peppermint chocolate cupcakes

Merry Christmas everyone!  Our day was super mellow.  We opened a couple presents at home and then spent the day with Dan's aunt and uncle and cousins.  Christmas dinner and ice skating!  With both our immediate families strewn about the west coast it was nice to at least get to spend time with some family.  I wasn't big into holiday treats and decorations this year but I did bake these mini cupcakes for some festive bites to bring.  The recipe is from The Pioneer Woman, so you know they're delicious.  I actually prefer eating just the batter and frosting rather than the baked + frosted cupcakes.  The batter is always more delicious than the baked version, right?  Cookie batter > cookies.  Although I'm not sure if this holds true for pancake batter...

I hope you all had a cozy, fun day, where ever you are!

Chocolate cupcakes with peppermint frosting

(recipe via

the pioneer woman

)

INGREDIENTS

Cupcake

1 cup

salted butter

4 heaping tbsps cocoa powder

1 cup boiling water

2 cups

all-purpose flour

2 cups sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup buttermilk

2 whole eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon baking soda

FROSTING

1 cup

salted butter

, softened

5 cups powdered sugar, sifted

40 whole peppermint candies, finely crushed

3-5 tbsps heavy cream

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 36 muffin tins with paper liners.

First make the cake, melt 1 cup butter and stir in cocoa. Pour in boiling water, stir to combine, allow to boil for 15 seconds, then remove from heat and set aside.

In a separate bowl, stir together flour, sugar, and salt. Set aside.

In a separate small bowl, mix together buttermilk, eggs, vanilla, and baking soda.

Pour the chocolate mixture over the flour mixture and stir until halfway combined. Pour in the egg mixture and stir until the batter comes together.

Fill muffin cups 2/3 full and bake for 18 minutes, or until set. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.

To make the frosting, beat the butter to get it started, then add in the powdered sugar. Beat on low while adding the cream. When it comes together, add the crushed peppermints, reserving some for garnish. Beat the frosting for a good 30 seconds on high until it's light and fluffy, longer if needed.

Frost the cupcakes however you want, then sprinkle on more crushed peppermints.

Note that the frosting will develop a light "crust" on the outside if left out.