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
4 ounces mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
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 beat in the powdered sugar until smooth and spreadable. Refrigerate the frosting until ready to use.
Spread the frosting on top of the cupcakes and garnish with the remaining mini chocolate chips. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve at room temperature.
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