February 3rd was my 17th birthday. That means that 6207 days ago, I came into this world and so did my best friend.
I’m often asked about what it’s like to have a twin. Honestly, it’s hard to answer that because I never knew anything different. I always had someone in my life. I am never truly alone.
Jillian and I share everything: a room, clothes, experiences. I wouldn’t want it any other way.
I’m so lucky to know that no matter what, through good times and bad, she will be always be right by my side.
To me, birthdays are not just a celebration of life, but an unbreakable bond of love and friendship.
And Jillian, my dear sister, if you’re reading this, which I hope you are, thank you for putting up with me for the past 17 years. I wish for you not only a happy today, but a very happy future, one that we will share together like we have shared everything up to this point. Happy birthday to us! Here’s to many more!
Let me just say it took me FOREVER to figure out what to bake. There are a few things I know she loves, but the number one thing she loves is cookie dough. Whenever I’m baking something (for example, my classic chocolate chip cookies), I turn around and there is Jillian, licking the bowl clean.
Last week I made chocolate chip cookie dough brownies and she loved it. How was I going to top that? One word: cupcakes
Yes, cupcakes, the perfect for birthdays! And then in my head, being the nerd that I am, a formula came into mind:
cupcakes + cookie dough + chocolate chips –> chocolate chip cookie dough cupcakes
Now, this is my second attempt at making cupcakes stuffed with cookie dough. First time around, the cookie dough wasn’t frozen enough, the cupcakes were too liquidy, and I got really frustrated. What happened was that I naively put the cupcakes back into the oven, since the cupcakes were so undercooked, and I ended up with no cookie dough center. This all happened well before I started JustBeAlli, by the way.
Here’s my warning to you: baking this is a labor of love. Both the first and second time took me 2 1/2 hours to create both the cupcakes and cookie dough. So please, don’t go into this thinking you can make it quickly. Making advanced cupcakes like this warrant lots of patience. If you are looking for a quick and easy recipe to whip up, try the clementine muffins with clementine glaze.
Hopefully, I haven’t scared you off at this point. The end result, despite the time consumption and a really big mess, was truly worth.
The cupcake was light, airy, and very sweet. My unsuspecting sister, who thought I just baked cupcakes, was completely caught off guard by the cookie dough center. And, there was a noticeable cookie dough center. BIG YES!!! This recipe was a success and Jilli was extremely impressed.
I hope you guys have as much success and love these cupcakes as much as we did. They were the perfect way to celebrate our birthday!
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes
Original Recipe from Tortillas and Honey
Yields 22-24 cupcakes
Cookie Dough Filling:
1 cup butter, softened (if frozen, leave butter out for 2 hours prior to starting)
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup milk (I used 2%)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt (omit if using salted butter)
1 cup mini chocolate chips (semi-sweet or milk)
4 egg whites
1/2 cup butter, softened (if frozen, leave butter out for 2 hours prior to starting)
1 1/4 cups white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup milk (I used 2%)
Cookie Dough Filling:
Start by making the cookie dough filling.
In a stand mixer, cream together butter and sugars until fluffly, about 2 minutes.
Add the milk and vanilla and beat until fully incorporated and smooth.
Mix in flour and salt. Follow by folding in the chocolate chips.
Scoop the dough and roll into tablespoon sized balls. Place on a baking sheet and place in the freezer for about an hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tins with paper liners, approximately 22-24. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat egg whites, either with an electric mixer or by hand, until it forms stiff peaks (similar to what you do for a soufflé
Set aside. In a stand mixer beat butter and sugar together until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Stir in vanilla.
In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
Add about 1/4 cup of milk at a time into flour, stirring each time you pour. Scrape the sides, if necessary. Mix the flour and egg mixture into the butter and sugar mixture, until combined. Fold in the egg whites into mixture until fully incorporated.
Place about 1 tablespoon of batter onto the bottom of each muffin liner. Place a frozen ball of cookie dough on top of the batter. Distribute the batter evenly while covering each cookie dough ball.. The batter will not completely fill each tin. The cookie dough balls should be covered in batter and the tins should be approximately 3/4 full, or less. Don’t worry: the cupcakes will rise.
Bake for about 20 minutes or until tops spring back. Do not bake for more than 30 minutes. You will get dried out cupcakes and the cookie dough will no longer be, for lack of better words, doughy. [That's the mistake I made last time.]
Let cupcakes cool in pan for 30 minutes or longer. A hole may form in the center of the cupcake: that’s normal. Once cool, follow with frosting to cover the top, but frosting is completely unnecessary.
Do you have a favorite birthday treat? How do you celebrate your birthday? And since our birthday fell on Super Bowl Sunday, what was your favorite commercial of the game? Did you like the half time show? Comment below! I love feedback!
One more thing before I sign off: I just wanted to show you the incredible cake my mom surprised Jillian and I with at school. It’s the TARDIS from Doctor Who…and it lights up! What flavor did my mom pick? A chocolate chip vanilla cake with a hot fudge chocolate filling and the most delicious buttercream frosting on the planet. This is the masterpiece of the culinary genius Stacy Winton of Haute Chocolate
Geek Fact of the Day:
On February 3rd 1994, for the first time ever, a female astronaut operated the spaceship (Space Shuttle Discovery) as a pilot. (source: The People History)
Don’t forget to just be you!