White Bean and Roasted Eggplant Hummus

Over the past week I’ve gotten numerous texts and FB posts telling me the BIG NEWS that Gilmore Girls is finally coming to Netflix.  Of course, I already own all the seasons – including the awful final season which I really didn’t want to buy but did anyway because, come on, I needed the full set – but as one of my best friends aptly put it – now you know where to watch when your DVDs start skipping!

In case you didn’t know this – and many of you do – Gilmore Girls is my all-time favorite show.  I’ve had a lot of TV loves over the years, but Gilmore Girls remains the only show that I am always up for watching.  It fits every mood.  Every situation.  Every Monday night, and Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, too.  The Gilmore Girls love runs deep.

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The great thing about really good TV is that it grows with you.  What you took from an episode when you were sixteen will be completely different from what you take from it at twenty four.  Fun fact – when I first watched I wanted to be a journalist.  I had so much fun watching Rory do her high school journalism thing, and then her college thing, and post-college thing.  I feel like I grew up with her, recognizing my own hopes and aspirations in her, as well as noticing the differences.

Namely, I moved away from journalism and ended up in advertising and public relations.  Then, I ended up in law school.  Now when I watch, I find the person I relate to the most is Sookie.  I love watching her come up with recipes and freak out over the perfect tomato.  I mean, come on food bloggers, we’ve ALL been there.

Okay, so I’m not going to spend this entire post rambling about Gilmore Girls.  I mean, I COULD, but I think you guys are probably ready for me to get to the recipe.  So, in closing, I will leave you with this stellar guidance from none other than Paris Gellar on how to live your life.

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I’ve been having this love affair with dips lately.  I think it’s because I rediscovered by food processor and am sort of obsessed with using it.  You can do so much with it!  This dip focuses on eggplant, which has been my favorite vegetable lately.  I absolutely love how it tastes roasted, and that roasted flavor really comes out in this dip.  I served this with cucumber rounds but you certainly could serve it on toasted baguette slices!

White Bean and Roasted Eggplant Hummus

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Ingredients:

1 eggplant, trimmed and cut into 2 inch pieces

1 can of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

1/3 cup loosely packed parsley

3 tablespoons lemon juice

1 clove garlic

1/3 cup olive oil

salt

pepper

Directions

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  Roast the eggplant for 20-25 minutes, until tender.  Let cool completely.

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the eggplant, cannellini beans, parsley, garlic, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.  Mix until combined.  Gradually mix in the olive oil until the mixture is completely smooth.

Either serve on cucumbers or toasted baguette slices.

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Source:  Giada At Home

What I’m Loving Friday

It’s Friday!  Woot!  Now, let’s get down to business!  Side note – someone said that to me on a date once.  LET’S GET DOWN TO BUSINESS.  It makes me snort just as much now as it did then.  Anyway, seriously, let’s get down to business.  What I’m Loving Friday.  Let’s do this.

1.  Sex and the City

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I bought the entire series for 40 dollars during a super sale at Half Price Books this summer, and since then it is has basically been playing non-stop in my apartment.  To answer the question I’m sure you’re all dying to know, I’m a total Charlotte.  Although sometimes Carrie will say something and I think, YES.  But, to be fair, a lot of times Carrie will say something and I think, GOD NO.

2.  This face

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I made this my cover photo on FB.  I have no regrets.

3.  Farmer’s Markets

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I’ve been in law school for two years and Saturday was the first time I went to our local farmer’s market.  I don’t understand how it took me so long.  It was basically everything I could have ever hoped for AND I discovered this health foods store across the street from it where I can buy my weird foods like pumpkin seeds and coconut oil.  Saturday was a very big day for me.

4.  Dirty Dancing

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E! played this movie earlier in the week and I had the luxury of having absolutely no plans that night (thanks friends) and I stayed in and watched it.  Funny story about that movie – it’s my mom’s favorite.  When I was around fifteen or so we sat down to watch it together on the small TV in my bedroom, and she completely forgot about the awkward sexy-dancing-love-scene.  I will never forget the look of abject horror on her face as she sat with her teen daughter and watched Johnny Castle and Baby No-One-Remembers-Her-Last-Name get it on.

5.  Sweater Weather

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It’s coming guys.  I can feel it.

What are you loving?!

Chicken Cacciatore

There are few meals that really remind me of my childhood.  My mom cooked almost every night, but she was always making different things.  Of course, she had a few standbys.  Cajun jumbalaya showed up often for some reason.  She’d make it in this free standing electric fry pan and always left some smoked sausage out of the spicy sauce for my brother and I.  Then there was shrimp creole (I’m just realizing how exotic my Italian and Polish kitchen was growing up!) which I absolutely hated.  And then, my absolute favorite, broccoli and chicken served over puff pastry rounds.  But, other than that, dinners were a hodgepodge of whatever my mom felt like cooking that night.

There is one meal, though, that will always remind me of my childhood and it is my grandma’s chicken cacciatore.  It’s about as Italian as you can get in a meal, and it was one of my favorites growing up.  Every Wednesday, when we would go to my grandparent’s house, I’d ask my mom , “What’s Grandma making for dinner?”  I loved everything she made – except for chili – but I especially loved her chicken cacciatore.  The meat was always tender and simmered in what we called “sarce” made out of tomatoes from their garden.  But my absolute favorite part was the black olives she put in the sauce.  I was notorious for picking through the large pot and fishing out the olives.

As the days turn cooler, this is the perfect meal.  It’s a nice filling meal that warms your stomach, and as an added bonus, your heart, too.

Chicken Cacciatore

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Ingredients:

3 chicken breasts, cut into small pieces

1 tbsp olive oil

3/4 cup white wine

3/4 cup chicken broth

1 28 oz can diced tomatoes, with juices

1 can black olives

1 carrot, diced

Directions

Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat.  Add the chicken and brown on all sides.  Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.  In the remaining oil, add the carrots and cook until softened, around 5-8 minutes.

Return the chicken and their juices back to the pan.  Add the white wine and cook until it has reduced by half, about 3 minutes.  Pour in the chicken broth, diced tomatoes, and black olives.  Bring to a simmer and cook for 2o minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.

Remove the chicken with a slotted spoon and simmer the sauce until it thickens, about 5-10 minutes.  Return the chicken to the pan and serve over pasta.

Source:  Loosely adapted from Giada’s Everyday Italian

Italian Pasta Salad

On the weekends the Hallmark channel does this equally wonderful and awful thing where they play romantic movies all day long.  It’s wonderful because I unabashedly love romance and I swoon at even the most overused romantic comedy trope.  The  movies are just delightful.  I don’t care if the storyline is completely implausible and the acting is as wooden as an old Christmas ornament, I love all the movies to bits.

Which segue ways nicely into why it is awful – the fact that it plays ALL DAY and I do not leave my couch ALL DAY.  Granted, I multi-task.  I do reading for class.  I update this blog (New In Town is playing right now, btw!).  I eat various meals.  Sometimes I call a grandparent or two.  But all the while, in the background, people are falling in love and adorably tripping over things and I cannot bring myself to change the channel.  Please tell me I am not the only person sucked into the Hallmark-Channel-Weekend-Rom-Com-Binge.

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Okay, fine, I’m the only person.

Anyhoo, moving on from my Hallmark channel obsession, I plugged my camera into my computer this afternoon to upload the picture I’d taken this week and was surprised to find a whole host of pictures that I’d taken before the self-imposed-blog-sabbatical.  I’m going to share one of them with you guys today!  The real star of this dish is the quinoa pasta, because I was moderately sure it was going to taste weird and quinoa-ey but it ended up tasting just like regular pasta.  I’m not gluten free, but if you were it’s a great substitute.

I modeled this recipe off of a pasta salad from a local Italian restaurant in my hometown.  The place is really old school, and before your meal comes you get soup, mixed salad, cucumber salad, and this pasta salad.  The pasta salad was always my favorite growing up and I loved eating the leftovers for lunch the next day.  This doesn’t taste exactly like it, but it’s pretty close!

Italian Pasta Salad

 

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Ingredients:

1 box of quinoa pasta (or regular pasta)

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 green pepper, diced

1 tomato, seeded and diced

1/2 cup red wine vinegar

3 tbsp lemon juice

2 tsp honey

1 cup olive oil

salt/pepper

Directions:

Cook the pasta according to the package’s directions.  If you are making the quinoa pasta, be very careful not to overcook the pasta otherwise it will fall apart.  When the pasta is cooked drain it in a colander and rinse in cold water.

For the dressing, mix together the vinegar, lemon juice and honey.  Slowly add the olive oil while you whisk the dressing.  Season with salt and pepper.

Toss the pasta, chopped vegetables, and chickpeas with the red wine vinaigrette.

Funfetti Layer Cake with Whipped Vanilla Frosting

I made you a cake.  Actually, I made it last year and when going through my pictures realized that I never posted it, but that’s beside the point.  I made you a cake, because I am awful and haven’t updated for almost two months.  But, I have a really good excuse.  I have three of them, in fact!  I will even let you choose your favorite.

1.  I was on a really important vampire hunting mission in Sunnydale with the Scooby Gang.

2.  I was running from dinosaurs with Jeff Goldblum.

3.  I was traveling with The Doctor.

Ahhh…I feel so much better now that I’ve put my long absence in context.  Really, I’ve missed you all and am very happy to be back.  My life is not the same without blogging.  Granted, I didn’t really miss taking pictures of everything I cook.  It was sort of freeing to cook something and not worry about plating it and getting it positioned in perfect lighting.  But then I’d finish eating it and think, No one will know about this fantastic meal.

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I’m not about that life.

I made this cake for a friend’s birthday and was beyond thrilled with how it turned out.  First of all, you can’t go wrong with funfetti.  Really.  If you’re making a dessert and you go, hmmm…should I make something funfetti?  The answer is yes.  Always.  Funfetti is just so much fun.  It’s colorful and playful and justifies you buying wwwayyy too many sprinkles at the grocery store.  It’s also a Sweetapolita recipe, which means you have TWO things going for you.  If I haven’t convinced you to make this cake yet, I don’t know what else to say.

Funfetti Layer Cake with Whipped Vanilla Frosting

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Ingredients:
For the Cake
1 cup whole milk, at room temperature
4 large egg whites, at room temperature
1 whole egg, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
2-3/4 cups cake flour, sifted
1-1/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into cubes
1/2 cup sprinkles
For the Frosting:
3 sticks + 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened and cut into cubes
3 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
3 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
pinch of salt
sprinkles

Directions

For the Cake:
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Grease, line with parchment, butter and flour two round 8-inch pans.
In a medium bowl, combine the eggs, 1/4 cup of milk, vanilla and the almond extract.  In a separate bowl,
 combine the dry ingredients, including the sugar, and mix together with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds.
Add the butter and continue blending on low speed for about 30 seconds, then add remaining 3/4 cup of milk, and mix on low speed until just moistened. Increase to medium speed and mix for 1-1/2 minutes.  Add the egg and milk mixture in 3 separate batches, beating on medium for 20 seconds after each addition. Stir in the sprinkles gently.
Divide the batter between the two cake pans.  Smooth the tops with an offset spatula.  Bake 25-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes clean when inserted into the center. You don’t want to over bake this, so start checking for doneness around 20 minutes.  Let cool on racks for 10 minutes before loosening the sides with a small metal spatula, and inverting onto greased wire racks.
For the Frosting:
In a mixing bowl, whip the butter for 8 minutes on medium, or until the butter becomes pale and creamy.  Add the remaining ingredients and mix on low speed for 1 minute, then on medium for 6 minutes. The frosting will be light and creamy.
Assembly of the Cake:
Put a heaping scoop of frosting on top of the first cake layer and spread evenly.  Finish with a sprinkling of your sprinkles.  Place the second cake layer on top and put another heaping scoop of frosting on top of that layer.  Spread it over the cake, gently beginning to spread it down over the sides of the cake.  Frost the rest of the cake in a thin layer of frosting and then refrigerate for 30 minutes.  Remove the cake from the refrigerator after and finish with a last layer of frosting.  Finally, get those sprinkles out and go to town!
Source:  Sweetapolita

Fruit Salad with Poppyseed Dressing

There is nothing I hate more than moving.  Not law school exams.  Not decaf coffee.  Not even tourists in the city, and if you’ve spent more than five minutes with me you know how much I hate them.  I mean, why do you have to take a picture of a brick wall?  It’s not a city landmark.  It’s literally just a wall that some drunk guy probably peed on last weekend.

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Tourists, I am so over you.

Anyway, moving is the top.  The top of awful things.  The awful-est, if you will.  The problem is I have all the baseline fears for moving – something will get damaged, you forget some all-important item, someone gets their hand smashed under a heavy dresser – but then I get the more irrational fears like my key that I know opens the door will magically stop working or my apartment has somehow become overrun by woodland creatures.

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Ugh.  Moving is the worst.

You’re probably wondering what prompted this sudden meditation on moving.  Well, I moved into my new apartment on Sunday.  And, just like every other time I move and angst, it went perfectly.  My key worked.  The apartment was critter free.  You see, that’s the thing about worrying – usually it’s all for nothing!

I’m going to save you all from a common worry – what to make for dinner.  This salad is perfection, guys.  It’s a cinch to make and combines some of summer’s best produce.  Perfection.

Fruit Salad with Poppyseed Dressing

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Ingredients:

2 heads of romaine lettuce, chopped

1 apple, cored and diced

1 peach, pitted and diced

1 cup strawberries, hulled and sliced

poppyseed dressing

Directions

Combine all ingredients.  Divide evenly between four bowls and serve!

Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes

These cupcakes were a comedy of errors – or at least the frosting was.  I couldn’t understand why my cream cheese frosting wasn’t setting up like it should, until I realized that I bought cream cheese spread instead of actual cream cheese.

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It was a total rookie move, and I was rrreeeallyyy concerned that I’d be bringing unfrosted cupcakes – aka muffins – to this birthday party.  Thankfully, I was able to just beef it up with some extra powdered sugar and it was sturdy enough for me to plop a bit on top of each cupcake.  I was worried it would interfere with the flavor of the cupcake, but I think the fact that one of my friends at three means that it did no such thing.  People can just eat one to be polite.  But three?  Nope, that’s true cupcake love.

I really liked these cupcakes because they’re so unique.  I don’t make cupcakes often, but this summer I’ve been commissioned to bring them to a couple parties.  I an effort to keep my kitchen exciting, I’ve been trying to find different cupcake recipes.  No boring cupcakes allowed!  These are vanilla cupcakes studded with strawberries that have a sweet-tart lemonade syrup put directly into the cake.  It’s topped with a smooth strawberry cream cheese frosting that will make even the most virtuous baker licking the bowl.  As you can see, these cupcakes are anything but boring.

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On a cupcake note, these are from Annie’s Eats and I highly recommend any cupcake novices – or any cupcake bakers – to check out Annie’s site for cupcake recipes.  She has a really diverse selection and her instructions are very clear and easy to follow.  There’s nothing worse than trying to tackle a difficult recipe with confusing instructions, and you never have that problem there!

Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes

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Ingredients

For the cake:

2 1/4 cups flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp salt

2 tsp lemon zest

12 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 eggs

3/4 cup milk

2 cups fresh strawberries, chopped

For the lemonade syrup:

1 cup lemonade concentrate, thawed

3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar

For the frosting:

1 cup fresh strawberries, roughly chopped

12 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature

18 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 2/3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

3 tsp. lemon juice

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions:

For the cupcakes:

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and line a cupcake pan with paper liners.

In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and lemon zest.  Next, cream the butter with a mixer.  Add the sugar and beat until well combined.  Beat in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides when necessary.  Add half the flour mixture and mix.  Add the milk, mix, and then add the remaining flour mixture and combine.  Fold in the strawberries with a spatula.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean.  Let cool for 5 minutes in the pan and then completely on a wire rack.

For the lemonade syrup:

Whisk together the thawed lemonade concentrate and powdered sugar.  Once the cupcakes have cooled, poke several holes in them.  Pour the syrup over them carefully.  You might want to have wax paper or something under the rack so that you don’t make a mess here!

If you are making these over two days – stop at this step.

For the frosting:

Puree the strawberries in a food processor or blender.  Strain them through a fine mesh sieve to remove the seeds.  In a bowl, beat together the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy, about five minutes.  Add the powdered mixture and mix until smooth.  Mix in the lemon juice and vanilla extract.  Lastly, mix in the strawberry puree, one tablespoon at a time, until you get the frosting consistency you want.  For me, it was about 3-4 tablespoons.  But, it all depends on how thick or thin you want your frosting.

Source:  Annie’s Eats aka my cupcake guru

Homestyle Turkey Chili

I’ve blogged about this chili before, but it is too darn good to only talk about once.  And there’s a reason for the reblog!  While I’ve been home I’ve been trying to cook for my family on the days when I don’t work.  I figure my mom cooked for all of my childhood – and still does – so I can pick up a few stray days here and there!  I’ve been trying to make new recipes that I could put on here, but last week we had some unseasonably cool summer days and I could not resist cooking up a nice batch of chili.

Spoiler alert – they loved it.  My dad didn’t add salt – which is pretty much the biggest compliment you can get from him that is food related – and my brother had two servings.  It was a rousing success and they’re already asking when I’ll make it next.

The thing that I really love about this chili is that it is boozy.  I mean it.  The chili has nearly one and a half cups of red wine in it.  While the alcohol obviously cooks out it does leave a really complex flavor that I find other chilis lack.  The leftovers are also amazing, which is always something I like when I’m cooking!  Like any other chili, it gets better after it’s sat for a few days.  So, cook up a big pot one weekend and enjoy delicious meals for the rest of the week!

Homestyle Turkey Chili

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Ingredients:

2 tbsp olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

1 red pepper, chopped

8 cloves of garlic, minced

1 lb ground turkey

2 tbsp chili powder

1 tbsp cumin

1 tsp oregano

3 tbsp tomato paste

2 tbsp brown sugar

2 large cans crushed tomatoes

1 1/4 cups red wine (merlot works really well)

2 cans chickpeas (you can use another bean if you like, but I really love how chickpeas don’t get mushy)

Directions

Heat the oil in a large stock pot.  Add the onion, pepper, and garlic, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.  Add the turkey and cook until it is browned, about seven minutes.  Add the chili powder, cumin, oregano, brown sugar, and tomato paste, and give everything a good stir.  Cook for another few minutes, stirring constantly.

Pour in the red wine, crushed tomatoes, and beans.  Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.  Cook the chili covered for an hour, stirring occasionally.

Remove the lid and simmer for another thirty minutes.

Serve over elbow macaroni or with oyster crackers!

Source:  Loosely adapted from Eat, Live, Run

 

Best-Ever Chocolate Nutella Layer Cake

I hope you all had a wonderful Fourth of July weekend!  I spent the majority of mine on the couch watching AMC’s Dead, White, and Blue The Walking Dead marathon, which was absolutely lovely.  I mean, what’s more patriotic than Daryl Dixon?  I’ll tell you, not much.

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Funny side story about The Walking Dead.  I first started watching it two years ago after a very, very bad sinus infection that basically left me comatose for a weekend.  I absolutely devoured the first season.  I think I finished it off in a day or something.  It took me a bit longer to catch up on the rest, but throughout my binge watching I kept having zombie attack dreams.  It’s weird because usually I don’t dream about what I’m watching or reading, but something about the show just took over my dreams completely.

In case you were curious, I was a total BAMF in all of my zombie dreams.  I think the highlight was when I scrambled ones brain in my bathroom with a pen.  It wasn’t some nondescript ballpoint pen, by the way.  It was a turquoise astronaut pen with a little whale on the side that I actually own.  Sadly it was ruined in my backpack a few months back, which I’ve taken to mean that if the zombie apocalypse happens I’m screwed.

So, let’s talk about this cake.  It has nothing to do with zombies, but everything to do with just about everything else.  I baked it for my birthday a few weeks back and it was a huge hit with the family.  Dark chocolate cake is layered with the most delicious sour-cream nutella frosting.  I should warn you that this cake is a bit labor intensive when you’re assembling it, but it’s worth it.  If you want to make this I highly recommend looking at the original for decorating tips.  She had this adorable little piping around the top of the cake, but I ended up frosting this when company was over so I didn’t want to spend too much time avoiding conversation with my face in a cake.

Best-Ever Chocolate Nutella Layer Cake

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Ingredients:

For the Cake:

2 1/4 cups flour

2 1/3 cups superfine sugar

3/4 cup dark cocoa powder

2 1/2 tsp baking soda

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1 1/4 cup buttermilk

3/4 cup brewed coffee

2/3 cup vegetable oil

3 eggs, room temperature

1 tbsp pure vanilla extract

For the Frosting:

4 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar

1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup Nutella

3/4 cup full-fat sour cream

11 ounces dark chocolate, melted

1 tbsp vanilla extract

pinch of salt

Directions:

For the Cake:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare three 7-inch round cake pans with nonstick spray and parchment rounds.  In a bowl mix together all the dry ingredients, including the sugar, and set aside.  Combine the eggs, buttermilk, coffee, oil, and vanilla and beat lightly with a fork.

Mix the dry and wet ingredients together and then divide evenly between the cake pans.  Bake the first two layer cakes for 20 minutes, rotate the pans, and then bake for another 5 minutes until a toothpick comes out almost clean from the center of the cake.  Cool the cakes on a wire rack for twenty minutes.  Remain with the remaining layer.  Invert cakes onto racks to cool completely.

For the Chocolate Frosting:

Mix all ingredients in a food processor.  Refrigerate the frosting until it thickens slightly, about 15 minutes.

Assembly

Frost the cake in three stages, letting the frosting set for fifteen minutes in between each layer.  At the end sprinkle the chocolate sprinkles on top.  Let the cake sit out for ten or fifteen minutes before serving so the frosting can soften up a bit.

Source:  Sweetapolita

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes

I feel like whenever I transport cupcakes it’s shades of what I will be like as a parent.  I strap them in the backseat.  I take turns slower and whenever I stop suddenly I glance back to make sure everyone’s okay.  I’m telling you guys, driving cupcakes to parties is fantastic training for whenever I become a mother.  I’ll be like, After all the cupcakes I’ve driven to parties and school…I’ve got this traveling with kids thing down pat.

I baked these cupcakes for a close friend’s graduation party and was immediately hit with the dilemma of how to get them there in one piece.  Usually I buy two of those big disposable party trays – the aluminum foil ones – and put the cupcakes in there.  But I was running a little behind, meaning I decided to do all of this in one day and forgot to buy the trays, so I was in a bit of a pickle.  Luckily it was just my mom’s birthday and my brother and I got her a big Vera Bradley purse which just so happened to come in a nice big Vera Bradley box.

The box worked perfectly and the cupcakes made it unscathed to the party!  One of my favorite parts of these cupcakes is that there is actual eggless cookie dough in the middle.  It was so much fun to watch people bite into the cupcake and go, Is this cookie dough?!  And I, of course, would interject by telling them that it was eggless and therefore they would not be praying at the porcelain alter later that night. Because I care.

While these are pretty involved cupcakes, it’s really not that bad if you break up the work.  I would really recommend making the cupcakes the day before and leave the assembly for the day of the party.  I know I would have felt much less rushed if I did that.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes

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Ingredients:

For the cupcakes:

3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature

1 1/2 cups light brown sugar

4 eggs

2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup milk

2 tsp.  vanilla extract

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

For the filling:

4 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature

6 tbsp. light brown sugar, packed

1 cup plus 2 tbsp. all purpose flour

7 oz. sweetened condensed milk

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1/4 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

For the frosting:

2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup light brown sugar

2 1/3 cup flour

1/2 tsp sat

2/ tbsp milk

2 tsp vanilla extract

For garnish:

mini chocolate chips

tiny chocolate chip cookies

Directions:

For the cupcakes:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line two 12-count cupcake pans with liners.  In a bowl, mix together the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy, around 3 minutes.  Mix the eggs in one at a time.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and sat.  Alternate mixing in the flour mixture and milk into the bowl, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.  Blend in the vanilla.  Fold in the chocolate chips with a spatula.

Pour the batter evenly in the prepared cupcake liners and bake for 18-20 minutes.  When the cupcakes are finished baking a toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean.  Allow the cupcakes to cool for 5-10 minutes in the pan.  Remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the filling:

Cream the butter and sugar together with a mixer.  Beat in everything but the chocolate chips until incorporated and smooth.  Stir in the chocolate chips.  Let the dough chill and firm up a bit in the refrigerator for about an hour.

When you are ready to fill the cupcakes, use a small paring knife to carve out a small cone shaped bit of cupcake from the center.  Fill the cavities in the cupcakes with a chunk of the chilled cookie dough mixture.

For the frosting:

Beat together the butter and brown sugar in a bowl until creamy.  Mix in the confectioner’s sugar until smooth.  Beat in the flour and salt.  Lastly, add the milk and vanilla extra and mix until smooth and well blended.

Frost the cupcakes and top with a sprinkle of mini chocolate chips and the mini chocolate chip cookies.

Source:  Annie’s Eats