Saturday, August 1, 2009

HALF-BAKED CUPCAKES

I did some part time fill in work at my old job last week and Ben & Jerry's flavors happened to be a major topic of discussion. Why, you ask? Because it was 4:00 on a Friday and these are the kind of filler topics that come up when everyone is ready for the weekend! Lucky for me, it was a conversation I could add some serious input to! As I deeply contemplated my favorite flavor, I knew there was no match for Ben & Jerry's Half Baked ice cream. Have you ever had it? If not, you must go try it immediately. They even make it in a Lo-Fat version, so I don't want to hear any excuses out of y'all. Chocolate and vanilla ice creams studded with fudge brownies and gobs of chocolate chip cookie dough. I mean, really??? Wow. Dear Ben & Jerry: you tryin' to kill me? Love, Melissa.
So, in honor of this fabulous flavor, I decided to create a cupcake version of Half Baked. At least with this creation, I could take my time to savor and not worry about the melting factor :) Here's what I came up with: swirled vanilla and chocolate cake studded with chocolate chip cookie dough, topped with a chocolate chip cookie dough whipped cream frosting with a brownie chunk and chocolate ganache drizzle. Yep, this reenactment definitely did the trick.
I used King Arthur's choco-nilla cake recipe for the actual cupcake (so delicious and super easy). I only made a few of these so the rest of the recipe was used to make a 4 layer 6 inch birthday cake which is featured above.
Enjoy!
Half-Baked Cupcakes
For the Vanilla Cake:
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream or plain yogurt (full-fat is best) [I used sour cream]
2 large eggs
1 cup (7 ounces) sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 ¾ teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup (2 3/8 ounces) vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups (8 ½ ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour


For the Chocolate Cake:
1 1/3 cups (9 3/8 ounces) sugar
1 1/3 cups (5 3/8 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
2 tablespoons (3/8 ounce) Instant ClearJel® or cornstarch (1/2 ounce)
1/2 cup (1 1/2 ounces) Double-Dutch Dark Cocoa or Dutch-process cocoa
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons espresso powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1/2 cup (3 ½ ounces) vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup (6 ounces) water
Eggless Cookie Dough:
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips [I used mini chocolate chips]
*reserve 1/4 of cookie dough recipe for frosting*
-Use any brownie recipe you prefer and cut up into 1 inch chunks. I used Dorie Greenspan's Katherine Hepburn brownies.
To make the vanilla cake:
1)Whisk together the yogurt or sour cream, eggs, sugar, salt, baking powder, vegetable oil, and vanilla.
2) Stir in the flour, mixing till smooth. Drop in little bits of cookie dough.
3) Pour the batter into one of the prepared pans. [muffin tins-marble in chocolate batter]
4) Bake the cake for 35 to 45 minutes, until the cake is beginning to brown on top. It may crack slightly; that’s OK. [I didn't time these, but keep an eye on them after 12 mins]
5) Remove the cake from the oven, and after 10 minutes turn it out of the pan onto a rack to cool.
To make the chocolate cake:
6)Whisk together the dry ingredients.
7) Add the eggs, oil, and vanilla, beating until smooth.
8) Gradually add the water, beating until smooth. Drop in little bits of cookie dough.
9) Pour the batter into the prepared pan. [muffin tin-marble in vanilla batter]
10) Bake the cake for about 35 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
11) Remove the cake from the oven, and after 10 minutes turn it out of the pan onto a rack to cool.
12) Divide the cooled cakes in half horizontally, to make four round layers. Place one vanilla layer on a serving plate.
To make the cookie dough:
In a bowl beat 1/4 cup butter or margarine with the brown sugar and 1/4 cup of the white sugar. Stir in the water and 1 teaspoon of the vanilla. Beat in the flour and the semisweet chocolate chips. Stir until combined. [Set 1/4 of the recipe aside for frosting]
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Whipped Cream Frosting:
1 ½ cup heavy whipping cream
8 oz cream cheese, softened
¾ cup granulated sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
To make the frosting: in a medium bowl beat the whipping cream until stiff peaks form (do not overbeat); set aside. In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar, salt, and vanilla. Beat for 2 minutes until smooth. Fold in the whipped cream. Fold the remaining cookie dough chunks into the frosting and immediately frost the cooled cupcakes. Drizzle chocolate syrup or ganache on top and use a brownie chunk for garnish.

3 comments:

Jerri - Simply Sweet Home said...

Wow! This looks SO delicious! Thanks for sharing!

Jelli Bean said...

Half baked rivals Phish food for my favorite B&J flavor. These cupcakes look just as sinfully good as the ice creams that I wish I could afford to buy more often :)

Mini Baker said...

Half Baked is for sure my favorite also! these cupcakes look DELICIOUS! Thanks for sharing :)
Great blog you have here!