Yeah, I know. These are cupcakes with snowflakes and Christmas trees on them, and it’s not Christmas anymore. In fact, it’s not even the same year as Christmas anymore. Really, what am I thinking?
Ahead is what I’m thinking, at least if you choose to believe my perhaps feeble excuses for the fact that I still haven’t finished posting all of the things I made for the holidays. I blame this partly on the fact that I made far more food than a single Jewish girl has any business churning out for Christmas – Linzer cookies, brown sugar shortbread, banana bread, carrot cake, gluten-free brownies, cinnamon rolls (coming soon), and of course, these cupcakes.
Although they’ve got cute little Christmas piping with wintery-colored frosting, you can do anything with these, which makes them appropriate for any time of year. And, while I’m including a recipe, you can really use your favorite chocolate (or white/yellow) cake recipe for these. The decoration is really what makes it.
And while you’re waiting for these to come out of the oven, make some really, really easy peppermint/anything else, really bark to eat while you’re frosting the cupcakes bring to whatever gatherings you’re heading off to in the new year. Because this is certainly not a holiday recipe I’m posting on January 8th, oh no. It is Non-Denominational and Versatile and you should make it with your next free half hour.
Chocolate Mini Cupcakes
Adapted from Epicurious
3 ounces semisweet chocolate
1 1/2 cups hot brewed coffee (or water)
3 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
3 large eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups well-shaken buttermilk
3/4 teaspoon vanilla
Any buttercream or cream cheese frosting
White and dark chocolates, for decorating
Preheat oven to 300°F and line mini muffin tins with liners.
Finely chop chocolate. In a bowl combine, with hot coffee or water. Let mixture stand, stirring occasionally, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.
Into a large bowl, sift together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In another large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat eggs until thickened slightly and lemon colored. Slowly add oil, buttermilk, vanilla, and melted chocolate mixture to eggs, beating until combined well. Add sugar mixture; beat on medium speed until just combined well. Divide batter into cups and bake until toothpick inserted in center of cupcake comes out clean, about 30 minutes (start testing at 20 to be sure). Cool completely in pans before frosting.
Frost with prepared frosting (and by “prepared” I mean that you’ve prepared it ;)). Melt chocolate and/or white chocolate chips gently; pipe designs on cupcakes using piping bags or Ziploc bags with a hole snipped in the corner.
Chocolate and white chocolate (chips or chopped bars), as much as you think you’ll need (I used about 1 ½ cups of each)
Candy canes, crushed (or any other topping), as much as you think you’ll need (I used about 6 large candy canes and 20 small)
Arrange half of candy canes on wax paper (one sheet per type of chocolate, unless you want them to mix). Gently heat chocolates separately in the microwave until just melted. Pour over crushed candy canes and spread to uniform thickness (about ¼ inch). Sprinkle with remaining candy canes. Let harden.
When fully hardened, break into bite-sized pieces and go make some new friends.