Chocolate Chip + Pistachio Cupcakes

There’s something about adding chocolate chips to a recipe that automatically takes it to the next level. Who wants banana bread when you can have chocolate chip banana bread? Why settle for a regular muffin when you can throw semi-sweet morsels in there as an excuse to eat more chocolate before noon? And of course, what would the quintessential chocolate chip cookie be without its star ingredient?

These cupcakes are reminiscent of their cookie counterpart – buttery and sweet with a hint of vanilla and plenty of chocolate chips. Paired with pistachios and topped with vanilla buttercream frosting and smoked sea salt, this is a dessert comforting enough to bring you back to your chocolate-chip-cookie-eating childhood, but with a nutty, savory twist that sets them apart from your ordinary chocolate chip experience.

Chocolate Chip + Pistachio Cupcakes
Inspired by Joy the Baker
Adapted from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything

10 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup brown sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
¾ cup milk
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
¾ cup shelled pistachios, roughly chopped
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting (see recipe below)
Additional pistachios for topping
Smoked sea salt (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a cupcake pan or use cupcake liners. With an electric mixer, cream the butter until it’s smooth. Gradually add the sugar and mix for about 3-4 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time and then add in the vanilla.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Stir a bit of these dry ingredients into the egg mixture, a little at a time, alternating with the milk. Stir just until smooth. Fold in the chocolate chips and the pistachios, being careful not to overmix the batter.

Fill the cupcake tins about 2/3 full and then bake them for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool the cupcakes on a wire rack and then top with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting (see recipe below) and a few shelled pistachios. Top with a small pinch of smoked sea salt (optional).

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
Adapted from Gale Gand

1½ cups powdered sugar
¾ cup butter
1 tbsp milk
½ tsp vanilla extract

Using a mixer with a whisk attachment, mix together the sugar and the butter on low speed until the ingredients are blended together.

Add the vanilla and milk and beat on medium speed for another 1-2 minutes until the frosting is smooth and creamy. If the frosting is a bit too thick, add milk or cream until you achieve the desired consistency.

This post was originally featured by Bright, Bold & Beautiful.