" cubes. Prepare cookie dough frosting, and ice cupcakes generously. Sprinkle evenly with 1/3 cup miniature chocolate chips.
Make the ganache: heat 4 oz. semisweet chocolate chips and 1/4 cup heavy cream over a double boiler, stirring frequently, until it reaches a smooth consistency. Drizzle evenly over cupcakes.
Cookie Dough Frosting
Adapted from Tidy Mom
3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup flour
3 T. heavy cream
3 t. vanilla extract
1 t. lemon juice
1 t. salt
Using a mixer at medium speed, beat butter until soft and creamy, approximately 1 minute. Add all other ingredients, and beat until thoroughly combined and fluffy in texture. Icing should form stiff peaks.