When I get stressed I like to bake. I’m sure going for a run or something would be more effective and healthier, but this is more fun! Needless to say, some great recipes came from being overwhelmed with wedding planning. I usually whip up some chocolate chip cookies when I get the urge to bake since I always have the ingredients on hand, but this time I wanted to make something a little more interesting. So why not combine two of my favorite desserts? Cookies AND cupcakes! Since I’m a Target-aholic, I always notice new lines of products—especially in the baking aisle! This Pillsbury Purely Simple line caught my eye since the products are made without dyes, preservatives or artificial flavors. There were mixes for cake, brownies, cookies and frosting, so I combined a few of them to make these chocolate chip cookie cupcakes. I followed the directions on the box, but added a couple personal twists. I incorporated some chocolate chips to the cake mix to enhance the theme. While making the frosting, I decided to drop in a little almond extract. The flavor complemented the cookies perfectly. This cookie and cupcake creation definitely satisfied my sweet tooth!
To make the cookies, preheat the oven to 375F. In a medium-sized bowl, combine cookie mix, butter and egg. Mix until dough is formed. You want these cookies to be smaller than normal, so form balls of dough using a rounded teaspoon. Place onto ungreased baking sheet and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until edges are set. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for two minutes before transferring cookies to a wire rack.
To make the cupcakes, start by preheating the oven to 350F (after it cools a little from the cookies) and line muffin tins with paper liners. In the bowl of a standing mixer, combine cake mix and butter. Mix on medium speed until blended. Add milk and eggs, mixing on low speed until combined. Increase speed to medium for one minute. Scrape the bowl as needed to make sure all ingredients are evenly incorporated. Increase speed to medium-high for two minutes, then gently fold in the chocolate chips. Pour into prepared baking pan and bake for about 19 – 21 minutes. When an inserted toothpick comes out clean, remove from oven and let cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then finish cooling on wire rack.
Time for the frosting! In the bowl of a standing mixer, combine frosting mix and butter on low speed for one minute. Add water and continue mixing on low until combined, scraping the bowl constantly. Add almond extract, then beat on high for 30 seconds. Use a spatula to scoop frosting into a piping bag (or zip-top bag and then cut a hole in the corner). Once cupcakes are completely cool, pipe icing onto the top in a spiral pattern. Top with cooled cookie. Enjoy!