I have raved about Martha Stewart’s Cupcake Book and I will get up on my soapbox again: the book is amazing! Not only are the recipes fantastic but also the food photography is some of the best I have seen. I wish I had HALF the talent of the photographers that put together this book. Seriously, when I flip through the pages of the glossy cupcake recipe filled book I am half drooling over the food and half drooling over the photography chops.
When I look back through the photographs I have taken over the course of this blog I feel like I took much better pictures at the beginning. Weird considering I have learned more about composition and photo editing throughout the time we’ve had the blog, and we even got a photo light to help us out! Frustrating. I think I did better when I didn’t realize there was any skill to taking the photos, and I didn’t rely on editing to get better pictures. Grrrrr. How do y’all get good pictures? I am hesitant to spend the money on buying a really nice camera/lens because the only thing I’d really be using it for is the blog photography…I just can’t justify that big of a purchase yet. Since I’m going to Italy in the Spring (yay!) I know I will have more chances to photograph things that I will want nice, quality pictures of, but still…a camera that costs more than my flight will to go to Italy?! It seems crazy to me! I guess if I get more into photography then I can justify spending that much on a camera, but ’till then it seems like the good ol’ point and shoot will have to do!
And now for the Chocolate Chip Cookie Cupcakes! I’ve made these twice now and both times they were a huge hit. Everyone loved them and I even got told they were some of my taste testers favorite things I’ve ever baked. I know these would look prettier with frosting on them, but they’re just so easy without any and they taste great too! Maybe some drizzled chocolate to jazz them up if you were going to present them (aka I probably should have done that) but they are tasty enough to stand on their own. They are the perfect texture–kind a mix between a cake and cookie texture…closer to a cakey brownie I would say, a blondie if you will! I added some chocolate covered Heath chunks to mine and I swear it made all the difference. The Heath chunks caramelized inside the batter and added a wonderful texture and flavor to the cupcakes. I’m sure these are great sans Heath chunks as Martha’s recipe dictates, but if you wanna bump them up a notch: go Heath or go home. I’d love to try these with a mix of milk chocolate and semi-sweet next time because I’m sure it would make them absolutely awesome. Alright, must go before I get in trouble for blogging in class. Yikes!
Chocolate Chip Cookie Cupcakes
Adapted from Martha Stewart
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup milk
8 oz semi-sweet chocolate
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and both sugars until pale and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in two batches, alternating with the milk, and beating until combined after each. Stir in chocolate chunks by hand.
Fill each lined cup with 1/4 cup batter. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until pale golden and a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes. Cupcakes can be stored up to 3 days at room temperature in airtight containers. Makes about 24 cupcakes.