Books for Chocolate….


As the More is More Mom®, I always love…..more time with my Book Club Girlfriends! What I love the most about our Book Club is that it is comprised of so many of my favorite and closest friends. In order to see the rest of my gal pals, we need to schedule time to meet over coffee or lunch, but at least I know for sure I’ll always see my Book Club Babes each and every month. While close friendships doesn’t necessarily lead to completely objective conversations, the discussions are always thoughtful and considerate; a perfectly civilized blend.

The only potential problem with the close friendship Book Club scenario is that friends tend to be rather forgiving, with an unspoken message that translates into; you don’t actually have to finish reading the book because we are thrilled to see you anyway……

Well, to compensate for this complicated dynamic, we have instituted the rule: if you don’t read the book, you must bring good chocolate to the meeting. This month, I must confess…..I brought chocolate. 

I had good intentions, but I just didn’t make it to the bookstore first thing and I got all engrossed in reading something else. 500 pages of something else. Instead of reading Mary and O’Neil, as was agreed upon, I got all caught up in Pat Conroy’s South of Broad. I mean, really, how does one just put down Pat Conroy? I’ve only read his Great Santini (awesome and the movie with the incomparable Robert Duval was amazing) and The Prince of Tides (the book was great, the movie was just ok. I think you have to be a total Barbra Streisand fan, though I do like a good Nick Nolte, no matter how girly the movie). By the time I brought Mary and O’Neil home, there was no way it was going to happen. So, instead, I brought chocolate. 

Anxious to try this fabulous cupcake recipe, I actually wasn’t all that full of remorse.

Homemade Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting:

What was so fantastic about these tasty treats was that they weren’t your traditional ooey-gooey cupcakes, but a more sophisticated subtle chocolate flavor with a rich cream cheese and chocolate chip frosting. Delish!

Frosting:

In a bowl, with an electric mixer, beat;

 

1-8oz package of softened cream cheese

Add;

 

1 large egg

2 Tbsp sugar

½ tsp salt

½ tsp vanilla extract

 

Fold in;

½ cup chocolate chips

Set aside

Cupcakes:

In a bowl, whisk together;

 

1 cup of flour

3 Tbsp sifted, unsweetened cocoa powder

¾ tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

1/8 tsp baking powder

 

Using another bowl, with an electric mixer, beat;

¾ cup, plus another 2 Tbsp sugar

½ cup of unsalted butter, softened

Continue to beat until nice an fluffy.

Beat in;

2 large eggs

Beating at a high speed, stir in;

2 tsp vanilla extract (always pure….in this case, imitation is never the sincerest form of flattery)

3 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped and melted (in the microwave works swimmingly)

Beat in;

Flour mixture

Blend in;

½ cup of milk

 

Pre-heat oven to 350°

Line muffin tin with paper liners

Fill each cup 1/3 way full

Make a well in each cup using a tablespoon

Place;

1 heaping Tbsp cream cheese filling in each center

Bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Cool and serve.

While my friends may like me for my intellectual insights, for my chocolate treats, they love me more……

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