Fauxstess Cupcakes

I’ve had my eyes on these cupcakes for a long time now. They’ve been popping up everywhere and they’re just so darn cute. I kept waiting for a special occasion to make these for when I finally decided just to make them for the heck of it.

Since I had seen these everywhere, I had a few choices to make when it comes to the recipes. I liked the filling recipe that Heather used because I didn’t want to use marshmallow fluff and I’ve never made 7-minute frosting. But I decided to make the cupcake recipe from Food and Wine since I am all about trying new recipes.

I’ve never really worked with ganache before and I fell in love with it. The ganache provided a smooth finish to these cupcakes. I doubled the ganache recipe so that I would have enough to dip all the cupcakes. I don’t think there would have been enough if I hadn’t doubled the recipe. I even used the leftover ganache for some double chocolate roll out cookies for St Patty’s Day. I also ate some with a spoon straight from the fridge, dipped strawberries in some, and spread some onto toast… Ganache is a dangerous thing to have in our house…

I ended up using the cone method to fill these cupcakes. In the past I have piped filling into cupcakes, but haven’t been satisfied with the amount of filling it provides. You have much more control using the cone method.

Everyone enjoyed these cupcakes – they definitely taste better than the Hostess version. I only put three swirls (instead of the 7 that Hostess puts on their cupcakes), but everyone still made the connection. These cupcakes taste delicious and bring back memories of lunchtime in the middle school cafeteria.

You might be wondering about those brown cupcake liners. I had them on my Christmas list this year and since no one got them for me, I decided to treat myself to some brown and other solid colored cupcake liners. I love how bold the colors are and can’t wait to use them all. I ordered these liners (variety pack and brown) from Confectionary House.

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Fauxstess (aka Fake Hostess) Cupcakes

Make Hostess cupcakes in your own kitchen!

Yield: 24 cupcakes

Ingredients:

For the cupcakes
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp cake flour
1/3 cup Dutch-process cocoa
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
2 large eggs, separated and at room temperature
1/3 cup canola oil
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp water

For the cream filling (Seven Minute Frosting)
2 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
2 Tbsp water
1 1/2 tsp vanilla

For the ganache
1/4 cup cream
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened

Directions:

For the cupcakes
Preheat the oven to 350 F

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In a large mixing bowl, beat together egg yolks, canola oil, 1/2 cup sugar and water until well combined. Add the dry ingredients and stir by hand just until combined.

In a clean medium bowl, beat egg whites at high speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and beat until stiff and glossy. Beat one quarter of the whites into the batter to lighten the mixture. Add remaining whites and gently fold the mixture together until no streaks remain.

Evenly divide the batter between the wells of a 12 cup muffin tin prepared with cupcake liners (they will be about one-half full). Bake until the cupcakes spring back when lightly touched in the center, about 13 to 16 minutes. Remove and let the cupcakes cool slightly before turning them out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

For the filling
While waiting for cupcakes to cool, combine filling ingredients with a pinch of salt in a metal bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water and beat with a handheld electric mixer at high speed until frosting is thick and fluffy, 6 to 7 minutes.

Remove bowl from heat and continue to beat until slightly cooled. Reserve 1/2 cup of the filling to use for piping the swirls on top of the cupcakes at the end.

Once cupcakes are completely cooled, use the cone method to fill with filling.

For the ganache
In a small saucepan, heat cream until steaming. Remove from the heat, add chocolate and let stand for 5 minutes. Add the butter and stir until smooth.

Transfer the frosting to a small bowl and dip the top of each cupcake to thoroughly coat.

For the final decorations
Spoon the reserved filling into a pastry bag fitted with a very small plain tip and pipe swirls across the center of each cupcake. Refrigerate the cupcakes for 10 minutes to set the frosting.

Cupcakes inspired from Heather Drive, filling recipe from Smitten Kitchen and cupcake and ganache recipe from Culinary in the Desert

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13 Responses to “Alton Brown’s “The Chewy””

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    1
    Bridget — March 5, 2009 at 6:02 pm

    Aren’t they the best? They’re so addicting. I’ve actually starting using the same ingredients, but mixing them like a more traditional chocolate chip cookie (i.e., softened butter instead of melted), because I like the dough better with softened butter. The baked cookies were just as good. Best of both worlds!

  2. #
    2
    Laure — March 5, 2009 at 9:45 pm

    These look gorgeous. Don’t you just love AB??? 🙂

  3. #
    3
    Julie — March 6, 2009 at 4:06 am

    The cookies look great. I love AB too..he’s such a dork (in a good way).

  4. #
    4
    CoCo — March 6, 2009 at 5:50 am

    I love the ATK/CI Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies. I will have to try these to see what I think. I remember seeing that the recipes looked similar so I am sure I will love them.
    Another AB lover here. My husband gives me a hard time about my DVR list with him but loves it when I give him a fun tidbit or cook him something from AB.

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    5
    Jen — March 6, 2009 at 1:34 pm

    I completely agree CoCo. Hubby does the same thing. I sometimes even watch episodes I’ve seen before! Hubby doesn’t like to admit it, but he loves AB too. Sometimes he’ll be the one saying “AB says to do this…”

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    6
    foodess — March 9, 2009 at 3:38 am

    They look SO good!! I am a sucker for a chewy chocolate chip cookie. Although, I must side with your hubby – I prefer mine with just a bit of chocolate.

  7. #
    7
    Naomi — March 9, 2009 at 6:46 am

    How much is a stick of butter? I’m not in the US and have never come across this measurement before.

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    Jen — March 9, 2009 at 11:08 am

    Sorry about that Naomi – 1 stick of butter = 8 Tbsp. Does that help?

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    9
    Dani — March 9, 2009 at 11:46 am

    this is very similar to the ccc recipe i use, but anything that makes it chewier is good in my books! i will have to keep this one in mind 🙂

  10. #
    10
    Naomi — March 13, 2009 at 10:05 am

    Yes Jen, thank you!

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    11
    Allie — June 2, 2010 at 8:43 pm

    Yum! I will definitely be trying these. I always chill my cookie dough too usually because I’m too busy with 3 little ones but I also read that article in the NY times awhile ago and I felt like I deserved a nice big pat on the back for always doing the 24hour chill 🙂 Great post and beautiful cookies!

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    12
    Susan — June 23, 2015 at 4:41 pm

    I love Alton Brown because of his scientific approach to cooking and baking. I’ve been baking “The Chewy” for years. One thing I do differently: Before chilling the dough, I scoop it into balls. This makes the process much easier. Sometimes I freeze the balls for baking later. After I place the balls on parchment, I carefully place a few extra chocolate morsels on top, pointy side up. This extra step produces picture-perfect cookies every time.

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    13
    Desiree — July 2, 2016 at 1:56 am

    The Chewy is my go to recipe for cookies. I make a few alterations, occasionally, such as substituting 1/4 of the brown sugar with dark brown sugar. I bake small portions in mini muffin tins; one batch makes 48 cookie bites that are super chewy and the perfect size bite. I’ve made them every year for Christmas gifts for a few years now.

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