Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes
There are so many things that I love about this time of year. Everyone (almost everyone) is a tad nicer, homes are adorned with beautiful lights and, best of all, Shoshana came home from college.
My 18 year old daughter is one of the best cupcake bakers around. She does not have a large baking repertoire, but what she does, really ROCKS.
When Shoshana and I got in the car the other day and I asked her what she felt like baking, her immediate response was, “Cupcakes!” What a treat for me.
We decided that Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes with Peppermint Buttercream would be perfect just before Christmas. We ran into a hiccup along the way before finding the perfect chocolate cupcake recipe to use as a foundation. Fortunately, Marcel Desaulnier is the master when it comes to heavenly chocolate desserts.
The cupcakes are rich and delicious with a gorgeous pop of red and white color coming from the peppermint baking chips. The chocolate peppermint buttercream is a fabulous blend of these two flavors and, fortunately, neither ingredient dominates.
You may either decorate the buttercream with dragees or sprinkles or leave the buttercream plain. You won’t go wrong either way.
I know I will enjoy the time with my baby girl over winter break, whether in the kitchen or not. However, selfishly, I really do hope we bake a lot together. She keeps me smiling!
|Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes|| |
- Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes:
- 10 ounces semisweet chocolate
- 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- ¾ cup cake flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 2 cups Andes Peppermint Baking Chips
- 5 eggs, room temperature
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Chocolate Peppermint Buttercream:
- 4 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, melted
- 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 2½ cups confectioners sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 5 drops peppermint oil
- 2 tablespoons milk
- dragees or sprinkles for decorating (optional)
- For the cupcakes:
- Preheat the oven to 325°. You will need two cupcake pans. Line with 18 paper liners and set aside.
- Melt the semisweet and unsweetened chocolate with the whipping cream and set aside to cool.
- Stir together the cake flour, baking soda and peppermint candies. Set aside.
- Place the eggs, sugar and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Beat until light in color, about 3 minutes. Blend in the cooled chocolate mixture. Mix in the dry ingredients just until combined.
- Scoop into the lined pans, up to ¼“ from the top of the liner.
- Bake at 325° for 25-28 minutes, rotating the pans side to side and front to back halfway through. The cupcakes are done when a wooden toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and cool completely before frosting.
- For the buttercream:
- Beat the butter in a large mixing bowl with a wire whisk for 5 minutes, scraping down the bowl occasionally. Add the confectioners sugar, vanilla and peppermint oil and beat until smooth. Blend in the cooled melted chocolate. Lastly, mix in the milk.
- Cut a small corner off a freezer plastic bag and insert a pastry tip into the hole. Transfer the buttercream to the plastic bag and seal, removing the air before you seal the bag.
- Pipe the buttercream over the cooled cupcakes and decorate with dragees or sprinkles, if desired.
- Betsy's tidbits:
- If melting the chocolate and cream in the microwave, watch carefully. You do not want the cream to boil.
- Dragees are tiny beadlike candies that are usually shiny and used for decorating cakes, cupcakes and/or cookies. The metallic ones are perfect for these Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes.