We’re running out of 2013. That’s not a bad thing, per se, it’s a year I’ll be quite happy to see the back of. But I do hate winter so every day when it gets colder makes me a little sadder, makes me feel a bit more bleak.
If you’re reading this, you’ve already cottoned on to the fact that baking makes me happy. Baking these made me very happy indeed.
Chocolate chip cookie cups. Now, these are quite interesting. There are two sources to credit here: my lovely office-mate Jane who introduced me to the originals:
If you’ve not heard of these before, they’re cookies baked in the shape of cupcakes, filled with flavoured buttercream. Jane suggested them as an exercise for my next baking adventures – I do so like a challenge. And a challenge involving chocolate chips and caramel buttercream definitely sounded fun.
I thought the filling would be easy enough but I wasn’t sure how to approach the cookie base. I took a look at the photos online and thought that my usual cookie recipe would be much too gooey to pass as a cup – I needed something that could be rolled out properly, pressed into a tin and then filled. But still stay a little bit gooey in the middle – that’s a tricky balance. In the end, I fiddled around this this recipe until it seemed the right consistency. The reports from my testers on Friday suggest I got it pretty much spot-on so here you go…
“Millie’s” Steph’s Chocolate Chip* Cookie Cups
Makes 12, original cookie recipe here.
- 150g salted butter, softened
- 80g light brown muscovado sugar
- 80g granulated sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 250g plain flour
- ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- 100g plain chocolate chips or chunks
- 80g unsalted butter
- 200g icing sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tin Carnation caramel
You’ll need 2 6-hole or 1 12-hole muffin tin(s), a rolling pin, a shot glass or similar sized cylindrical item, a piping mag and nozzle.
- Preheat the oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Heavily butter the muffin tins.
- Put the butter and sugars into a bowl and beat until creamy. Beat in the vanilla extract and egg. Sieve the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt over the mixture and mix in with a wooden spoon. Add the chocolate chips and stir well.
- Wrap the dough in cling-film and chill for around half an hour.
- Take balls of the dough, roughly 50g each. Roll out on a floured surface until you get a circle large enough to sit in one of the cups of the muffin tin and come just up to the top – this is roughly the diameter shown in the photo on the right.
- Gently press the circle of chocolate chip dough into the muffin cup. Repeat with the rest of the dough.
- Bake in the pre-heated oven for 9 minutes. This bit is a little alarming because they will puff up in the middle like Yorkshire puddings and you’ll think they won’t be cup-like at all. Don’t panic at this point. When you take them out, have a shot glass ready by your side. While they’re still VERY hot, press the glass into the middle of each cookie-puddle to make an indentation. This forms the cup shape and also helps the bottom of the cup to stay gooey because you’re compressing the dough back onto itself.
- Leave to get completely cold in the tin.
- While they’re cooling, make the buttercream – warm the butter until it’s just starting to melt (about 10 seconds in my microwave) then beat in the icing sugar and 2 heaped teaspoons of the caramel from the tin. It should be a really soft icing or piping is going to be awkward so add a splash of milk if it’s too stiff.
- Assembly time! Remove the cold muffin cups from the tins – I found they lifted out without sticking at all but you might need to persuade them out with something pointy like the end of a spoon.
- Spread about a teaspoon of caramel inside each cup and then pipe a swirl of icing on top.
- I’d keep these in a tin in the fridge, personally… if they last that long!
* There are so many ways you could play with this basic idea by mixing up the flavour in the cookie and what goes into the filling. Here are some initial suggestions made by Jef and Sophie but I’d love to hear any more – if you’d like to put in a request, do so in the comments!
- Cinnamon & nutmeg infused sultanas, with rum buttercream
- Oatmeal cookie, mincemeat filling, marzipan buttercream
- Shortbread cookie, fresh strawberry filling, buttercream with double or clotted cream
- Dark chocolate cookie, orange jelly, vanilla or orange buttercream
- A fairly plain cookie, custard filling, and either buttercream or meringue with nutmeg
- Walnut cookie with coffee buttercream.