I’d be remiss if I didn’t present you with a chocolate peppermint treat this season; rich chocolate paired with icy peppermint is a must for me each December (previously: chocolate-peppermint bundt cake, chocolate-peppermint cookies). Let’s call these cupcakes a nod to peppermint bark.
Devil’s food chocolate cupcakes hide an Andes Peppermint Crunch Thin while peppermint buttercream and crushed candy canes impart a familiar coolness. If you feel inclined, add instant espresso to the batter for the cupcake version of a peppermint mocha.
Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes
1 1/2 cups boiling water
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 2/3 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
22 Andes Peppermint Crunch Thins
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
pinch of salt
3 cups powdered sugar
1/4 tsp peppermint extract
1 Tbsp half and half
3 peppermint candy canes, crushed
Preheat oven to 350°F and line two 12-cup standard muffin pan with baking cups. Whisk together boiling water and cocoa, then cool completely. Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Beat butter, sugar, and vanilla extract in a large mixer bowl at medium speed until well blended (about 3 minutes). Add eggs one at a time and beat well. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with cooled cocoa mixture (begin and end with flour mixture).
Divide half the batter evenly between cups; top with an Andes Peppermint Crunch Thin. Spoon remaining batter evenly into cups and bake for 15 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool cupcakes for 2 minutes in pans on a wire rack, then carefully remove from pans and place on wire rack to cool completely.
To make buttercream, beat butter and salt in a large mixer bowl on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low; add powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time and beat well, scraping down bowl as needed. Add peppermint extract and half and half; beat on medium-high speed until light and airy. Fit a pastry bag with a 4B tip and pipe a spiral onto each cupcake. Sprinkle with crushed candy canes just before serving. Cupcakes can be made ahead and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 2 days. Bring to room temperature and sprinkle with crushed candy canes before serving.
Yield – 22 cupcakes
Calories – 290 (per cupcake)
Carbs – 40