Wednesday, December 30, 2015

French Vanilla Cupcakes with (Eggless) Chocolate Chip Cooke Dough Frosting

MAN, I haven't been so proud of a cupcake concoction in a long time! I feel like I found a way to bring cupcakes to a whole new level of indulgence and comfort by pairing a well-loved, classic vanilla cupcake with arguably the most-loved cookie flavor ever: Chocolate Chip! I am tooting my own horn as loudly as possible from over here!
Even if I'm not the first to do it, I am absolutely thrilled with the way these turned out. Only downside: I didn't get to try one :( HA! But that's okay. I could tell that they were delicious by the way they looked and smelled!

I made these cupcakes for a local outreach called Spirit of Christmas, a volunteer organization that collects thousands of gifts each Christmas season for underprivileged children and provides each child with two sets of clothing, underwear, socks, shoes, and a coat, along with 2-3 gifts. It's an amazing ministry!
In addition to collecting the gifts, the community can get most involved by coming to the wrapping party, which happens the week before Christmas! Volunteers wrap sometimes as many as 3,000 gifts in one evening to provide some joy to children all over the community. It was so much fun to be part of it this year, and to bake these cupcakes for the silent auction!
Fun fact--I divided them into sets of six (I took a dozen), and each half dozen sold for $22-$23 each! I was thrilled. Because I hope to begin selling my cupcakes soon, it was really neat to see what people would pay for my cupcakes! (Stay tuned on that, by the way :) ) I'll show you a sneak preview of the way I packaged the cupcakes for the event!
Another fun fact: while baking, I found that I didn't have enough butter to correctly follow any of the cookie dough frosting recipes I found, so I had to get inventive and creative. I took bits and pieces from each recipe that I found and made something totally ME! But...I didn't write it down--because I was composing on the fly! So I'll recount it as closely as I can remember! Try not to hold it against me--and please, as always, adjust to your own taste!
  • 1 box French Vanilla cake mix (or your favorite vanilla cupcake recipe) and all ingredients to make it
  • 1 packet vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cookie Dough Frosting:
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cups confectioner’s/powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon milk, cream, or half and half (I used half and half)
  • Mini chocolate chips
Preheat oven according to box instructions and line cupcake tins with paper liners; set aside. Prepare cupcake batter according to directions on box; add vanilla pudding mix and vanilla extract, being sure not to overmix. Fill liners 2/3 full and bake; allow to cool completely before frosting.
Meanwhile, prepare frosting. Begin by creaming butter and brown sugar together until light and fluffy. Add flour, salt, and vanilla, and mix until smooth. Gradually add powdered sugar until frosting reaches desired consistency. I chose not to add the chocolate chips to the frosting because I knew it would be difficult to pipe, so pipe frosting and then garnish cupcakes with mini chocolate chips. Enjoy!

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