Friday, April 15, 2016

Chocolate Cookie Cups with Nutella or dulce de leche and Cadbury mini eggs

Chocolate Chip cookie cups as Easter nests - made dough March 25, 2016, recipe adapted from Something Swanky
I don’t have a short title to describe these Easter-themed calorie pockets. And yes, I'm woefully late in posting them since Easter was a few weeks ago. They were originally from a blog that considered them a Throwdown with Bobby Flay for chocolate chip cookies. I made the recipe, fully intending to serve them “as is”. Except when I baked off the taste test cookie, it spread and flattened thin. Eek. Thin chocolate chip cookies just don’t cut it with me. Granted, they were delicious but they were thin. I don’t do thin when it comes to chocolate chip cookies, literally and figuratively.

So if they were going to spread anyway, I decided to repurpose them into chocolate chip cookie cups. The dough was frozen by the time I discovered their dismaying tendency to spread while baking but I cut the dough balls into thirds and placed them in greased mini muffin tins. No need to shape the dough into cookie cups prior to baking because they’ll just lose shape in the baking anyway. Instead, what you want to do is, as soon as you take them out of the oven, press the rounded side of a half teaspoon in the center of each mini muffin cavity to make a depression. Not too deep but not too shallow either. 

Taking them out of the mini muffin tins can be tricky. You don’t want to take them out while they’re hot because they’ll still be too soft and mushy to come out whole. But you don’t want them to cool completely either because they’ll stick to the pan and be harder to dislodge without breaking apart. If they get too cool and start to fall apart, place them briefly (very briefly!) back in the warm oven, just enough to soften slightly and allow you to take them out of the pan. You may need to press the half teaspoon bottom into the “muffins” again to make the indentation stay. 

Once the cookie cups are completely cool, spoon a bit of Nutella or dulce de leche (you can also use salted caramel) into the cavities, filling just enough to barely reach the rims. You don’t want it overflowing if you’re going to add the Cadbury mini eggs on top. Which I did to make Easter nests. I’d like to tell you I was channeling my inner Martha Stewart baking goddess and that’s why I did it but the reality is I had my annual bag of Cadbury mini eggs that I hadn’t even opened yet and I was about to give up sugar (again) for a month (again) and didn’t want the mini eggs around to tempt me. So I pushed them into the Nutella or dulce de leche instead to make these cute Easter-themed treats. 

Couple of other tips to make these better: use mini chocolate chips for the cookie dough. At the time I made them, I hadn’t known that’s what I was going to use them for so I used regular size chocolate chips. The problem with that is when you bake them in the mini muffin tins, the chocolate chips had a tendency to stick to the pan and were more stubborn about it than the cookie part which led to more easily falling apart. Mini chocolate chips shouldn’t give you that problem. 
Also make sure you fill the mini muffin cavities with relatively the same amount of dough. You don’t want some mini cups to bake more than others because you have to take them all out at the same time so they should all be relatively the same size. You do want just enough that it’ll fill the cavity when baked but not so much that it overflows the top. This is one time where having a muffin top isn’t a good idea. The reason is the overflow also has a tendency to stick to the top as it’s cooling and will separate from the body of the mini cookie cup when you try to take it out of the pan. Trust me, I know. 

No need to press the Cadbury mini eggs too far into the Nutella or dulce de leche. You want to press down gently, just enough so that it’ll stay but no need to submerge all the way or completely. I think it’s prettier when you can actually see the mini egg in its cookie cup nest. These are super cute at an Easter lunch or tea. I didn’t think of them until Easter Sunday itself and am getting them up too late for this year but bookmark this for when you buy those Cadbury mini eggs next year. I put a plate of these out in the kitchen at work and they went fast. I guess I’m not the only one who considers the Cadbury mini eggs to be a form of Easter crack. 
2 cups plus 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 sticks (1 cup) butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups mini chocolate chips
1 bag Cadbury mini eggs
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat mini muffin tins with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Mix together flour, salt and baking soda; set aside.
  3. In a stand mixer, cream butter until smooth. Add the sugars and beat until light and fluffy, 3-4 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Add vanilla.
  4. Add half of the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Add the remaining flour mixture and beat until just combined. Fold in the mini chocolate chips.
  5. Using a cookie scoop, portion dough evenly into each mini muffin tin, filling about 3/4 full. Bake until golden brown and middles no longer look raw, 9-10 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately make indents in the center of each cookie cup, pressing the rounded side of a half teaspoon in the center.
  6. Let cool for several minutes before gently removing using a small metal spatula. Place cookie cups on wire rack to cool completely.
  7. Once cool, fill cavities with nutella and/or dulce de leche and press several Cadbury mini eggs on top to make an Easter "nest".

1 comment:

  1. I so love that you filled them with dulce de leech and nutella!! GENIUS!