Saturday, July 11, 2009

Chocolate-Mint Cupcakes

Every year for my friend Sallie's birthday I make her a Crème de Menthe Cake (chocolate and mint is her favorite dessert combination). Tonight I decided to make a treat for her when she and her family were coming to dinner. I didn't want to make a cake though, so I opted for cupcakes. The topping for Creme de Menthe Cake is whipping cream, but that doesn't work well for cupcakes. So I came up with this recipe; it uses the base for the traditional cake, but the topping is completely different. This recipe is going on the cupcake rotation at our house!

Chocolate-Mint Cupcakes
1 box white cake mix
1 1/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup creme de menthe
3 eggs, lightly beaten
Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

1. Combine cake mix and next 3 ingredients in a mixing bowl. Beat with a mixer until thoroughly combined. Scoop batter into lightly greased muffin cups.
2. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until done. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely. Spread each cupcake with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting.

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting:
Peppermint oil is much stronger than peppermint extract, that's why you measure it in drops. Buy it at a cake-supply store, not the grocery store.
5 oz. semisweet chocolate squares or morsels
3 Tbsp. water
3 to 4 drops peppermint oil
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
5 Tbsp. butter, softened
2 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1. Melt chocolate and water in microwave at HIGH for 1 minute, 30 seconds. Stir until mixture becomes glossy; let cool to room temperature. Stir in peppermint oil.
2. Beat cream cheese and butter with a mixer until creamy. Gradually beat in chocolate mixture and vanilla. Gradually beat in powdered sugar until spreading consistency is achieved.

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