feature image from Joy The Baker
I really like to bake. I have an overstuffed folder on my desktop filled with recipes for cakes, bars, cookies, truffles and lord knows what else. I could bake a new dessert every weekend for four years in a row and I still don’t think I’d get through the entire folder. I just really love dessert.
I found this particular recipe a long time ago, but I needed to save it for a special occasion because ohmygod, you can’t just make chocolate peanut butter cookie dough s’more cupcakes on any old day. There needs to be a sense of occasion, ya know? So I saved this for the joint birthday party my girlfriend, my roommate and I all had in January (that, needless to say, was a smashing success). But life got crazy and I didn’t have a chance to share the magic with y’all… until now.
I know that some of you may be feeling down in the dumps about not going to A-Camp (I had to miss camp in September so I totally feel your pain) and I thought perhaps you’d want to drown your sorrows in sugar. I pinky swear this dessert will do the trick! You may not be preparing to frolic around on a mountain with 300+ queermos, but you’re putting a chocolate peanut butter cookie dough s’more cupcake in your mouth. Honestly, I feel like you might be the winner in this situation.
…At the very least you’re breaking even.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie Dough S’more Cupcakes
originally from Joy the Baker
We’re going to split this recipe up into small, manageable parts because otherwise we’re all going to go insane. Cool? Excellent.
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups white sugar
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup canola oil
2 teaspoons white vinegar
2 cups cold water
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. The original recipe suggests lining two cupcake pans with paper liners and setting them aside, but if you’re anything like me perhaps you only own one cupcake pan. In that case no worries, it just means the whole procedure is going to take double the amount of time because you’ll have to make the first batch, wait for them to bake and cool, remove them carefully without burning your finger tips (learn from my mistakes), and then do the whole thing all over again. Isn’t being 24 fun?!
2. Anyway. Next up, combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
3. Then whisk the oil, water, vanilla extract, and white vinegar together in a medium sized bowl.
4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. The original recipe suggested whisking these ingredients together and warned about overmixing, but let me be real with you as always: You can totally use a fork and everything will be fine. Also I don’t know what overmixing is so I don’t know if I did it or not, but everything will probably be fine even if you do that, too. I do know that your mixture will (probably) be very runny and that is a-okay!
5. Spoon the batter into the cups until each one is two thirds full. Lick the spoon. (Note: I am 100% not liable for any salmonella situations that come of this instruction – I’m just being honest.)
6. Bake the cupcakes for 20-24 minutes. Use a toothpick to check that they are cooked all the way through.
7. Once they’re out the oven, let them cool for about ten minutes, then place them on a wire rack until they’re completely cool. Do not try to move on to the assembly steps until the cupcake is very very very cool. I don’t mean you should wait for your cupcake to become so cool for school that she no longer needs a ride – I mean you don’t wanna touch the cupcake when it’s hot because you will burn your fingertips, trust me, I just magically know. Not from personal experience or anything. Just… magic.
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-3 tablespoons peanut butter (can use 2 tablespoons of yogurt instead)
1 cup chocolate chips
1. Cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. The original recipe talks about a stand mixer and a paddle attachment, and hey, maybe you’re awesome and together enough to own those things, but in my world this translated to “a large bowl and the handheld mixer I borrowed from a co-worker specifically for this recipe”. You could also use a wooden spoon and your incredibly sexy arm muscles. So many options!
2. Add the peanut butter (or yogurt) and mix until thoroughly combined.
3. In a new bowl (yes you’re going to be doing a lot of dishes when you’re done with this magical creation, but it’s worth it) whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Add all that to the butter and sugar mixture and stir well. Then add the chocolate chips!
4. Roll your salmonella-free cookie dough into little round balls. Mine turned out a little big, so maybe make them a tad smaller than you think they need to be? Also my dough turned out kind of crumbly and was a little bit difficult to work with, so just keep that in mind – if your dough is crumbly you didn’t fuck up, you’re just like me! Twins! Make 24 little cookie dough balls in total and then refrigerate them until you’re ready to assemble the cupcake creation (or don’t, because I think I actually forgot that step and everything was fine, per usual).
4 large egg whites
1 1/2 cups white sugar
large pinch of salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1. Okay look, you can basically make any kind of meringue you want for this step. The original recipe referenced large pots and simmering water and corn syrup and all this fancy stuff, and I sort of thought about following it, but I hate working with corn syrup and then I left the meringue-making and cupcake-assembling for the day of the party, specifically 10 minutes before guests were supposed to arrive, and I just needed to get this shit done. So I followed my mom’s old school recipe instead. I guess this means “step 1” of this specific section of instructions is “follow your heart EVEN MORE THAN I USUALLY TELL YOU TO FOLLOW YOUR HEART WHEN BAKING.”
2. Okay if your heart needs some guidance, here’s what I did. Separate four egg whites from their yolks and dump them in a large bowl. Use a hand mixer or a standing mixer or some kind of machinery to start beating the eggs into stiff white peaks. (Ali once said you can do this with a fork and your own bare hands, but I’ve honestly never been able to do that. If you can, congratulations. I want to shake your hand but please don’t squeeze too hard because you’re obviously superhero-strong. Damn grrrl!) While you’re beating the eggs, slowly add the sugar, salt, and vanilla extract. By the time you’re done you should have pretty stiff white peaks and the ingredients should be totally incorporated. Boom. Time to assemble!
1. As I’m writing out these instructions, I’m realizing I improvised a lot with this recipe. The original suggests using a “small paring knife” to cut the hole out of the cupcake, but I have zero idea what that is, so I used a regular ol’ kitchen spoon. Take a kitchen spoon and scoop a hole out of the center of the cupcake. Do not cut the whole center of the cupcake out – just make a little hole where you can rest your cookie dough ball.
2. Grab your cookie dough balls from wherever you’ve been storing them and put them on top of the cupcakes. If they’re not staying put you didn’t carve a deep enough hole, so fix that. Then move forward.
3. Okay, things are about to get intense. Are you ready? Place the cupcakes on a baking tray, and get ready to top them all with your delicious meringue frosting! You’ll have to split up the batch. Once again, the recipe suggests this fancy situation where you put the meringue in a pastry bag and pipe it onto the cupcakes to create a really gorgeous professional-looking finish, but I went back to my trust kitchen spoon and literally just scooped meringue onto the cupcake-cookie-dough-ball thing-a-ma-bobs and spread it around to the best of my ability. This sounds really haphazard and awful but it was actually 900% fine.
4. TURN ON YOUR OVEN BROILER. OMG GET READY. ARE YOU READY?! BEST PART IS COMING UP…
5. Place the cupcakes under the broiler for about 1 minute. Keep an eye on them – do not close the broiler door. Seriously, these things can burn in a hot second. You can take the pan out and rotate it if you want, to make sure they toast evenly. After about a minute take the tray out of the broiler and gaze in awe at your masterpiece. YOU MADE THIS. YOU DID IT! GOLD STARS FOR EVERYONE! OMG CAN I PUT IT IN MY MOUTH YET?!
6. Repeat the above with your next tray, and you’re done! Get ready to be called a golden goddess by anyone you allow to eat these morsels of heaven. I know I always say that at the end of a recipe, but I am really fucking serious this time. People are going to lose their shit. It will be exactly like what happens when DJ Carlytron plays Robyn at the A-camp dance. These cupcakes are super serious, just like calling your girlfriend and dancing on your own.
Do you feel a tiny bit better about not actually physically being at A-Camp? Are you going to make these and host your own Robyn dance party in your kitchen? Will you come to the next A-Camp and tell me how it all turned out? I hope so because I love you and this recipe proves it.