Saturday, February 14, 2015

Chocolate Chip Cup-Cookies

Valentine's Day. The perfect day to give someone you love something sweet. And even better if it's something homemade.

I usually make gifts for my neices and nephews, and I knew just what I could make for my oldest niece, Nadya, as a Valentine's Day treat.

This past fall, during a vacation to Hilton Head Island in South Carolina, we picked up some cupcakes from Sweet Carolina Cupcakes, which was right across the street from where we stayed, and Nadya chose a "Cup-Cookie" - basically a cookie baked into cupcake form and filled with the most delicious chocolate frosting ever. Nadya has been talking about that Cup-Cookie ever since, so I knew I had to try and replicate it for her.

I decided to go with mini sized cup-cookies, to keep the sugar-highs at bay, and they turned out just perfect. Soft, chewy chocolate chip cookie filled with a creamy and rich chocolate frosting. Using just a tiny bit of instant espresso powder in the frosting creates a beautiful depth of flavor without making it taste like coffee, but that is an optional ingredient if you don't have it on hand.

And packaged in cute treat boxes, they made the perfect Valentine's Day surprise for my niece!


cookie dough:
1/4 cup shortening
1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups flour
1 cup mini chocolate chips

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon instant espresso powder (optional)
pinch salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line 3 mini muffin pans with paper liners. Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and shortening together, and then mix in the sugars and baking soda until the mixture is light and fluffy. Mix in the egg and vanilla, and finally, the flour. Stir in the chocolate chips until evenly distributed,

Scoop about 1 teaspoon of cookie dough into each cavity of your muffin pans. Using oiled fingers, gently mold the dough to the shape of the muffin pan. Bake for 12-14 minutes, just until the edges of your cup-cookies are golden brown. While the cup-cookies are still warm, use the end of a rubber spatula or other kitchen tool with a rounded, circular end to gently create an indentation in your cup-cookies.

While your cup-cookies are cooling, make your frosting. Using your electric mixer on low speed, beat butter together with powdered sugar, cocoa powder, pinch of salt and espresso (if using) until smooth. Add in the vanilla and beat on high speed for several minutes, until frosting is light and fluffy. 

Once cup-cookies are completely cooled, use a piping bag with a star tip (or just a ziptop bag with one corner snipped off to create your own piping bag) to fill the indentation of each cup-cookie, then go over each one once more to create your frosted tops. Top with sprinkles, if desired.

Makes about 3 dozen mini cup-cookies.

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