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Chocolate Mint Cupcakes

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So, I made these beauties to take and participate in the DC Cupcake Camp 2011. What’s that saying about best laid plans? Needless to say I did not make it to DC that day nor did I really go anywhere that day due to stupidity on part of the car (not my normal car) and myself. I feel so horrible that I was not able to attend … I am sure that I am on the DO NOT LET PARTICIPATE list for 2012 and I wouldn’t blame them.

“What had happened was” that somehow I manage to trigger the alarm on the car and could not figure how to un-trigger it until my Dad deemed to show up LATE in the afternoon (nope, I don’t have anger issues) and by then it was too late to do anything except let go and let flow and have a cupcake. Can I say I was so mad originally I was actually doing that jumping up and down with my hands going up and down in anger move. If my neighbors were peeking out their windows they would have seen me in all my ridiculous glory but I was soooo MAD! Lastly, who knew that unlocking a trunk could un-arm a car alarm.

What to do when you have 3 dozen cupcakes? Why take them to work where you can help them eat their daily caloric allowance with one cupcake or perhaps two.

The origination of this cupcake is from a childhood memory. It was my birthday wish when I was a kid. It was the reason to have a birthday and grow older … it is simply the bomb dot com. My Mom would make a double layer chocolate mint cake for my birthday (even then I LOVED chocolate). Instead of making it from scratch however she would simply use Devil’s Food cake mix and doctor it accordingly … still delicious no matter how you do it and when you were a single mother working 40+ hour weeks then cake mix it is! Especially when your Mom would make meals from scratch; you have to utilize some time savers from time to time. Big Ups to working Moms (and let’s face it all Mom’s are working Moms)! :)

If I were to describe the flavor it would be like a “Thin Mint”. The taste of peppermint is there but it is not over powering and with the chocolate it’s a match made in heaven, delicious heaven … it’s like a the cool sensation of a … just kidding.

Until Next Time,

Jennifer

I realize when proofing my post that I sound like I have regressed back to my teenager years.

Chocolate Mint Cupcakes

Ingredients

3/4 cup butter plus 3 Tablespoons of butter

3/4 cup of Bittersweet Chocolate Chips

3 Cups of Granulated Sugar

3 eggs, room temperature

2 cups of Sour Cream

1 Tablespoon of Mint Extract

3 Cups of All Purpose Flour

3/4 cup of Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

2 Teaspoons of Baking Soda

1/4 Hard Peppermint Candies, crushed

Directions: Preheat oven to 350F degrees. In a microwave safe bowl add 3 Tablespoons of butter and chocolate chips and melt together at 50% power in the microwave, approximately 2 minutes. Set melted mixture aside.

In a food processor or large ziploc baggie add peppermints and crush. They should be nice miniature pieces but not dust. Set aside.

In a large bowl sift the dry ingredients; flour, cocoa powder, and baking soda. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add an egg one at a time to mixture and beat on high for approximately two minutes each. Add mint extract and sour cream. Mix. Gradually add the dry sifted ingredients to the wet until fully mixed together. Fold in crushed peppermint candies.

In your cupcake pan add your cupcake liners. Add cake mixture to each individual cake liner; filling batter 2/3 full.

Bake cupcakes for approximately 16-20 minutes. When testing with a toothpick a little bit of cake should come with it but should not be soupy more like a crumb. When that happens remove from oven. Cake will continue to cook while cooling. Take out the oven and let cool.

 Chocolate Buttercream
Ingredients

3 cups of salted butter, softened

8 cups of powdered sugar, sifted

1 teaspoon of espresso powder

1/2 teaspoon of warm water

2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

12 ounces of melted bittersweet chocolate, cooled

1 to 2 Tablespoons of Milk

Directions: In a large bowl sift powdered sugar and set aside. In a microwave safe bowl melt chocolate; set aside. In a small bowl combine espresso powder and warm water; set aside.

In a large mixing bowl add butter and whip until fluffy. Add espresso water and vanilla extract and whip. Add melted chocolate and whip until incorporated. In two cup measurements whip sifted confectioner sugar to butter mixture, keep adding until the confectioner sugar has been added completely. Add milk and whip mixture until you get the proper consistency to ice cupcakes.

Nice & Naughty Dulce De Leche Cupcakes

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Dulce de Leche Cupcakes

Do food bloggers share the same mind?  I am inclined to think so when I saw a posting from one of my favorite food bloggers, Joy the Baker, earlier this week for Dulce de Leche Cupcakes.

It was like I read her mind (perhaps she was thinking loudly) and I say I read her mind since I am sure she probably has her posts planned in advance while I am a spur of the moment blogger and Dulce de Leche popped in my head on  late Saturday night early Sunday morning.

Perhaps it was just kismet or it’s just one of those unexplainable things.  I just thought it was one of life’s funny things.  *shrugs*

There is no real great inspiration for these cupcakes, I needed to send some bake goodies out to a friend whose birthday was on February 14th … yeah, I know I am majorly late.   It’s the thought, right?

The cupcakes are moist and delicious with hints of cinnamon and caramel.  It’s a simple Martha Stewart recipe, yes I wrote “simple” and “Martha Stewart” in the same sentence, with a few adaptations by me.

The Dulce de Leche buttercream is the naughty; it’s so naughty that your thighs will be repenting once you have a taste.  It’s rich and oh so good!

This recipe is “guinea” approved.

P.S.  You might want to have a glass of milk to chase this nice yet sinful cupcake.

Until Next Time,

Jennifer

Cinnamon Cake
Makes 24 cupcakes or 2- 8 inch rounds
Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Versatile Vanilla Cake

Ingredients
1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, room temperature
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon
2 large eggs plus 3 large egg yolks

2 teaspoon of Vanilla Paste

4 tablespoons Hershey’s Caramel Syrup

1 cup low-fat buttermilk

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 Fahrenheit.

In a small bowl mix buttermilk and caramel syrup; set aside.  Sift all dry ingredients together in a bowl; set aside.  In a mixing bowl cream butter and sugar together.  Add eggs one at a time to the creamed mixture; incorporating well.  Add vanilla paste and cinnamon and mix.   Alternate adding sifted dry ingredients and buttermilk mixture to wet batter; mix until combined.

Scoop batter into lined muffin tins bake for approximately 23-25 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool for approximately 1 to 2 hours.

Dulce De Leche Buttercream
Makes 6 cups
Adapted from Wilton’s Buttercream

Ingredients
2 cups (4 sticks) salted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup Dulce de Leche
8 cups of sifted confectioners sugar
4 tablespoons of milk
2 teaspoons of lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon of sea salt

Directions
In a mixing bowl whip butter and dulce de leche together for approximately 5 minutes.  Add confectioners sugar two cups at a time to the blended and continue whipping; after confectioners sugar has been added should be extremely stiff.  Add milk, lemon juice and salt and whip once again.  The frosting should be thick yet manageable if too thick continue to add 1 teaspoon of milk until you get the consistency desired.

Finally, use a pastry bag and a large tip and pipe buttercream onto cooled cupcakes and serve.

 

*If you don’t have the caramel syrup simply omit.

Red Velvet Cupcakes v1

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Yes, version one (v1).

Like any new blog entry this came about with the thought of “let me try making this.” I tried making Red Velvet Cupcakes and was not impressed with the outcome so I will keep trying until I have a Red Velvet that can give Duncan Hines a run their money!

The only saving grace for these v1 cupcakes was the buttercream – it covered a multitude of sins in my “great” opinion.

I like Red Velvet but it will never take the place of a good chocolate anything. Red Velvet contains cocoa powder just not enough to give me my chocolate high that I need and crave. I know Red Velvet has southern roots yet until watching “Steel Magnolias” I had never heard of it.

Red Velvet v1 was no bueno for the following reason – I thought they were dry, perhaps even a little crumbly. The taste was uninspiring – was not good or bad, just blah. Red Velvet v1 was unremarkable; quickly forgotten after being eaten. The saving grace of this cupcake was the icing. The icing was a buttercream that had hints of vanilla, cinnamon, and cheesecake (thanks to the help of cheesecake flavored oil).

A traditional cream cheese icing would have been the icing if I had not been mailing these “treasures”. I try to avoid making others sick with my food; it tends to make them not want to eat any of my creations afterward. Just a common courtesy I like to extend.

There are several different recipes for Red Velvet in my recipe binders that I am ready to try … try try another day, another blog posting.

Version 1 was a modification on Chocklit’s Red Velvet Cupcakes.

 

Red Velvet Cupcakes
Adapted from Chockylit’s Red Velvet Cupcakes
Makes 10 cupcakes

1 1/4 cup Cake flour
1/8 c Cocoa
1/2 teaspoon Baking soda
1/2 teaspoon Baking powder
1/8 teaspoon of Salt
1/2 cup of Buttermilk
1 teaspoon Red Wine Vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla bean paste
1/8 ounce Red food coloring paste
3/4 cup Sugar
1/4 cup Butter, softened
1 Egg
2 Tablespoons Mayonnaise

Preheat oven to 350 Fahrenheit.

Sift all your dry ingredients except sugar (flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt) into a medium bowl; set aside.

Whisk buttermilk, vinegar, vanilla bean paste, and red food coloring paste together in a bowl; set aside.

Cream sugar and butter together until fluffy; add egg and mayonnaise until incorporated.

Add half of the dry ingredients and half of the wet ingredients to the creamed mixture and mix together. Add the remaining dry and wet ingredients to the creamed mixture and incorporate until mixed.

Add batter to the cupcake liners (that are of course in your cupcake/muffin pan); fill the liners 3/4ths full.

Bake at 350 Fahrenheit for approximately 17-20 minutes; middle should be “springy”.

Cool for approximately 1 hour to 1 hour and a half.

“Cheesecake” Buttercream Icing
Adapted from Wilton’s Buttercream Icing
Makes 3 Cups of Icing

1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine softened
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 drops of Cheesecake Flavored Oil
1 teaspoon butter vanilla flavoring
4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar (approximately 1 lb.)
2 tablespoons half and half

Cream shortening and butter in a large bowl. Mix until thoroughly incorporated, approx 3-5 minutes. Add cinnamon, cheesecake flavored oil, and butter vanilla flavoring to creamed mixture and blend. Next add powdered sugar to the blended mixture 1 cup at a time until all has mixed together, will be stiff. Add half and half to mixture and beat until light and fluffy, if still thick continue to add half and half by the teaspoon until you achieve the light and fluffy texture needed.

Icing the cupcakes
You can use what ever method you would like to ice your cupcakes.
1. Frost your cupcakes the old fashioned way with a knife/ small spatula.
2. Add icing to a pastry bag and snip a large hole off at the end of the bag and pipe buttercream onto the cupcakes.
3. Add icing to a pastry bag with a large tip (such as the French Tip) and pipe buttercream onto the cupcakes.

Remember if shortening makes you leery, you can always substitute it with butter; however if your cupcakes are going to be traveling (especially in the summer months) the shortening may not be a bad idea!

Until Next Time,
Jennifer

Birthday and Cupcakes

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Today is the day that I am a little bit older but apparently not wiser since I just realized why my mixer was being a pain in the tuchus, it was set on the wrong bowl setting! I have had this mixer for over a year and never did it occur that the bowl setting was the problem. Since I have corrected my problem it creams, mixes, and whips like a dream!

My single requirement for this day is that I am off, no work allowed on my day. Thought being, why should I be stressed on my day ?? So it has been a great day and I have received many birthday wishes from family and friends and that means the world to me! Of course with birthdays having cake (or cupcakes) is an important thing. I began thinking on what to make … whattomakewhattomakewhattomake???

A great idea came to me last night – Brown Sugar Cupcakes and Chocolate Chip Buttercream!!!! I have dubbed this brizillant creation “Chocolate Chip Cookie” Cupcakes. Genius! This treat takes all the fabulous components of a Chocolate Chip Cookie yet in a cupcake form. The cupcakes are moist and the chocolate chip buttercream sweet. When I ravaged (yes, ravaged) my cupcake it reminded me of the rich “Dinky Doozie” from Great American Cookie Company, a favorite indulgence for me when I happen to venture into a mall (so twice a year).

Having a great birthday is always a good thing – this cupcake is pure sinful rich exquisite icing on my birthday. LOL

Brown Sugar Cupcakes

The Brown Sugar Cupcake recipe is from the book Demolition Desserts by Elizabeth Falkner (I have added this book to my wish list) which I located from fellow food bloggerMolly’s Menu; so with that being said, I am simply posting the link so you can get the recipe for yourself. I did not make any changes to recipe; I followed it to the letter. Don’t forget to let the cupcakes cool!

Chocolate Chip Buttercream

1 stick of room temperature butter

1/4 cup of vegetable shortening (Crisco)**

4 cups of confectioner’s sugar

1 teaspoon Vanilla Bean Paste

4 Tablespoons milk

2/3cup Mini Chocolate Chips

In a mixing bowl cream softened butter and shortening. Add 2 cups of confectioner’s sugar and mix. Add remaining 2 cups of confectioner’s sugar. (Should resemble thick paste) Add Vanilla Bean Paste and milk. Mix until you achieve smoothness and consistency. (If mixture is too thick continue to add milk 1 Tablespoon at a time) Fold chocolate chips into buttercream until incorporated.

** I used Crisco Shortening “sticks”, they make for easy measurement and worth extra pennies to have in my opinion. You can omit the shortening, and subsitute with additional butter.  I find that the shortening gives me the little bit of stiffness I am in need of especially when shipping cupcakes or transporting cupcakes in the summer time.

Icing the cupcakes

Like before, you can either do the old fashion icing of the cupcakes – using a spatula or knife to ice the cupcakes or you can get all fancy with it and look like you just ran to your favorite Cupcake shop by using a pastry bag (tip or no tip – you decide!) and pipe the icing on the cupcake.  Today I chose to extra fancy and pipe the icing with a tip.

Until Next Time!

Debil’s Food Cupcakes with Oreo Buttercream

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Debil's Food Cupcakes v1

Finally back and blogging – Yay! I have so many ideas churning for future postings however work is still as crazy as ever so I need to figure out how to accomplish future postings since I want to share my thoughts.

To play catch up, I have finished my resume.  I also have been given a quasi extension so my job is not ending as soon as I thought — this gives me time to get all my ducks, chickens, and bears in a row.

I did not win the cupcake contest that I entered; though I am proud that I did enter. So that’s life in a nutshell.

Now on to Debil’s Food Cupcakes.. yes Debil’s Food. I happen to love the movie, “Water Boy” (don’t judge) and with the extra touch of chocolate added to these cupcakes they are not the Devil but the “Debil”.

During the making of these cupcakes- a gadget died, my hand mixer.  It died of an apparent icing overdose, R.I.P. hand mixer. *sniff* Luckily it died after I finished mixing the Oreo Buttercream!  I still have my stand mixer (yet it is not my ultimate dream fantasy mixer.. The Kitchen Aid.)

These chocolate cupcakes are moist and delicious and easy to make.  They will be sure to please any chocolate lover!  The Oreo Buttercream compliments the “Debil’s” Food so when you bite into the cupcake it is pure Heaven on your mouth yet Hell on your thighs!

“Debil’s” Food Cupcakes with Oreo Buttercream Icing

Adapted from ChockyLit’s Devil’s Food Cupcake with Chocolate Buttercream

Makes 12 cupcakes

Cupcakes
1 cup All Purpose Flour
1 cup granulated sugar
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

¼ cup Ghiradelli’s 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Chips

¾ teaspoon baking soda

¾ cup Buttermilk
¼ cup plus 1 Tablespoon of Butter, salted

1 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste

1 egg, room temperature

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a microwave safe bowl add ¼ cup chocolate chips and 1 Tablespoon butter and melt together at 50% power in the microwave for approximately 1 minute 30 seconds.  Set melted mixture aside.  In a mixing bowl add all ingredients except the egg; cream mixture together until incorporated.  Add egg to creamed mixture and beat on high for approximately two minutes.

In your cupcake pan add your cupcake liners.  Add cake mixture to each individual cake liner; filling batter 2/3 full. (I use an ice cream scoop to add the mixture to the cupcake liners.  I found that tip through other food bloggers.)  Bake cupcakes for approximately 16-20 minutes.  Take out the oven and let cool.

Icing
1 stick of room temperature butter **

4 cups of confectioner’s sugar

1 teaspoon Vanilla Bean Paste

¼ cup milk

½ cup crushed Oreos

In a mixing bowl cream softened butter.  Add 2 cups of confectioner’s sugar and mix.  Add remaining 2 cups of confectioner’s sugar.  (Should resemble thick paste) Add Vanilla Bean Paste and milk.  Mix until you achieve smoothness and consistency. (If mixture is too thick continue to add milk 1 Tablespoon at a time) Mix in crushed Oreos to buttercream until incorporated.

** If you want a more resilient buttercream try using ½ stick of butter and ½ cup of shortening (like Crisco).

Icing the cupcakes

You can either do the old fashion icing of the cupcakes – using a spatula or knife to ice the cupcakes or you can get all fancy with it and look like you just ran to your favorite Cupcake shop by using a pastry bag (tip or no tip – you decide!) and pipe the icing on the cupcake.  I chose to pipe the icing using no tip since I just wanted to be fancy!
Viola! You now have “Debil’s Food Cupcakes with Oreo Buttercream to enjoy and share!

Until next time -Happy Eatings!

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