It's cupcake time.
I wanted to create a Christmas treat that highlighted some of my favorite holiday flavors, but especially wanted the dessert to be appealing to cupcake enthusiasts, as well as those just starting out in the baking department. Also, my husband told me the day before that he wanted to take some cupcakes into the judge and some of his coworkers. Good thing these came together so quickly, eh?
The thing I strayed away from as much as possible was the taste of toothpaste. I know, sounds strange when you're highlighting peppermint. But I've tried so many peppermint desserts that taste just like toothpaste, and don't have enough balance with the rest of the ingredients. This recipe, however, came out perfectly on the first try (not very common when I'm trying to develop a new recipe from scratch).
I turned to a cake mix as a base (don't you dare judge! I was going for easy. And with my modifications, they tasted so good - people commented on how homemade they tasted. haaah. Fooled everyone, straight up). To the base, I added a few extracts, changed the ingredients around, and tossed in a handful of Andes peppermint bits. I love those bits! They're not peppermint sticks smashed up - they're like white chocolate and just enough peppermint wrapped into little crumbly bits. It's amazing, and they bake beautifully.
Next, I slathered on a little white chocolate ganache to tie in that white chocolate flavor from the bits. And to seal the deal: chocolate mousse frosting. THIS STUFF IS CRACK. I found it on my favorite cupcake blog of all time, and will never turn back. It tastes like velvety chocolatey heaven - and guess what? You don't have to add 2 pounds of powdered sugar to fluff it up. Also, the mousse frosting surprisingly kept it's form beautifully - refrigerated or not.
These quickly became our very favorite cupcakes of the year.
Make them. Bake them. Try them. Dazzle your family this holiday season.
Merry Christmas, dearest friends/readers/family!
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Peppermint Cupcakes with White Chocolate Ganache and Chocolate Mousse Frosting
makes 24 cupcakes
Classic White Cake Mix (I like Duncan Hines)
1/4 C vegetable oil
3 egg whites
1 C water
2 t peppermint extract
1/2 t vanilla extract
1/2 t almond extract
2/3 C Andes Peppermint Crunch pieces (found in baking section)
1/2 C heavy whipping cream
1/2 C white chocolate chips
mousse frosting: *adapted from yourcupofcake.com
1 C heavy whipping cream
1 small package of instant chocolate pudding mix
1 small can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 C cold milk
nonpareils for sprinkling
1. to make cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare muffin tins with cupcake liners. In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine cake mix, veggie oil, egg whites and water. Mix for about 30 seconds until thoroughly combined. Add extracts & peppermint bits and mix for about 20 seconds until combined.
2. Fill each cupcake liner halfway with batter. Bake for about 15 minute - check at 10 - just until top of cupcakes spring back. Don't cook until browned. Take them out before that, for sure, mmkay? Wait 5 minutes until cupcakes have cooled in muffin tin, then remove and continue cooling on a wire rack.
3. make ganache: in a small saucepan, heat cream over medium heat until hot-to-the-touch. Yes, burn your finger in the name of desserts - it's worth it. If you look up asbestos in the dictionary, you'd probably see a picture of my fingers. Turn off heat. Toss in white chocolate chips and stir until completely melted. Spread over cooled cupcakes. Let dry while adding frosting.
4. make frosting: In the bowl of your chilled metal bowl fitted with chilled whisk attachment (put both in your freezer for 5 minutes), whip cream until stiff peaks form. In a separate bowl, whisk together pudding powder, sweetened condensed milk, and milk until completely combined. Slowly fold in chocolate mixture to the fluffy whipped cream. When completely combined, pop in the fridge for about 5 minutes. Scoop into a piping bag, and frost your cupcakes. Garnish with nonparelis.
recipe source: baking with blondie
to prevent the hundreds of emails wondering what the heck "Andes Peppermint Crunch" is, where it's from, or what it looks like, here you go, friends:
Found right in the baking isle :)