Friday, December 9, 2011

Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes

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Oh how I love chocolate and peppermint together this time of year! Once December hits, I'm all about hot chocolate with a hint of peppermint. So it's no wonder that combining the two in cupcake form would be something only fitting for the holidays. These Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes have the perfect balance of chocolate and peppermint, topped with a creamy peppermint buttercream frosting and garnished with crushed peppermint candies. It's beginning to taste a lot like Christmas....

This is one recipe where dutch cocoa works well in it's not as acidic as regular unsweetened cocoa powder. As a result, it is less bitter and adds a bit more chocolatey color. Oh... and if you have kiddies, you may want to store your dutch cocoa out of their reach. Mine happens to enjoy poking around my baking pantry. Obviously. :)

Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes
recipe slightly adapted from Martha Stewart

Cupcakes:
3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
3/4 cup hot water
3 cups all-purpose flour (or gluten free flour with xanthan gum)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter
2 1/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
1 cup sour cream, room temperature
1/4 cup chocolate chips

Frosting:
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
1 to 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
6 candy canes, crushed for garnish



Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners.

Whisk together cocoa and hot water until smooth.

In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

Melt butter with sugar in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring to combine. Remove from heat, and pour into a mixing bowl.

With an electric mixer on medium-low speed, beat until mixture is cooled, 4 to 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.

Add peppermint extract, then cocoa mixture, and beat until combined. Reduce speed to low.

Add flour mixture in two batches, alternating with the sour cream, and beating until just combined after each. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Using an ice cream scoop, divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake in the preheated oven for 17-20 minutes or until pick inserted in the centers comes out clean.

Transfer muffin pans to wire racks to cool 15 minutes; turn out cupcakes onto racks and let cool completely.

Meanwhile, to make the frosting, in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk together sugar and butter. Mix on low speed until well blended and then increase speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes.

Add peppermint extract and heavy cream; continue to beat on medium speed for 1 minute more.

Once cupcakes have cooled completely, frost with the frosting as desired and garnish with crushed peppermint candies.

5 comments:

Eva said...

Sounds delicious! The picture of Joel is just precious. He looks like he's saying, "Wasn't me!"

Grace said...

I'm with you on chocolate and peppermint. Gotta make 'em this weekend!

Krystal said...

Ahhhh, this picture is too sweet though. How can you get a mad with a lovable face like Joel's??? I was just looking for this recipe because I plan on making this for work next week. Thanks for saving me the trouble!! Miss you my sista from another motha!! XXOO!

Krista {Budget Gourmet Mom} said...

What a little stinker! I hope you ate a cupcake after cleaning that up. Peppermint and chocolate are such a great combination!

Jessica @Sunny Side Up said...

I just have to tell you that I am in love with Joel. If he doesn't have one of the sweetest faces in the world, I don't know who does!

I'm also a big fan of peppermint and chocolate and think your cupcakes are gorgeous. :)

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