Cookies and Cream Cupcakes

These days, many bakeries offer creatively named, exquisitely decorated, and outrageously expensive cupcakes.  Doing the math at $5.00 a cupcake, who can afford to buy a dozen cupcakes, let alone two dozen?

To add insult to pocketbook injury, the times I’ve bought a bakery cupcake or two for a treat, I’ve been very disappointed.  The cupcakes were either bland or dry—or both!  I’ve come to the conclusion that I just need to keep out of bakeries and stay in my own kitchen.

Recently, my husband and I were invited to our friends’ home for dinner; and I volunteered to bring dessert.  I’d been eyeing this recipe for cookies and cream cupcakes for a while, and it was the perfect excuse to make them.  Let me just say that if any of the customers at the bakeries where I bought cupcakes were to try one of these, they’d never go back.

This cupcake…oh, this cupcake!  It is the stuff that dreams are made of.  It’s a moist, flavorful vanilla cupcake with half an Oreo cookie as its base with the cream still attached facing upward, and chunks of Oreo cookies mixed in the batter.  The cookies soften a bit during the baking and provide a very pleasing textural contrast to the cupcake itself.  The cupcake is topped with a fluffy cream cheese frosting, sprinkled with Oreo cookie crumbs, and capped off with an Oreo cookie half.  It looks fabulous and tastes even better than it looks—one bite and I just about swooned!

If I decide to compile a top ten cupcake list, this cookies and cream cupcake will be vying for the #1 spot.

One year ago:  Shrimp Scampi Appetizer

Two years ago:  Roast Turkey with Stuffing and Gravy

Cookies and Cream Cupcakes

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Yield: 24 cupcakes

Ingredients for the Cupcakes

  • 24 Oreo halves, with cream filling attached (Save the halves without filling to make the cookie crumbs for garnishing—you won’t need all of them, so process a few at a time until you get the quantity you need.  Eat the rest with leftover frosting!)
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 8 tbl. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg plus 2 egg whites, at room temperature
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk
  • 20 Oreo cookies, coarsely chopped (I quartered them)

Ingredients for the Frosting

  • 8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 6 tbl. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 tbl. vanilla extract
  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 2 tbl. heavy cream

Ingredients for the garnish

  • Oreo cookie crumbs
  • 24 Oreo cookie halves

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line the wells of two cupcake pans with 24 paper liners.  Place an Oreo half in the bottom of each liner, cream side up.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt; stir together with a fork to blend and set aside.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugar and beat together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Blend in the egg whites one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Blend in the vanilla extract.  With the mixer on low speed, beat in half of the dry ingredients just until incorporated.  Add the milk and beat just until combined, then mix in the remaining dry ingredients.  Gently fold in the chopped Oreos with a rubber spatula until evenly incorporated, being careful not to over-mix.

Evenly divide the batter between the prepared cupcake liners.  Bake for 18-20 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Allow to cool in the pans 5-10 minutes; then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting, combine the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on medium-high speed until smooth, about 1 minute.  Blend in the vanilla extract.  Beat in the confectioners’ sugar until incorporated and smooth, 1-2 minutes.  Add the heavy cream to the bowl and beat on medium-low speed just until incorporated; then increase the speed to medium-high and whip for 4 minutes until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Frost the cooled cupcakes as desired.  Sprinkle with Oreo crumbs and garnish with Oreo halves.

Fran’s Notes

I made 1 1/2 times the frosting because I wanted to pipe it in a high swirl.

Source:   A recipe from Annie’s Eats

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