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chocolate and peanut butter cookie dough cupcakes with toasted marshmallow

Actually, the full title should be chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter chocolate chip cookie dough and toasted marshmallow, but that would be too over the top… Kind of like these incredible treats, in which a dark chocolate cupcake is topped with a ball of peanut butter chocolate chip cookie dough, before being draped in whipped marshmallow and then toasted to a deep golden perfection.

They are best served as soon as they emerge from the oven, hot and smoking with the scent of vanilla and caramelized sugar. This rich and decadent dessert is so good that the only change we made from Joy The Baker’s recipe was to cut it in half.

These cupcakes are excellent because the three parts are delicious on their own: the chocolate cake is moist, yet surprisingly light since it contains no butter. The creamy peanut butter cookie dough laced with chocolate chips is egg-free, so it is sinful but safe to eat raw. And the fluffy topping develops the lightest toasted crust in the oven, evoking a marshmallow roasted over a campfire in the summer.

Chocolate and Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Cupcakes with Toasted Marshmallow
adapted from Joy The Baker
makes 12 cupcakes

For the cupcakes:
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 cup cold water

For the peanut butter chocolate chip cookie dough:
1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

For the marshmallow frosting:
2 large egg whites
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Bake the cupcakes:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a cupcake pan with 12 paper liners, and set aside.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together the vanilla, oil, vinegar, and water until smooth. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the flour mixture, and stir gently just until evenly combined. Pour the batter into the prepared paper liners, filling each one until it is about 2/3 full. Bake for 20-24 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then place cupcakes on a wire rack to cool completely.

Make the cookie dough balls:
In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and both sugars, and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Then add the peanut butter and vanilla extract, stirring to combine.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt, then add to the butter mixture, and stir until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips, and stir gently until evenly mixed. Divide the dough and roll into 12 equal balls, then refrigerate until ready to use.

Make the marshmallow frosting:
In a medium heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water, combine the egg whites, sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Whisk until sugar is dissolved and mixture is hot, about 5 minutes. Remove bowl from heat and pour the mixture into the bowl of an electric mixer, and beat on high speed using the whisk attachment until stiff peaks form, about 5 minutes. Then add the vanilla, and beat to combine.

Assemble the cupcakes:
Using a small knife, cut a 3/4-inch hole in the top center of each cupcake. Do not remove the entire center, just make a small hole for the ball of cookie dough to sit in. Place a cookie dough ball in each hole.

Place marshmallow frosting in a piping bag with a star tip. Frost each cupcake, starting at the edge and working around in a circle towards the center, covering the cake and cookie dough ball completely.

Place cupcakes on a baking sheet, and turn on the oven broiler. When oven is hot, broil cupcakes until the tops are evenly toasted, about 1 to 2 minutes. Leave the oven door open so you can watch them closely and ensure that they cook evenly and do not burn.

a few notes:
— These are best served fresh from the oven, as they will lose their toasty crust over time, but are still delicious the next day. If refrigerating overnight, be sure to bring them to room temperature before serving, as the cookie dough hardens in the fridge.
— Don’t have a frosting piping bag? Place the frosting in a ziplock bag, then snip off a small corner, and you will be ready to go!