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Black Bottom Cupcakes

This recipe is easy, and the cupcakes make a beautiful presentation. They're fine with no icing because they have a "well" of filling.

The filling:
1 8-ounce brick cream cheese, room temperature (do not use "lite" cream cheese)
1 large egg
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup chocolate chips

The cupcakes:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and set the oven racks at the top and lower-middle levels. Line two 12-cavity muffin tins with muffin cups and set aside.

Make the filling: combine the cream cheese, egg, sugar and salt in a bowl, beating until blended. Stir in chocolate chips.

Make the cupcakes: In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Add the water, oil, vinegar and vanilla, beating at medium speed just until combined.

Fill the prepared muffin cups about 1/3 up. Place about 2 teaspoonsful of the filling on top of each of these. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes on the top and lower-middle racks of the oven, then reverse the positions of the two cupcake pans (putting the one from the top on the lower middle rack and vice versa), and bake another 15 to 18 minutes. Allow to cool completely, then store in an airtight container for up to 3 days. (Do not freeze, as it gives the cream cheese mixture a funny texture.)

Makes about 2 dozen cupcakes.

"Dining by Design,"
by the Junior League of Pasadena, Calif.

Sunday, October 01, 2000

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