We traveled to Maine for Christmas and hung out with my dad's family and then on to mom's house for a few days. I brought a Bailey's Chocolate Chip Cheesecake to my dad's... yum! It was a good recipe but the filling wasn't *quite* as firm as I usually like it and the Bailey's was a tad strong so I am going to reduce the Bailey's next time and kill two birds with one stone. Still, it was a great cheesecake:
And now it is New Year's Eve and I really think Mother Nature ONLY makes snow when we have plans. Another 6-8 inches today... so I guess we won't be driving the hour and a half to Amherst to meet with friends. New Year's Eve will be just another night in our house.
But back to the cupcakes! I have been trying to keep with the flavors of the season in my baking and decided to take on a more controversial flavor this round: peppermint. I say controversial only because I know some folks (including my husband) are not big fans of peppermint, but *I* am! So Mr. Fussypants got regular vanilla frosting on his... whatever.
I called these "double chocolate" only because I threw in a handful each of regular and mini semi-sweet chocolate chips. They were what I had on hand that needed to get used. You can leave those out without any other changes in the recipe. Mr. Fussypants was consoled by this addition and I think it made up for me frosting most of them with the peppermint. :-)
End result: super moist cake and really delish peppermint flavor in the frosting. I love peppermint and I found these quite pleasing. If you like your peppermint more subtle just reduce the extract to 1/2 a teaspoon. I dyed mine pink and rimmed the edges with crushed candy canes but those are optional too!
Double Chocolate Cupcakes
Makes about 15 (I made 12 regular and 9 minis)
1/2 cup (1 stick) room temperature butter
1-1/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs, room temp
3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 a bag of chocolate chips (of any size)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees
- Cream the butter till it is smooth. Add the sugar and beat about 3 minutes until it is mixed and fluffy
- Add eggs, one at a time, making sure they are well mixed
- Whisk together all dry ingredients in a bowl
- Mix the milk and vanilla
- Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, alternating with the milk mixture. Dry, then half the milk, dry again, the other half of the milk, and then finishing with dry
- Stir in the chocolate chips
- Divide the batter into 15 cupcakes liners in pans
- Immediately turn your oven down to 350 degrees!
- Bake cupcakes for 20-25 minutes. Mine were done at 23 minutes
A variation on Magnolia's frosting
3 to 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup milk
1/2 to 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
red food coloring to desired color
- Cream the butter in a large mixing bowl.
- Add 2 cups of the sugar and then the milk and extract. On the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat until smooth and creamy, about 3-5 minutes.
- Gradually add the remaining sugar beating well after each addition until the icing is thick enough to be of good spreading consistency. You may not need to add all of the sugar.
- If desired, add a few drops of food coloring and mix thoroughly. (Use and store the icing at room temperature because icing will set if chilled.)
This year there were only eight of us (sadly, we seem to move further apart from each other every year) but it was a lovely day. My brined turkey was *awesome* and we stuffed ourselves more than we should have. Throw in a little Wii playing and it's a party!
My only issue was the "Frankentable". It has come to my attention that we need to buy more sizes of extra tables. We only had "too small" and "too big" and so the resulting table was this odd mix of junk tables from the garage. Also, note to self: buy a tablecloth that fits the Frankentable because all I have are cloths to fit the table in its normal state. So yeah... nontradtional colors and a little mixing and matching gave us this:
And here is a shot some of the food before it was devoured: