Oh where, oh where, are the snow plow men? Oh where, oh where COULD THEY BE????
That is the song I have been singing to myself for the past 4 hours. We got DUMPED on last night in Southeastern Michigan. My landlord typically has a contracted snow plow company plow our driveway - and during last year's Polar Vortex, these guys were GREAT! They were there at 6AM on the snowiest, coldest morning EVER, and plowed our driveway clear.
This morning? Not here yet. And there's a 2-3 foot snow drift in my driveway. That, coupled with not being able to shovel the driveway myself after a stupid fall on ice a few weeks ago and hurting my back, makes for an unhappy Patti. For these reasons, I'm not able to go into work today (hospitals never close, remember?). Hopefully, I'll get into the groove of my impromptu snow day but for now, I'm just feeling salty.
But let's talk about more delicious things. I was supposed to go to a Super Bowl party last night, but the snowstorm canceled that plan, too. However, I made these bad boy cupcakes Saturday night, and man, did they come out good or WHAT. I'm sorry I wasn't able to share them with my friends last night, but they'll get to taste them for themselves soon enough :)
This is a recipe I got my friend Anita. We were in undergrad at U of M at the time, and I don't entirely remember the story, but I believe she gave me the recipe for these ah-mazing cupcakes, and I made them for a summery get together for some friends at a local metro park where we swam and ate and drank things. There was another time I made these for a camping trip, and I fondly remember eating one warm from a Tupperware container with a view of Lake Michigan.
I've never been one to eat an obscene amount of processed foods, but lately, I've been trying to be more aware of limiting my cooking and baking with processed food products. Yes, this also means cake mixes and frosting that comes in tubs. Now, this does not mean that I will never ever use a cake mix, or brownie mix, nor does it not mean that I will never eat them, but I think, in a way, we lose touch with what we're actually baking and creating when we use these products. Yes, these food products have helped to simplify our lives and save time, but with what as a consequence? Consuming chemicals that help make these products more shelf-stable? And honestly, when you bake foods from scratch, they taste a helluva lot better too.
So I'm proud to say, this is my first "partially from scratch" version of this Anita-cupcake recipe. Yes, I still used pre-made cookie dough, but I've found that the Trader Joe version of chocolate chip cookie dough has a lot less sketchy ingredients. AND they're made with pasteurized eggs which means.....YOU CAN EAT THE BATTER WITHOUT FEAR OF SALMONELLA.
That, in my mind, earns this cookie dough the title of "Best Cookie Dough Ever".
As for the batter and frosting, I used the Hershey's Double Chocolate Cupcake recipe. I did make a few changes since I got to the end of the recipe and realized that I didn't have a single bar of unsweetened baking chocolate in my kitchen, so I just replaced it with 1/3 cup cocoa powder. I ended up doubling the frosting recipe and found it perfectly enough to frost 12 cupcakes. Basically, just make the cupcake batter, split it into 12 lined muffin tins, and stick a 1-inch by 1-inch ball of cookie dough in the middle.
Since there's a big hunk o'cookie dough in the middle, these bad boys are going to bake for longer than the 16-18 minutes as stated in the recipe. I baked mine for about 25 minutes, but you can stick a toothpick (or chopstick....as I do) in the cake part of the cupcake to test for doneness.
Frost with a smear of that delicious frosting. Some of my cupcakes sunk a little in the middle due to heavy cookie dough, but that was okay with me! I just filled up the hole with frosting and it came out amazing.
And there you have it! Now go eat 'em up! Oh, and since I did technically make these for the Super Bowl, congrats to the Patriots and that crazy interception at the end.
But confession: I was rooting for the Seahawks, 1) Because I love Seattle, and 2) Their uniforms are pretty awesome :)