Alright, I need you to to be realistic. When I say self-frosting cupcakes, I need you to understand that we’re not talking about a buttercream frosting here. That would be redonkulous. Honestly, how is a cupcake going to cream the butter and pipe icing onto itself? Use your heads. But these cupcakes do have a lovely little topping of chocolate chips and marshmallows which eliminate the need for frosting. It makes the little buggers easier to pack in your lunch kit. And it makes them easier to freeze.
These are not the prettiest cupcakes on earth. Nope. But sometimes things that are not traditionally pretty or functioning as intended are still totally awesome. For example, I might be a little sick. This is hard to admit because I never, ever get sick. It’s my claim to fame. And frankly, when I see someone suffering with a cold or the flu, I don’t generally feel any sympathy for them. I mean, sure, I’ll say, “oh you poor thing, you poor, poor thing,” and fake a look of empathy, but really I’m thinking: you are weak. You are pathetic and weak. But yesterday, things spiralled out of control at work. My throat was on fire. I could hardly swallow. It made yelling at my students much less enjoyable. And then a co-worker told me that I sounded like a dude. That is not, in my mind, a compliment.
And this morning, when I woke up, things were bad. I could hardly speak at all. I tried singing All By Myself really loud (to get my vocal chords warmed up), but only squeaks came out. When I tried to speak to a salesperson at a bakery downtown, I could barely utter the words, “I want to marry those cookies.” And I’m not going to lie to you: things are happening with my face and hair today that aren’t good.
So sure, these cupcakes might not be as pretty as the other cupcakes. And sure, they might be a little rough around the edges. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t perfectly lovely. The marshmallow gets all toasted and gooey on top. The chocolate chips get sort of melty and sink into the cupcake. And the cupcake itself is chocolatey, soft and oh, so tasty.
And just because someone arrives at work looking like crud and speaking with a dude voice doesn’t mean she isn’t still basically awesome. And, truth be told, I don’t think I’m actually sick. Because I am not weak and pathetic. I think this is stress. Important people get stress. Unimportant people get the flu.
. . .
Self-Frosting Chocolate Cupcakes
recipe: adapted from Canadian Living’s Everyday Cookbook Special (1984)
Yields 24 cupcakes.
For the topping:
- 1 cup white miniature marshmallows
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
For the cupcake:
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup sour cream
Line 24 muffin wells with paper liners. Set aside. Pre-heat oven to 350°F (180°C).
In a small bowl, mix together the topping ingredients (marshmallows, chocolate chips and lightly beaten egg) and set aside.
In a medium sized bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter (about 3 minutes). Then beat in the sugar (about 3 minutes). Then beat in the egg (about 1 minute).
In a small bowl, stir the baking soda into the sour cream and set aside.
On low speed, mix 1/3 of the sifted flour mixture into the butter mixture (until just combined). Add 1/2 of the sour cream mixture and mix until just combined. Then add half of the remaining flour mixture, mixing until just combined. Mix in all of the remaining sour cream mixture, and then the remaining flour mixture, mixing each addition until just combined. Be sure to scrape down the sides of your bowl between additions.
Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tins, filling no more than 3/4 full. Spoon topping onto each cupcake.
Bake for about 20 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool on wire racks. (The topping will be very sticky until the cupcakes cool).