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Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes

December 7, 2011

I got a text from Reinman on Monday wondering if I could make something sweet for his office party that he has today. Immediately I said yes, and then I started to think about all the baking possibilities: Did I want to make cookies? A cake? Some salted caramel shortbread bars that I’ve been drooling over forever (I will be making these. Soon. I just need to get over the fact that there are 5 sticks of butter in this recipe. Ouch!)? Or cupcakes?
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Cupcakes won out. While I don’t necessarily like eating cupcakes (weird, I know), I love to make them, especially since I bought some decorating tips, and found some cute Christmas-y cupcake liners (they stink though. Don’t even look at them.). And cupcakes are the perfect party food too!

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I found a cupcake recipe last week while browsing Annie’s Eats, and I knew it would be perfect. Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes. As obsessed as I am with those Peppermint Mochas over at Caribou, I knew this would be a hit. Well, with me at least.

I tried a cupcake before I sent them off with Reinman, and they were delicious. Chocolatey, with a hint of mint. Perfection!

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Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes

recipe from Annie’s Eats

Ingredients:

For the cupcakes:

  • 2 & 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2-3 tsp. espresso powder
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup strong brewed coffee
  • 1 tsp. peppermint extract
  • 1 cup butter, at room temp.
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs

For the frosting:

  • 6 large egg whites
  • 1 & 3/4 cup plus 2 T granulated sugar
  • 1 & 1/2 cups butter, at room temp.
  • 4 tsp. peppermint extract
  • 1-2 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. For the cupcakes: preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two cupcake pans with paper liners. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix the flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Combine the milk, coffee, and peppermint extract in a liquid measuring cup.
  3. In a another bowl, combine the butter and sugars. Using either a stand mixer, or a handheld mixer, beat on medium-high until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes, scraping down the sides as needed. Blend in eggs one at a time. Alternately mix in the dry and liquid ingredients, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients and mixing until just incorporated.
  4. Using an ice cream scoop, divide batter evenly among the lined cupcake pans. Bake 18-20 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool 5-10 minutes in the pan, and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. For the frosting: combine the egg whites and sugar in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture reaches 160 degrees F and sugar is dissolved. Transfer mixture to another bowl. Using either a stand mixer, or a handheld mixer, beat on medium-high speed until stiff peaks are formed and the mixture has cooled to room temperature, about 8 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium and add butter, 2 tablespoons at a time, adding more once each addition has been incorporated. If the frosting looks soupy or curdled, continue beating on medium-high speed for another 3-5 minutes. Stir in the peppermint and vanilla extracts and mix until just incorporated.
  6. To get the red and white swirled frosting look, remove about half of the frosting to a bowl. With the remaining frosting in the mixing bowl, add red coloring and mix until you have your desired shade. Fit a pastry bag with a large tip. Fill one side of the bag with the white frosting, and the other side with the red. Pipe a test streak until you see both colors coming out of the bag. Frost cupcakes as desired, refilling the pastry bag as needed.

The kids licked the frosting spoon. I think they loved it!

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— the Jilb

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