12.05.2010

peppermint mocha cupcakes

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I had a picture in my mind of how the day would unfold. We would get up early and head out to the snowy woods to cut down our Christmas tree and then I would bake up some scrumptious cupcakes. The frosting would be piped onto the cupcakes and lovely chocolate curls would adorn my perfectly swirled frosting. Oh yes, and we would also find the perfect tree with our five dollar permit. Well, as we all know...we can make lots of plans, but the final outcome is in God's hands.

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We picked up our permit at the ranger station. We hiked into the snowy forest. We shivered. We moaned. We slipped and tripped. We giggled and threw a few snowballs. Finally, we gave up and stopped at a tree farm. What do you know! They were overloaded with large Noble Firs and needed to get rid of them, so any tree on the farm was only fifteen bucks. Score!!

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I wasn't quite as fortunate with my cupcakes. Have you ever tried to use a baggie or an empty bread bag for your frosting. No? Well, let me give you a little advice. Don't Even Try It! It won't work! It will suck, in fact. You will spend time and effort filling the bag only to have your lovely frosting burst through the seams right as you begin to frost your first cupcake. Save yourself a lot of silent screaming (because you don't want to swear in front of your precious offspring) and head to the store for authentic pastry bags! I gave up on my dream of frosting perfection. I grabbed a butter knife and smeared the stuff on. Oh yes, and my chocolate swirls...more of a chocolate shaving.

I have to say, even though the icing didn't come out as beautifully as I'd hoped...These Truly Rock! The mocha cupcakes are incredibly light and moist and the peppermint icing is completely creamy and delightful.

Our day may not always begin exactly the way we've planned, but don't lose heart. It may end up much sweeter than we ever could have dreamed. ;)

Have a lovely week my friends!

peppermint mocha muffins
by theungourmet

makes approx. 16 cupcakes or 24 mini cupcakes

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp instant espresso powder
1 cup boiling water
1/1/3 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup softened butter
1 cup baker's sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin pans with paper liners. Lightly spray with oil.

In a medium bowl, combine the cocoa powder, espresso powder and boiling water. Stir until smooth. Set aside to cool.

In another medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until smooth. Scrape down sides with a spatula as neeeded. Slowly add the flour mixture and beat just until moist. Add the cocoa mixture just until combined.

Fill liners 2/3 full and bake for 16-18 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

Peppermint Frosting

1/2 cup room temperature butter
1/2 cup butter flavored shortening
2-3 cups confectioners' sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp peppermint extract
1-2 tbsp milk (maybe more)

Combine all ingredients and beat until smooth, adding more milk 1 tsp at a time until desired consistency is reached.

Top cupcakes with dark chocolate shavings and peppermint pillows.

YuMmO!

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49 comments:

Bo said...

Your icing looks better than mine ever has.

bellini valli said...

When we lived in Alberta you were able to go where they clearcut and for $2 find the perfect Charlie Brown tree.Our friends would venture further into the woods and alsways come home with something stunning, but once it was decorated they were both equally beautiful.

TKW said...

I love all things peppermint!

I, too, have had the exploding baggie experience. Someone told me that my mistake was using regular ziploc bags rather than the heavy-duty, freezer kind...but I wasn't brave enough to test this theory.

Claudia said...

Our family did the "cutting the tree down in a snow forest for about 12 years." Then it was the tree farm, then the local gardening center (they bag your tree!).One can see how we have aged from how we got our Xmas trees. Now coming home to a peppermint treat would have been perfect. (I also explode ziploc bags). Love all the flavors in these cupcakes.

pigpigscorner said...

Oh well, who cares abt the looks =P as long as it tastes yummy!

Meghan@travelwinedine said...

These just say Christmas! Yum!

UrMomCooks said...

Lovely post! Ur story about your tree brings back many memories of living up north...and the cupcakes sound divine. So glad to see peppermint at Christmas - it's one of my fav flavors!!!

MaryMoh said...

Beautiful cupcake. Love that sweet on top :D

Beth said...

The taste is what matters. I'm so glad they turned out well!

Faith said...

I'm sorry things didn't work out exactly as planned, but I'm glad you got a lovely tree in the end! Love the cupcakes too...definitely one of my favorite holiday flavor combos!

teresa said...

aw, such a sweet post. sometimes it's the little hiccups in our plans that make them even more memorable.

these look so good and pretty! i love mint chocolate anything, so i'm pretty sure i would scarf these puppies down!

Joanne said...

I've used ziploc bags for frosting before but only the heavy duty gallon size ones that seem to be a little thicker than most. The cupcakes sound amazing though. I've really been in a mint chocolate mood lately.

I am so jealous of your picking out a tree! I want one but my building won't let me have one. Wah.

Holly said...

I always use a freezer bag-it seems to work:) These cupcakes sound really yummy!

blackbookkitchendiaries said...

these look so delish! thank you for sharing this beauty:)

Lisa said...

Chocolate + peppermint = heaven! These look so pretty too. I will be making these for the kiddos who aren't gluten sensitive. We'll have to be sneaky when we eat them and wait until Griffin's taking a nap :)

Fashion Meets Food said...

these cupcakes are way too cute. Not to mention it involves peppermint so I am all about it! I am your newest follower.

xo

The Blonde Duck said...

Perfect for Christmas!

Nutmeg Nanny said...

Oh wow these look great! Perfect for Christmas!!!

Megan said...

Oh... I've had the baggie explosion... brings me back to baby-land. Never again, plastic pastry bags all the way! Adorable cupcakes... love them!

tasteofbeirut said...

I don't think my kids would complain about the icing! Looks perfect to me and a great way to inaugurate my peppermint extract ordered online from a fine purveyor!

Julie said...

Ah, the best laid plans... Glad to hear it ended sweetly :)

Megan said...

I think the cupcakes look gorgeous! But I definitely feel your pain about the bags. I used to try that all the time and they would always split. I have a few disposable pastry bags and a few reusable ones, and it makes life so much easier! It sounds like you had a fun tree finding experience as well and it all worked out in the end.

Krista said...

Ahhh. There you are with your wonderful cupcake/icing combos. Love this...even if it didn't go as perfectly as you'd hoped.

Great buy on that tree! Good for you!

Diana's Cocina said...

These look yummy! I adore peppermint and mochca combo.

My family did the cutting the tree down once, and lets just say, I don't think we will ever try it again.

BarbaraJean said...

Oh, these look so good! I love the picture of the jar of peppermints, too. It seems like I remember trying the baggie thing. I sure enjoy your posts. You need to put a cookbook together someday! :)

Angie's Recipes said...

The cupcakes look great to me! That jar of peppermint candies looks festive!

Monet said...

Hi Kim! What a great find on your tree. I've always liked the IDEA of cutting down my own, but I'm not one for cold weather hiking. I'm sorry that you didn't have success with your plastic bag (Pastry bags are worth it!) but these cupcakes still look DELICIOUS. I want one now! Thank you so much for sharing! I hope you have a peace-filled day.

Chow and Chatter said...

wow looks amazing and congrats on getting a cool tree

scrappysue said...

are you teasing me kim? i LOVE peppermint! and coffee - AND cupcakes!!!

jacqueline said...

Dearest sweet Kim, i love peppermint and to add them to cupcakes are just awesome! Your icing looks good to me and i don't think i can make them any better than yours. Thanks so much for sharing this festive recipe! Have a lovely merry happy day and love to you!

Sophie said...

Oooooh waw, Kim! What festive desserts!! They look fenomenal & quite fab too!

MMMMMMMMM,..lovely food!

Emily Z said...

WONDERFUL cupcakes. You did such a gorgeous job. I have yet to make my frosting look so pretty. And the peppermints on top are perfection. You should start a business! :)

Jeannie said...

I love the overall look of these cupcakes, very festive looking! Looks deicious too!

Kristin said...

One of my favorite drinks in cupcake form? YUM!

Bridgett said...

The peppermint and mocha combo must have been fabulous. We did the cutting down of a tree once and it was full of bugs and kept falling over. I don't think I will ever convince my husband to do it again.

Erica said...

Perfection. I am a huge fan of peppermint and mocha and these cupcakes are delightful.

Randi Troxell said...

oh no matter the obstacles it took to get these babies made...

they now look PERFECT!!!

Molly @ A Bit O' Shine said...

Peppermint mocha is my favorite winter treat so these are right up my alley.

By the way! My mom and I were planning a dinner and she was explaining to me how she wanted to try these stuffed squash things and then I came to your blog and saw you'd posted that - I sent her your link and she's become obsessed with your recipes, it's really funny. :)

Kate said...

What a wonderful combination...a moist chocolate cupcake and peppermint!

scrambledhenfruit said...

I've never had luck with the plastic bags either. Your cupcakes are gorgeous anyway, and sound scrumptious@

Heavenly Housewife said...

What a great little holiday cupcake. Great flavour combination!
*kisses* HH

Kim said...

I totally hear you on using freezer/sandwich bags to ice cupcakes - sigh! I tried this method just a couple weeks ago and it was a nightmare. Saying that, your peppermint mocha cupcakes sound heavenly. Love that flavor combo.

michelangelo in the kitchen said...

Your recipe for these delicious cupcakes is gourmet to me indeed! A sure favorite for the holidays! Thanks for sharing!

Cathy said...

Chocolate and peppermint are two of my favorite flavors, especially in a yummy cake. Using a plastic bag to pipe frosting is nothing but a disaster as far as I'm concerned. All I make with it is a big mess.

Erin said...

I'm sorry your day didn't go as planned but your cupcakes look wonderful!

Sharon Moh said...

Wow those cupcakes look outta this world! I LOVE anything mocha.

Pam said...

What a fun and tasty cupcake... I would LOVE these!

Marilyn said...

The cupcakes look so yummy!

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