Chocolate Chip Walnut Cupcakes
from Giada De Laurentiis (link to original recipe here)
- 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
- 1 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips, plus 1/4 cup for garnish
- 1 (21-ounce) box brownie mix (recommended: Duncan Hines Chewy Fudge)
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup water
- 4 ounces mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
- 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
- In a small bowl combine the walnuts, 1 cup mini chocolate chips and 1 tablespoon of the brownie mix. Toss until all the ingredients are coated. Set aside.
- In a large bowl mix together the remaining brownie mix, eggs, vegetable oil, and water. Stir for 20 seconds until blended.
- Fold in the walnuts and chocolate chips.
- Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan (cupcake liners will be full).
- Bake for 22 to 25 minutes until a cake tester inserted into the cupcakes comes out with moist fudgy crumbs.
- Cool the cupcakes in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack and cool completely before frosting, about 30 minutes.
- In a large bowl, using an electric hand mixer, beat the cheeses together until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Gradually beat in the powdered sugar until smooth and spreadable. Refrigerate the frosting until ready to use.
- Spread the frosting on top of the cupcakes and garnish with the remaining mini chocolate chips. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve at room temperature.
I loved the taste of the Mascarpone & Cream Cheese blended together. It is yummy yummy yummy. What I didn't like is that the 3 cups of powdered sugar was just too sweet and took away from the yumminess of the two cheeses blended together. I have a feeling the large amount of powdered sugar is to make this a good frosting on top. But, it was too sweet.
The second time I did this recipe, I look down the amount of powdered sugar and loved the frosting. I love the frosting so much, Josh & I sat by the bowl licking the frosting away. But - this had consequences. It was only good when it is cold. On the other hand, I like my cupcakes warm. Therefore, predicament. If I topped the cupcakes and put them in the fridge, I was going to end up with cold/ thawed cupcakes. If I didn't want to put the cupcakes in the fridge, I'd have to frost the cupcakes at the very last minute.
The other thing i haven't mentioned was that I'm not fond of the packaged brownie mix. Although good, it still tasted like packaged mix - a bit generic. Still, it was a good try.
Other things I learned was that I should mix the nuts / chocolate chips in the brownie mix so that they can remain suspended in the air. Yeah! That was a good tip!