Black Bottom Cupcakes

I have a neighbor.  Only one neighbor that lives within voice range.  Their family has heard me yell a time or two at my kids, but they still like us:)  My neighbor is a fantastic cook.  Her daughter was the supreme cookie maker for years until she just recently got married and and moved.  I think it's rude:)  But my neighbor's mother is a fantastic cook as well and every once in a while she sneaks me a new recipe she's tried.  This happened last summer and I just got around to making these cupcakes.

They are wonderful!!!  Now I'm gong to tell a secret here.  The picture shows a lovely frosted cupcake, but in all reality the frosting was plucked off of every cupcake and they were eaten stark naked!  The entire family agreed that these cupcakes can totally stand on their own.  They need no extra dressing and to top that off, they are AMAZING right out of the oven!  So if you want to make them pretty, frost them, but if you want to eat something amazing, don't.

The recipe reminded me of a Red Velvet cake just minus the red food coloring.  It's lovely.  But the cream cheese filling with mini chocolate chips was heavenly!  I think from now on I'm going to call them muffins.  The connotation of muffins is that they're healthy, good for you, breakfast food that you can eat everyday.  Not like a cupcake which is dessert.  These little treats deserve a spot on your regular "muffin" rotation.  Thanks again dear neighbors for the recipe.  Sorry I didn't share:)

Ruth's Black Bottom Cupcakes (Muffins)

Blend and set aside:

8 oz cream cheese softened
1 egg
1/3 c. sugar
6 oz. mini chocolate chips
(This mixture made more than enough to fill a double batch of the cupcakes.  ) I made 27 cupcakes (A double batch) and still had a little of the cream cheese mixture left.

Mix together until smooth:

1 1/2 c. sifted flour
1 c. sugar
1 t. baking soda
1/4 c. cocoa powder
1/2 t. salt
1 c. water
1/3 c. oil
1 T. vinegar
1 t. vanilla

Fill 12-15 cupcake liners with batter.  I scoop them about 2/3 of the way full and the plop a big tablespoon full of the cream cheese mixture in the middle.  Bake at 350' F. for 25-30 minutes.  Until the tops are set.  No icing is need, but if you want you can top with cream cheese frosting or just a chocolate frosting.  They are so good right out of the oven!

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