Friday, August 5, 2011

Mint Chocolate Cupcakes

Welp, I'm officially back in New York until further notice. During my journey back home I was trying to think of the flavor combination I wanted to use next in a cupcake, since I actually haven't made cupcakes in a while... crazy. Clearly I had nothing better to do on my 4 hour drive.
I have used peanut butter and chocolate a ridiculous amount of times so it's definitely time for something new. I literally brought all of my baking stuff from school back home with me in 2 rather large pull out storage containers and was trying to think of all the goodies I have inside that I could use. Peppermint Extract... used for the ridiculously delicious (and easy) mint chocolate chip cookies in my Mint Chocolate Chip Cookie Brownies. This is indeed the ingredient I was going to use. Picked up some cool mint creme Oreo's and Andes mint chocolates.. figured they couldn't hurt :)

If you don't like Oreo's, chocolate, or mint, I don't recommend these, but I do recommend getting some help.. seriously, Oreo's Chocolate and Mint.. girl scout thin mints anyone?! I'm going to stop salivating and telling you how amazing these are and just get on with the recipe.. 

Mint Chocolate Cupcakes
Makes 30 cupcakes
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
4 ounces semi-sweet baking chocolate, chopped up
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
4 large eggs
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 tsp mint extract (Don't skimp on this ingredient! )
1 cup light sour cream
20 (2/3 of a package) Cool Mint Creme Oreo's
Pack of Andes or other Mint Chocolate

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cupcake tin with liners.
Using a double boiler (or for those less fancy, like me, you can place a metal or other heat-proof bowl - like pyrex - on top of a saucepan with simmer water.. as seen below) add butter in chunks, cocoa powder, and semi-sweet chocolate. As the butter and chocolate melt, whisk together all of the ingredients until smooth. Remove from heat and let stand until it's cool to the touch. 

In a small bowl sift together flour, baking soda, and baking powder. In a large bowl (you will use this bowl to combine all the ingredients) beat the eggs. Once beaten, add the sugar, mint extract, and salt. Beat well until combined. Slowly add the cooled chocolate mixture until all ingredients are incorporated. 
Add in half of the sifted flour, followed by the sour cream, and topped off with the rest of the flour mixture.

Place the Oreo's in a large plastic bag. Use a rolling pin or back of spoon to crush them. You still want some larger pieces, so don't crush them to a fine powder like you may for other applications. As another option you can place them on a cutting board and use a large knife to give them a rough chop. 

Pour Oreo's into the mixed batter and fold them in until evenly distributed. 

Take heaping tablespoons into each of the liners and place in oven to bake for 16-18 minutes. After 10 minutes or so, rotate the pan to ensure even baking. 

Seriously they look so pretty I stopped for a second to question whether or not to put frosting on... but that literally only lasted a second. The smell in my house was seriously delicious and as the last batch was coming out my mouth was watering. 

I used Martha Stewart's Dark Chocolate Frosting that I used previously since it was just so delicious. Either go with half and use it sparingly, or prepare to freeze a bunch of extra. I also bought one 4.67oz package of Andes mint chocolates. Unwrap these guys and place them on a cutting board and then in the fridge for a few minutes. Let me tell you, it's a pretty tedious job to unwrap all 28 of them without eating them. Chop up the chocolate and mix half into the half-batch of frosting. 

Use a butter knife or off-set spatula to frost each cupcake. Go back and sprinkle with the extra Andes Mints! 
I've been taking more pictures while baking. Besides the fact that it's pretty enjoyable, I know my favorite part about reading other blogs are the pictures. Hence, more pictures in my posts. The cutest thing happened as I was finishing up the cupcakes... my dad walked into the kitchen, looks at me and goes "who are these for?" I told him they were for my friends and he comes up behind me, gives me and nice big hug and says "I'm so glad I'm you're friend".. well Dad, I guess that means you'd like a cupcake, sure I guess you can have one. 

Enjoy! :)

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