Sunday, May 22, 2011

"Just something chocolatey..." (Black Bottom Cupcakes)

That was my brother's response when I asked him what he wanted me to make for his birthday dessert. Given that I absolutely love chocolate and own no less than 11 chocolate cookbooks, I figured I should have no problem honoring his request. I flipped through a bunch of my cookbooks and I wasn't finding anything I thought he would like AND was made with only ingredients I already had in the apartment. (I had procrastinated this particular baking project and I really did not want to go back out to the store at 10 o'clock at night.) So I moved onto my recipe binders and found a recipe for Black Bottoms that fit both of my criteria. This recipe was featured in a really cute article in Woman's Day magazine about the signature dishes of various staff members' Moms. Woman's Day is a magazine that I happen to receive for free and I rarely find recipes in it that appeal to me. However, this particular article really caught my eye. I had already made the Apricot Jam Tart from the same article for my Mom for Mother's Day, so I took a chance on this one hoping the results would be just as delicious. And boy were they good.  Moist chocolate cupcakes with a chocolate chip cheesecake topping, what's not to love?

If you want to try them yourself, just a few tips:
1. in my mini muffin pans they made 4 dozen, not 5 dozen
2. don't forget the 1 cup of water - it's written in the text of the recipe, but not in the ingredient list

As for the Apricot Jam Tart recipe, that was also fabulous and I definitely would make it again. I actually used peach jam in place of the apricot because I had a jar of my grandfather-in-law's homemade peach jam (delicious in and of itself). And I also went with pecans in the crust because I was out of almonds and thought pecans would go well with the peach filling. One word: Yum. It was universally like by all who tried it. The only thing I would do differently next time would be to use cookie cutters to make shapes (hearts maybe?) for the top layer of crust instead of the criss-crossing lattice. Though it was quite pretty, it was kind of a pain to make since the thin strips of dough kept tearing apart when I lifted them up off the table. This recipe seems to lend itself to different flavor substitutions, so if you are lucky enough to have a jar of homemade jam (or even a good quality store-bought jar), I'd give this one a try too.


  1. I'd like to go on record and say the Black Bottoms were delicious. In fact, if they showed up in my birthday tin instead of (or with) chocolate chip cookie bars, I wouldn't complain.