You’ll have to excuse me for playing catch up here but it seems like I make lots of cupcakes and never take pictures of them so they never make it to the blog. Or I forget I take pictures since they get buried deep in my email, so a post never gets made. I was trying to clear all of the junk out of my gmail and I found these pictures from before Christmas time! But I figured I’d post about them because they were delicious (I mean, aren’t all of my cupcakes?), and festive not only for Christmas but the wintertime.
I had a long debate about what kind of cupcakes to bring to our family Christmas get together. I wanted them to be festive for the holidays but they also had to be something special. I scoured Pinterest…which I’m sure I’ve mentioned is just about the best website out there. And finally decided on Andes Mints cupcakes. Everyone likes mint and chocolate together, right? And if you don’t, Santa is going to leave a lump of coal in your stocking.
[Inspired by Mel’s Kitchen Cafe]
Cupcakes (makes about 24)
- 2 cups sugar
- 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup HERSHEY’S Cocoa
- 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup boiling water
- For the cupcakes, preheat oven to 350°F and line cupcake tin
- In a large bowl, stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- Mix together eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; using a handheld electric mixer or an electric stand mixer, beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.
- Stir in boiling water, the batter should be on the thinner side.
- Fill the muffin cups 2/3 full and bake for 18-20 minutes
Chocolate mint filling
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips
- 3 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
- 1/3 cup powdered sugar
- lace the chocolate chips and heavy cream in a small microwave-safe bowl and heat for 1 minute at 50% power and stir
- Repeat the process until the mixture is smooth.
- Stir in the peppermint extract and powdered sugar, whisking until smooth. Let the mixture cool to room temperature (but don’t let it get too stiff) and pour it into a squeeze bottle or a ziploc bag.
- Once cupcakes are cooled, cut a hole in the middle of each and fill with chocolate mint filling
- 1 and 1/2 cups sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 5 large egg whites
- 4 sticks unsalted room temperature butter, cut into pieces
- 1 Tbsp. mint extract
- Green food coloring to desired color
- 1 package Andes Mint candy (for garnish)
- Place sugar and egg whites in the heat-proof bowl of an electric mixer. Set bowl over a pan of gently simmering water, and whisk until sugar has dissolved and egg whites are hot to the touch, about 3 minutes. Test by rubbing the mixture between your fingers; it should feel completely smooth
- Transfer bowl to mixer stand. Using the whisk attachment, beat on high speed until mixture has cooled completely and formed stiff and glossy peaks, about 10 minutes.
- Add the butter, one piece at a time, and beat until incorporated after each addition. Don’t worry if the buttercream appears curdled after all the butter has been added; it will become smooth again with continued beating. Add mint extract, and beat just until combined.
- Switch to the paddle attachment, and beat on the lowest speed to eliminate any air pockets, about 5 minutes. Add in a few drops of green food coloring at a time until frosting reaches desired color.
- Frost cupcakes and top with an Andes Mint candy
Everyone at the family Christmas party loved these cupcakes. The chocolate mint really made them special, it tasted like there was an Andes Mint candy inside of them. The cake was very fluffy but really stood up to the mound of frosting on top. These are the perfect wintertime cupcake if you like chocolate and mint, and let’s face, who doesn’t? I’m putting these on my holiday party go-to cupcake list because they’re definitely not as hard as them seem with all of the ingredients and directions.
It seems like I’ve been on a cupcake making hiatus lately…the last cupcakes that I’ve actually made were the caramel apple ones waaaay back in September. That’s pretty sad huh? I’ve made a lot of cupcake promises to people lately but haven’t lived up to them at all. I promise all of you that you will get your moving cupcakes, engagement cupcakes, and those just because I love you cupcakes. They really will get to you, I swear!
I got one foot wet getting back into the world of cupcakes when Lenny, Susical, and I had a roommate bonding and holiday decorating night last Friday night. There’s nothing better than snuggling with your roomies after work and putting up a ridiculously sparkly Christmas tree, right? Yeah, we clearly have a special roommate relationship. Anyway, I wanted to make the roomies a little treaty for our holiday decoration celebration and what says winter and holidays more than peppermint? When I think of peppermint, I see chocolate…these two are a match made in heaven (almost as good as chocolate and peanut butter, but not quite there). I don’t think it can get much better than a brownie cupcake stuffed with a peppermint patty and topped with fluffy peppermint buttercream frosting. Yum!
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1.5 sticks melted butter (plus more room temperature butter to grease cupcake tin)
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 1/4 Tsp. salt
- 1/2 Tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 cup Dutch process cocoa powder
- 12 mini peppermint patties
- Preheat oven to 350. Liberally grease a 12 cup cupcake tin with room temperature butter…no need for cupcake wrappers here, they just get in the way and stick!
- Mix together melted butter and sugar until well combined. Add eggs one at a time until the mixture is fully combined and golden yellow.
- In a separate bowl, mix together flour, salt, baking powder, and cocoa powder. Slowly mix into the butter, sugar, and egg mixture until combined, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Divide half of the batter among the 12 cupcake tins. Place peppermint patty in the middle of the batter and top with remaining half of the batter divided among the 12 cupcakes. Bake at 350 for 18-24 minutes or until a toothpick comes out fully clean. Cool on a wire rack before frosting.
To go along with these pepperminty brownie cupcakes, I thought a pepperminty Swiss meringue buttercream would be the perfect compliment. We all know that Swiss meringue buttercream is my favorite frosting but I mess this stuff up ALL THE TIME! I seriously don’t know what my problem is with this frosting that it turns out to be such a hit or miss, or at least I didn’t know until now (and now, I only think I know…but I can admit that I’ve been wrong once or twice in my life). Apparently when you mix in the butter to the meringue, it turns a little liquidy at first. If you keep mixing and mixing it will eventually stiffen up to the perfect fluffy consistency. Be patient! It will definitely pay off.
I used a half recipe of my basic Swiss meringue buttercream but instead of adding vanilla extract in there, I replaced it with 2 teaspoons of peppermint extract instead. This was the perfect amount of peppermintyness (yeah, that’s clearly not a word but it sounds good, right?) to top the brownie cupcakes. As Susical put it, it tasted like delicious mint ice cream…she thought it was my best frosting yet, and who am I to argue with such a smart woman? Topping the cupcakes off with some cutesy little candy cane sprinkles and you have a finished product.
I loved these cupcakes because the actual brownie part of the cupcake isn’t very sweet at all but once you get a bite of the peppermint patty in the middle and a little bit of that frosting, you have a perfect bite. I’m even going to admit that I’ve eaten 4 of these cupcakes since Friday (that’s almost one a day people)! Now that I’m hopefully back on the cupcake train, I’ve clearly got to keep working on getting people their cupcakes.
What happens when someone has a birthday and another runs the Boston Marathon? They get cupcakes, obviously. My friend who I like to call Nipkins (yes my friends have weird nicknames, you’re going to get a lot of crazy ones through the course of this blog) ran the Boston Marathon this year. Fairly close to marathon time, her boyfriend D-Train had a birthday. Clearly they both need cupcakes to celebrate these momentous occasions. D-Train had requested mint chocolate chip cupcakes for his birthday so I figured lets make a dozen of these and they can share them in celebration.
They were pretty easy cupcakes. Because I like the one bowl chocolate cupcakes so much, I used this recipe and added some mint extract to it. Only about 2 teaspoons though because I didn’t want too much mint flavor in the chocolate cupcakes…I was saving that for the frosting. The frosting is where the mint lived. It was a basic buttercream:
- 2 sticks unsalted butter
- 4 cups confectioners sugar
- 1 tablespoon mint extract
All we’re doing here with the frosting is combining the above ingredients and adding just a few drops of green food coloring. Not too much now, just enough so it looks like the color of mint chocolate chip ice cream. That is what we’re going for after all, isn’t it?
I like to pipe on the frosting in a pretty swirl. I used to do this with my #194 tip, but as you might remember it went down the drain, literally, so from now on it’s going to be hard. Until I get another one that it. Anywho, it is a must to finish off the cupcakes with a chocolate chip garnish because they are mint chocolate chip cupcakes, aren’t they?
So what was the verdict on these cupcakes? Well Nipkins told me she liked them but D-Train wasn’t all that excited about them apparently. I guess they weren’t exactly what he was looking for but he did request them, remember? If you’re reading D-Train, I shed a single tear over this. We’re going to have to have a long talk about this because I never got a good answer on why they weren’t great, but Nipkins did tell me that you ate a bunch of them. Sooooo, I’m guessing they weren’t nauseating. Next time maybe chocolate chips in the actual cupcake? I promise to try harder.