Remember those chocolate whoopie pies with peppermint buttercream filling last week? Right. My obsession with the combination of peppermint and chocolate. Well, here it is again but this time it's in cupcake form. :)
I made these cupcakes for a coworker's birthday last week. They were eaten quickly and folks used positive words to describe them. I am going to go out on a limb and say they were a success. ;) The chocolate cupcake recipe is the same one I used when I made my oreo stuffed chocolate cupcakes a few weeks back, and the icing recipe is from a great little book Cupcakes! by Elinor Klivans.
Ingredients for the cupcakes:
-1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
-1 cup hot water
-1 and 2/3 cups flour
-1 and 1/2 cups sugar
-1/2 tsp. baking soda
-1/2 tsp. salt
-1/2 cup butter, softened
-1 tsp. vanilla
Ingredients for the icing:
-2 and 1/2 cups powdered sugar
-1/4 cup unsalted butter
-6 Tbsp. water
-1/4 tsp. peppermint extract
-crushed candy canes to sprinkle on top :)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place paper cupcake liners in muffin pan. Mix the cocoa with the hot water in a bowl until the mixture is smooth. Set aside and let the mixture cool for about 10 minutes. When it's cool, place it in a mixing bowl and add the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, butter, eggs, and vanilla. Beat on low speed for two minutes. Increase speed and beat for two additional minutes. Fill the cups about 2/3 to 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from pan and let cool completely on wire rack before topping with the icing. Makes approximately 18 cupcakes.
For the icing, sift the powdered sugar into a large bowl. Heat the butter and water in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until the butter melts. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the peppermint extract. Pour the warm mixture over the powdered sugar, then whisk vigorously until it is smooth. The icing will be soft but thick enough to cling to the tops of the cupcakes. Immediately sprinkle with crushed candy canes, if desired. These cupcakes can be stored at room temperature, covered tightly, for up to 3 days.
I crushed candy canes in my food processor - worked like a charm! So easy.
One thing I might do differently next time is make the icing thicker than it was. The icing was definitely tasty with a strong peppermint flavor; however, in my opinion, it was a bit too runny. I would have just added more powdered sugar this time around, but I had actually run out! At the time I made these, I had just the two and a half cups called for in the recipe. Oops! Probably 98% of the time, I have extra on hand of just about every baking staple you can think of. Not this time though! Oh well. The icing was still very yummy but I would have preferred it to be a bit thicker, that's all! No big deal. :)