Sunday, June 28, 2015

Chocolate Mint Cupcakes

A friend of mine hired me to make cupcakes for her daughter's 7th birthday party.  Her daughter requested chocolate mint cupcakes, which I'd never made before, so I turned to One Sweet Cupcake.

I pretty much followed the recipe, except I used bittersweet chocolate and didn't measure it, reduced the vanilla, and I had to guess how long to bake them.  For some reason, there aren't a lot of baking times in the recipes.

These turned out so great, I ended up making 2 batches, that's right, 48 freaking cupcakes, because I wanted some for my family too!  I frosted them with Vanilla Mint Buttercream, and garnished with half an Andes Creme de Menthe Thin (my friend's idea) and a sprig of fresh mint (my idea) and they turned out FABULOUS and DELICIOUS.  See for yourself.  And then make some for yourself!

Chocolate Mint Cupcakes
Adapted from One Sweet Cupcake
Makes 24 cupcakes

4 oz. high-quality bittersweet chocolate bar, chopped into small pieces
1/2 cup boiling water
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla
1 teaspoon peppermint extract

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cocoa powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Place chocolate in the bowl of a stand mixer.  Pour boiling water over chocolate and let sit for 1 minute.  Using the whisk attachment, mix until smooth.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Add sour cream, applesauce, oil, eggs, vanilla, and peppermint.  Mix well.

In a separate bowl, sift flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cocoa powder.  Turn the stand mixer on low, add dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated and smooth.

Line two standard muffin tins with paper baking cups.  Fill each cup two-thirds full with batter.  Bake about 20 minutes, until the tops spring back at the touch of your finger and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. 

Remove from tins and cool completely on wire rack before icing.

Frost with Vanilla Mint Buttercream and garnish with halved Andes Creme de Menthe Thins and fresh peppermint leaves, as shown.

Vanilla Mint Buttercream

Inspired by One Sweet Cupcake, I halved the recipe for Vanilla Buttercream and also made it minty to top off some Chocolate Mint Cupcakes.  (I didn't like her recipes for Peppermint Buttercream OR Grasshopper Buttercream for the purposes of this party)  I colored the frosting pale kelly green for a birthday party, but white or any other color would be just as nice. 

Vanilla Mint Buttercream
Adapted from One Sweet Cupcake
Makes enough to frost more than 48 cupcakes in method shown above.  :-)

1 pound butter, softened
pinch of salt
2 pounds powdered sugar
1/8 cup milk
1 tablespoon pure vanilla
1/2 tablespoon peppermint extract

In a stand mixer bowl with the paddle attachment, beat butter and salt until light, completely smooth and fluffy.  Turn the mixer speed to low and add half of the powdered sugar.  Mix until smooth. 

Add vanilla and peppermint to milk. 

Alternately, add remaining powdered sugar and milk extract mixture, beating until smooth and creamy.  Add green food coloring (I use Wilton paste colors) and mix until desired shade is reached.

Frost cupcakes as desired.  I garnished each cupcake with

Andes Creme de Menthe Thins and fresh peppermint leaves/sprigs.

**I will elaborate on my technique above if anyone would like me to!

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