Sunday, June 10, 2012

Chocolate Chunk Cupcakes

As you know I've been plugging along in the simple and sweet section of the cookbook and I've come upon a sub section if you will... cookie cupcakes. There are 3 separate recipes in this mini section and chocolate chunk cupcakes is the first.

The first thing I noticed about this recipe is that it's very similar to the recipe I use to make chocolate chip cookies. Therefore it's probably pretty similar to the recipe you use to make chocolate chip cookies since it's the same recipe that's on the back of every package of chocolate chips I've ever seen (at least the semisweet and milk chocolate variety). The second thing was that I thought it was a bit odd that Martha had 2 very similar cupcakes in her cookbook. The first cupcakes I made when I began this little experiment over a year ago were these chocolate chip cupcakes. Other than the lack of icing on the chocolate chunk cupcakes I figured they would both be pretty much the same, so I didn't see the point in putting both of them in the book. Yes, of course some of the ingredients were different, but minor differences at that. I started thinking that maybe these cupcakes would turn out to be more like a cookie than a cupcake. Let's see, shall we?

What was nice about making these cupcakes was that the only thing I had to buy was the chocolate. Martha did say that chocolate chips were an option, but since I had already made the above-mentioned cupcakes and they contained chocolate chips I wanted to make sure I used chunks. That way if they turned out to be exactly the same they would at least have chunks instead of chips. As I mentioned before, the recipe was very similar to chocolate chip cookies so making the batter was easy. Other than adding milk, it's the same thing I've done a thousand times. I stirred in the chocolate chunks and was ready to fill the cupcake tins with batter.

I filled each cupcake liner (yes, I got to use liners, not butter and flour, hooray!) with 1/4 cup of batter, using my measuring cup. Some were filled a little fuller than others, but in the end all the cupcakes turned out to be pretty close to the same size. The cupcakes were baked for 20 total minutes with a turn halfway through the baking time. They came out flat, but I expected them to. Because the pictures looked that way and because cookies are generally flat, so I figured cookie cupcakes would be flat as well. Such a smart woman.

The only thing that really bothered me about the cupcakes was that the chocolate chunks sank. As you can obviously see in the pictures above. At first I thought that maybe the chunks I had used were too big and heavy. But, in the recipe Martha said I could use chips or chocolate chopped into 1/2-inch pieces. The chunks were certainly no bigger than that so I decided that couldn't have been the problem. Then I thought maybe the batter was too thin, light and airy because it was all of those things. But, I followed Martha's instructions to a T (like always) so I didn't think that was it. Then I remembered back  again to those above-mentioned chocolate chip cupcakes and that before I put the chocolate chips in the batter I had tossed them in flour. Doing that was to help ensure that all the chips didn't sink to the bottom, and in that case they didn't. I read this recipe over to make sure I hadn't missed that important instruction. I hadn't, it wasn't there. I can only conclude that I must have messed something up in the batter, or that Martha forgot to mention tossing the chunks in flour. Which do you think is more likely?

Other than the disappointment over the sunken chunks the cupcakes were very good. Very moist and light. I liked them better than the chocolate chip cupcakes I had made before. Those were more dense. I would definitely make these cupcakes again. But, the second time around I would toss the chocolate chunks in flour to hopefully prevent them from sinking. It's no fun when all the chocolate sinks to the bottom and gets stuck to the cupcake liner. No one should miss out on chocolate chunks!