Every once in a while I choose to get creative with the way I decorate or what flavors I use, but one day I was struck with a slightly different idea: how can I turn other desserts I enjoy into cupcake form? How would that translate? How do I make sure I don’t lose certain flavors or elements?
My first attempt at this was with my Monster Cookie Cupcake, seen above.
This was the biggest baking experiment I’d ever done, with mixed results. As a perfectionist, I want my foods to be exactly right 100% of the time. Except… we all know that’s not usually how it goes. It’s a challenge to get a great outcome sometimes, especially on the first attempt. However, I dug in with this challenge right away to see how it would turn out.
The biggest challenge I created for myself was choosing a cookie whose base was an oatmeal batter. Naturally, I wanted to make an oatmeal sponge for the cupcake to match. In retrospect, this wasn’t the best place to begin. I ended up using a muffin recipe instead, because who in their right mind makes an oatmeal cupcake when you can have chocolate, right? (Not really – sometimes I wish there were more healthy desserts so I could feel less guilty about eating them…)
I used this Skinny Oatmeal Brown Sugar Muffin recipe from Averie Cooks and as a muffin recipe (especially a healthy one!) it was amazingly delicious.
Once I’d baked those muffins and let them cool, I cored them, like so:
This next part was where I really tried to imitate a Monster Cookie. In the end, I think it turned out deliciously, though was a bit more “deconstructed” than I’d originally wanted. This is what happens when you don’t follow a plan or recipe, and instead just find ways to combine all the best things you like about Monster Cookies. Delicious, but maybe not as pretty as you’d hoped.
I filled each cored cupcake with mini M&M’s, however many it took to fill them so the candies were in line with the tops of each cupcake.
After filling them, I used a peanut butter buttercream recipe from JavaCupcake (delicious! I highly recommend). This frosting is especially good if you heed the “heaping” cup of peanut butter instruction very generously. I used a ton and it went over really well with my coworker taste-testers. I didn’t bother with a fancy piping tip, because the piping will be covered up in the next step.
After piping on a generous amount of peanut butter buttercream frosting, now came the fun part: dipping. To make the tops of the cupcakes look more like the monster cookies they were inspired by, I mixed together some mini chocolate chips and mini M&M’s in a bowl, and dipped the top of each cupcake into this mixture to make them look like the cookies. I thought they turned out pretty nicely!
Now, I bet you’re wondering what the finished product looks like, huh? My coworkers at the library are big on social media and communicating with our patrons that way, and after taking a bite into one of these Monster Cookie cupcakes and finding a sweet surprise, they took a photo! Oh so kindly, they shared a photo of my baking with our patrons:
There are a few things I’d change about my method (for instance, using non-stick cupcake liners – the batter was quite sticky and clung to the liners, which in some cases meant the sponge tore and M&M’s spilled everywhere). I might even consider a different flavor of sponge or incorporating the oats in some other way. Maybe I could even shove a monster cookie right in the middle of it?
Overall, I was proud of the outcome, though, and invite you to try this out or add your own thoughts or opinions on the best ways to replicate Monster Cookies or any other yummy desserts into a cupcake!