White Chocolate Cranberry Cupcakes with White Chocolate, Cranberry, and Pistachio Cream Cheese Frosting (Art You Eat)

I’ve decided to enter a photo into the Art You Eat. Since CB won last month, she had influence in this month’s theme: Seasonal Cupcakes. I was very focused on cookies this holiday season, but I did manage to throw some cupcakes together. These cupcakes took two tries to perfect, but the outcome was worth the effort. The white chocolate is subtle but warm. I made the same white chocolate cupcake recipe that I made last year for Cupcake Hero: Coffee except this time I used dried cranberries instead of coffee. For the frosting, I made the white chocolate cream cheese frosting that I made for Cupcake Hero: White Chocolate and threw in more dried cranberries as well as some chopped pistachios.

I have to admit, these cupcakes took two tries to be edible. For the first batch, I threw some chopped pistachios in the cupcake batter as well. I made a rookie mistake (or I’m getting over confident) and didn’t taste test until all of the cupcakes were frosted with pretty swirls. Then hubby got home from work and we split a cupcake. With weird looks on our face, we just looked at each other. Neither of us wanted to say it out loud. They tasted funny… almost meaty… in fact, almost bacon-ey. How is that possible?!? I know pistachios are “meaty” nuts, but come on – how could this happen… Pistachio, cranberry and white chocolate is a very common cookie combination, so I still don’t understand how they tasted so meaty. The next morning I tried another one, hoping that the taste had gone away. No such luck. The entire batch went into the trash. That’s only the second time that has happened (the first time was with some low-fat carrot cupcakes).

For my second try, I decided to leave out the pistachios. Since the nuts seemed to cause the meaty flavor. I did want to put the pistachios in the frosting again because that was really good. The second batch is delicious. I’m a big fan of cranberries so I really enjoyed these cupcakes.

White Chocolate cupcake (from Crazy about Cupcakes) – makes 24
2/3 cup milk
1 Tbsp white vinegar
2/3 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/3 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups white chocolate chips – I melted the chocolate chips
1/3 cup water – I omitted the water
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 325. Insert liners into a medium cupcake pan.

Combine the milk and vinegar in a cup. Set aside for at least 5 minutes. Combine the vanilla extract with 1/2 Tbsp instant espresso and set aside.

In a large bowl cream together the butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.

Combine 1/2 cup of white chocolate chips and the water in a small saucepan. Heat over low heat until melted, stirring continuously. I used a double boiler to melt the white chocolate.

Add the vanilla and white chocolate mixture to the creamed mixture.

In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking soda, salt.

Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture, alternating with the milk-and-vinegar mixture, beating for 1 minutes after each addition.

Fill the cupcake liners three-quarters full. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of cupcakes comes out clean. Cool cupcakes in the pan.

White chocolate cream cheese frosting – from Baking Bites
4-oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
1-oz white chocolate, melted and slightly cooled
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 tsp milk or cream
2-3 cups confectioners’ sugar
~1/2 cup chopped dried cranberries
~1/2 cup chopped pistachios

In a large mixing bowl, cream together cream cheese, butter and melted white chocolate.

Beat in vanilla and milk, then add in the confectioners’ sugar gradually until the frosting reaches your desired consistency. Stir in the cranberries and pistachios.

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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!

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    Laure — March 5, 2009 at 9:45 pm

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

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    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).

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    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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    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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    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.

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    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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    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 🙂

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    Naomi — March 13, 2009 at 10:05 am

    Yes Jen, thank you!

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    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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    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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    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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