Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Mint Chocolate Chip Cupcakes
One of my ALL-TIME favorite blogs is Tracey's Culinary Adventures. Tracey is one of the most amazing talented home bakers I've found. Please take a look at her blog in your spare time. Even if it is only to admire her pictures, I am fine with that! She also happens to be a New Englander and massive Bruins fan like me... if you needed one more reason to like her.
These cupcakes are absolutely divine! I've made them twice already... once for my boss' birthday at work and once for a summer BBQ. They are moist and delicious eaten cold and right out of the refrigerator. Mint has such a refreshing quality to it. I've explained to you my love for all things chocolate and mint in a recent post... remember those Chocolate Mint Thumbprint Cookies? How could you forget so quickly!?! That winning concoction is number 8 and 27 on the list of 40 Best Cupcake-Frosting Combinations of All Time.
Sorry, disregard the drool on the screen after reading that article.
Does anyone want to challenge me to make their favorite off that list?
I'll never turn down a dare!
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup buttermilk
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup warm water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin pans with paper liners.
In a large bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt together. Add the eggs, buttermilk, oil, vanilla extract and water and whisk until the mixture is smooth and all of the ingredients are evenly distributed.
2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
4 tbsp (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 tbsp heavy cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp mint extract
1/2 tsp salt
Green food coloring (optional)
Garnish: semi-sweet chocolate chips, Thin Mint Girl Scout cookies, halved, or crushed Andes mints (all optional)
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the confectioners' sugar and butter (first on low and then increasing the speed to medium) until evenly distributed and crumbly, about 1-2 minutes. Add the cream, extracts and salt and beat on high speed until light, fluffy and smooth, about 3 minutes. If you want green buttercream, beat in a little bit of food coloring at a time until you achieve your desired color.
When the cupcakes are completely cool, frost as desired. Garnish with chocolate chips.
The chocolate cupcake batter is compliments of Martha Stewart. It is so moist and full if intense chocolate-flavoring that it is now my go-to for cake bases. You do not need a Kitchenaid mixer or an electric hand mixer to make this batter - just a big bowl and a rubber spatula! It's so easy to make, trust me. Just don't be alarmed if you think the batter is too watery - you did nothing wrong. I think that is what makes these cupcakes so light and airy!
The star of these cupcakes is most definitely the frosting. I doubled the recipe for the mint buttercream to frost one batch of cupcakes. I like to load the frosting on. A little sugary green goodness never hurt anyone! As you can see in my pictures, I decorated Round 1 of these cupcakes with 3 chocolate chips on each. Round 2 was even better but they went so fast at the BBQ I was at that I couldn't take any pictures! I broke Thin Mints in half and stuck one half in each cupcake and then scattered crushed Andes mints on the sides of the buttercream frosting. Believe it or not, those looked even better!
Does anyone besides me watch Cupcake Wars? It is a great show on Food Network - Tuesday nights at 8pm EST (insert shameless plug here). Boston's own local cupcake artist, Victoria Donnelly, from Cakeology competed once and won with her Mint Chocolate Chip and Fresh Mint Buttercream Cupcakes. They currently operate out of a mobile truck but have a storefront opening any day now - I can't wait!
Posted by Jamie at 11:20 AM