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Peppermint Chocolate Cupcakes with White Chocolate Frosting

December 22, 2011

Well my endeavor to create cupcakes from classic Christmas cookies continues and I must admit that I was most excited about creating a recipe for today’s cupcake. I have come to love peppermint chocolate cookies around Christmas and the idea of a cupcake equivalent was almost too much excitement for this little foodie. Plus, it seemed to be one of the most festive of my possible recipes, complete with candy cane topping.

I decided that I would slightly alter my favorite chocolate cupcake and incorporate a touch of peppermint. Then to top it off, I couldn’t resist creating a white chocolate butter cream frosting. The end result was an incredibly moist, flavorful cupcake, light, fluffy frosting, and a smattering of tasty candy canes. I think Santa would stay at your house forever if you left out these cupcakes for him…

Peppermint Chocolate Cupcakes with White Chocolate Frosting
Yields: 30 Cupcakes

— Cupcakes —
2 cups Sugar
1 3/4 cups All purpose flour
3/4 cup Cocoa powder
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 Peppermint extract
1 cup Boiling water
— Frosting —
8 ounces White chocolate (finely chopped)
3 cups Confectioners sugar (sifted)
8 tablespoons Unsalted butter (softened)
1/3 cup Milk
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla extract
Pinch Salt
4 Candy canes (crushed)

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Line 2 muffins pans with paper baking cups.
2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and peppermint; beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.
3. Bake 22-25 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely.
4. Melt the white chocolate in a double boiler or on low in the microwave (about 1 minute). Stir until smooth. Let cool to room temperature.
5. Beat the confectioners’ sugar and butter together until the mixtures comes together and is well mixed.
6. Slowly add the milk, vanilla extract, and salt. Continue beating until the frosting is light and fluffy, at least 5 minutes. Stir in the cooled white chocolate. Refrigerate until firm enough to frost the cupcakes, about 30 minutes.
7. Frost the cooled cupcakes, top with crushed candy canes, and serve.

Kate’s Thoughts
Be sure not to overfill the cupcake liners. These cupcakes will rise quite a bit, so just under 2/3 is sufficient.

Incorporating melted chocolate can affect the consistency of your frosting. If you find it is too runny, simply add a little confectioners sugar. Too thick? A small addition of milk will do the trick. It doesn’t hurt to do some taste testing along the way, but that’s the best part of baking!

I recommend crushing the candy canes in a heavy duty zip-loc bag with a mallet or the bottom of a heavy pot. Be sure the pieces are small enough to top the cupcakes. In addition, wait to top the cupcakes with the crushed candy canes until they are ready to serve. Not sure the science behind it, but I’ve found that the crushed candy canes will liquify on top of the cupcakes when the cupcakes are stored in a plastic container. Strange, I know!

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