- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 3/4 cup warm water
- 4 tablespoons applesauce
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- Cookie Dough Filling, recipe follows
- Peanut Butter frosting, recipe follows
- Store-bought caramel sauce, for drizzling
- Kosher salt, for sprinkling
- Fondant Covered Chocolate Chip Cookie Tires, recipe follows
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Line 2 cupcake or muffin pans with 18 cupcake liners.
Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Add the buttermilk, warm water, applesauce, vanilla extract and eggs, and mix until well combined.
Fill the cupcake liners three-quarters full with batter and bake or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 18 minutes. Cool the cupcakes completely.
To assemble: Cut a hole in the center of the chocolate cupcakes with a paring knife. Scoop 1/2 tablespoon of Cookie Dough Filling into the center. Replace the piece of cake you cut out. Generously frost the top of the cupcake with the Peanut Butter Frosting. Drizzle with store-bought caramel sauce and sprinkle with kosher salt. Place the Fondant Covered Chocolate Chip Cookie Tire on top.
Cookie Dough Filling:
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 sticks (1 cup) butter, softened
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup milk
- 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
Combine the flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl and set aside. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter with the brown sugar, granulated sugar and vanilla extract until creamy. Add the milk and mix. Gradually beat in the flour mixture. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand. Divide in half and set one half in the cooler to chill. Reserve the other half for the Fondant Covered Chocolate Chip Cookie Tires. Yield: about 3 cups.
Peanut Butter Frosting:
- 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 cups peanut butter
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 1/4 cups powdered sugar
Cream the butter and add the peanut butter and mix until blended. Add the vanilla and continue mixing. Sift in the powdered sugar and whip until soft and fluffy. Put the frosting in a pastry bag and cut 1/2-inch off the tip. Yield: about 3 cups.
Fondant Covered Chocolate Chip Cookie Tires:
- Reserved Cookie Dough Filling
- Black fondant
- 12 pieces white chocolate candy melts
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Bake the reserved Cookie Dough Filling in the oven until golden brown, 9 to 11 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
Cut out circles of cookies with a circular cookie cutter. Roll out the fondant and cut out circles of fondant with a circular cookie cutter slightly larger than the cutter you used for the cookies. Wrap the fondant circle around the cookie circle. Stick 1 white chocolate candy melt in the center of the fondant so that it sticks. Using the "v" point of a star-shaped cookie cutter, press "tire treads" all around the sides of the cookie.