Friday, May 21, 2010

Chocolate Chip Walnut Cupcakes

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These were a quick make last weekend.  My goal was to use up some stuff that was already in my pantry.  Giada's chocolate chip walnut cupcakes were the perfect solution for the brownie mix that had been hanging around in there with no purpose.  I do have a confession to make.  You can use any brownie mix on hand for this recipe, however, the brownie mix that I happened to have on hand was from The Barefoot Contessa.  Sacrilege, I know.  Using the Barefoot Contessa's brownies for a recipe from Giada.... my 13 year old suggested that it might be cause for arrest... 

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What can I say... the mix of the two ladies' recipes was absolutely delicious.  I would do it again in a heartbeat.

Chocolate Chip Walnut Cupcakes
Recipe adapted from Giada De Laurentiis and

for the cupcakes:
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, at room temperature
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup water

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 for the icing:
4 ounces mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar

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Special equipment: 12 paper cupcake liners, a 12-cup muffin pan

For the cupcakes: Place an oven rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.

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. Transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack and cool completely before frosting, about 30 minutes.

For the frosting: In a large bowl, using an electric hand mixer, beat the cheeses together until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Gradually add and beat the powdered sugar into the cheeses, one cup at a time, until smooth and spreadable. Refrigerate the frosting until ready to use.

Spread the frosting on top of the cupcakes.  Eat one, or two, or perhaps half a dozen....

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