Monday, December 20, 2010

Chocolate Peppermint Mini-Cupcakes

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These little cupcakes are so very cute!  I love all the contrasting colors--dark cocoa, snowy white frosting and sparkly red candy cane pieces.  They are bite size and look great on a holiday table.  I reduced the peppermint extract from the original recipe, because too much of that stuff gives me the shivers.  A little goes a long way!  I think these little minis turned out great.

I made the mini-cupcakes and some Cranberry Bliss Bars (posting those soon!) for my mom's Christmas party this past weekend.  Here they are, ready to go!

Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes
(makes 48 mini-cupcakes)

3/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/3 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp peppermint extract
2 cups flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup sour cream

1 (8 oz.) pkg cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 tsp peppermint extract
4-6 cups powdered sugar

Garnish:  crushed candy canes

1)  Preheat oven to 350.  Line 2 (24 cup) mini muffin pans with foil or paper liners.
2)  In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar at medium speed with a mixer until fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Beat in peppermint extract.
3)  In a medium bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.  Gradually add to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating just until combined after each addition.  Stir in sour cream.  Spoon batter evenly into prepared muffin cups.  Bake for 12-15 minutes or until tops of cupcakes spring back when lightly touched.  Let cool in pans for 10 minutes.  Remove from pans and cool completely on wire racks.
4)  For the frosting:  In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, butter and peppermint extract at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy.  Gradually add powdered sugar, beating until smooth and mixture reaches a spreading consistency.  Spread or pipe frosting evenly over cupcakes.  Garnish with crushed candy canes.

Source:  adapted from Paula Deen


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