Merry Christmas everyone!
I...can't think of anything else to say here. It's too early in the morning, and I'm already all hopped up on sugar and peppermint. And ginger cookies of course. Breakfast of champions.
I made these cupcakes from my brand new cupcake cookbook that my sister gave me, and I'm so excited that they worked! We all know I've had cupcake troubles in the past, so I was thrilled that not only did they poof nicely, but they tasted pretty damn good too 😉
It's a simple chocolate cupcake recipe paired with a fluffy white frosting with crushed peppermint candies in it and sprinkled on top! And a few candy canes, in case they weren't minty enough.
You will need:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup hot water
- 2/3 cup unsweetened baking cocoa
- 2/4 cup shortening
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 350° and place 24 baking cups in muffin pans.
In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt, and set aside. In a small bowl, pour the hot water into the cocoa and stir until dissolved. Set aside as well.
In a large bowl, beat the shortening with a mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Slowly add the sugar, bit by bit, stirring after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl. Beat for another 2 minutes, and then add the eggs and vanilla.
On low speed, alternate adding flour mixture and cocoa mixture until blended. Divide batter among muffin cups, filling them about 2/3 full.
Bake 20-25 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool fully before frosting.
Fluffy white frosting (also from the same cookbook)
You will need:
- 2 large egg whites
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup light corn syrup
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- optional: 1/3 cup crushed peppermint candies
Let egg whites sit at room temperature for 20-30 minutes (Apparently this gives them more volume).
In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites on high speed or until stiff peaks form. I had no idea what this looked like, so I just beat for a few minutes until I got bored. Is this how baking is supposed to go?
In a 1 quart saucepan*, stir sugar, corn syrup and water until completely mixed. Cover, and heat to a rolling boil over medium heat. Uncover and boil for 4-8 minutes, without stirring, to 242° on candy thermometer (should I invest in one of these?) or until small amount of mixture forms a firm ball when dropped into very cold water.
*As SOON as you're done with this saucepan clean it out! Or you will end up with a candy coated pan that is impossible to scrape off. Ask me how I know this...
While beating on medium speed, pour hot syrup very slowly into egg whites. Add vanilla and beat on high speed for about ten minutes, or until those mysterious stiff peaks form again. Add the crushed peppermint.
Because of the consistency of the frosting, I used a knife, rather than my normal decorating bag with 1M star tip to frost the cupcakes.
Decorate with leftover peppermint and/or candy canes!
I love this new frosting. It takes a lot longer to make than my typical buttercream, and it's not as fun to apply, but I love the fluffy texture.
But now I'm thinking I should have made these a little earlier in the week to bring in to work. Apparently no one is coming in today, and I'm just sitting here with my giant cupcake tupperware, hoping people come in and eat them. Oh well...more for me!
A note about my cupcake carrier:
My sister bought this** for me for the holidays, and it is the most incredible thing ever. Long gone are the days of bringing my cupcakes into work, stuffed into a shoebox and in peril of tipping over. This thing is a lifesaver. Besides, it doubles as a fancy display stand.
**I'm not being paid or anything for this blatant plug, I'm just so excited about my cool new cupcake carrier! Thanks Leah!!!