Friday, August 10, 2012

Recipe To Reality: Peppermint Patty Cupcakes

Hey Sweets! In this blog post I will be satisfying one of the most cliché cravings ever to have been thought up- the yearning for smooth, velvety chocolate! On a more personal level, I often find myself craving one of the best chocolate combinations I and many others have ever tasted- chocolate and peppermint.  I found this tasty recipe on by Darla. (P.S. - This blog is so cute, and Darla is also inspired by sweet and savory flavors like Jasmine and I!)

The first few steps of this recipe are very basic and easy. If you are a tried and true baker like what I would want to call myself, you would probably understand why simply creaming butter and sugar, then  adding eggs and all of your various flavorings is more of a habit than anything else. 

Now, this wouldn't be a true "post" if I hadn't put my own spin on this wonderful recipe. First, I added about a 1/4 teaspoon of peppermint extract to the batter for a bit of kick. Now, my second twist really amped up that minty flavor I was going for. The original recipe said to stuff the cupcakes with mini York Peppermint Patties-I, however, spooned out the peppermint filling of the candies and baked it inside the desserts instead. For the technique I used to get access to the filling, watch my Sweet Tip #2 below. If you are reading this and the thought popped into your head, "I'm not going to take apart 18 peppermint patties!" than I highly recommend that you stuff these treats with the whole candy instead, or add more extract. I am saying this because, well, the author of this recipe intended these to be chocolate cupcakes, and well, even with my addition of the peppermint extract, the candies inside were what really added the flavor I was looking for.

To get the filling in the cupcakes, I used an ice cream scoop to place about 1 1/2 tablespoons of batter into my tins. Then, using my fingers I placed about a teaspoon of filling into the cupcake. Then, push it down into the batter so that it is not as clearly visible as it was before. Finish off with about a teaspoon more batter on top to seal things off. 
After being in the oven for 17 minutes, my cupcakes were done. I enjoy more of a cake kind of texture, but for my savory and sweet hearts out there who want a moist cupcake, I would shoot for about 14 to 15 minutes in the oven. 
As you can see in the pictures, the peppermint filling ended up spilling out of the cupcakes! However, the unsettling first impression you receive from these cupcakes can easily hidden by frosting. I also chose to let these babies sit a little to set as well as cool - I was definitely not content on letting the filling mix with my icing!
This delish Hint of Mint buttercream frosting also came from as well. 
Here is a minuscule problem I ran into during this process, and I am sure I am not the first.....I didn't have any heavy cream on hand! Ironically, I ran into a similar problem a few days prior while baking with my cousins, and found a substitute that worked just as well as the suggested ingredient. If you ever find yourself without heavy cream, just beat flour and milk together in loo of the desired amount in the recipe. In my opinion, it is easiest to just eyeball it, but you should have a good bit more milk than flour. 

 After a splash of green food coloring, the icing is complete! I think the consistency of it is wonderful, light, airy, and a perfect companion to the chocolate cupcakes. A small change I made to the frosting is the addition of more peppermint and vanilla extract than the recipe called for. When I first tasted it, I really couldn't taste any mint! However, after alternating splashes of the two flavors I was able to find a happy medium of the flavor that is a significant part of these tasty candies. I do have one complaint with this icing...I felt like it was too buttery. I don't know whether it was because I undermixed, or because I used salted instead of unsalted...all in all though, this frosting is too good of an opportunity to pass up. If you choose to recreate this recipe, I suggest using 1 1/2 sticks of butter. If the consistency ends up being off, than it is a good idea to add more sugar and a little less liquid.
Here are the final cupcakes! I think that this recipe was consistently easy to make, and I was able to get lucky with the various changes I made to the batter. As Jasmine and I learned a few posts ago with our Buttermilk Blueberry Raspberry Breakfast Cake, while baking,  it is difficult to just add in ingredients as you please, which is the case when cooking. To pipe, I used a freezer bag equipped with a medium sized opening to frost the treats. After realizing that a plastic bag really wasn't doing the trick (my Wilton kit was with Jasmine, as she was taking a class), I ended up smoothing the cupcakes over with an icing knife. I also garnished them with pieces of the candies that were left from my filling. These cupcakes were a hit with my family, and I personally could not get enough of them! And I will let you in on a little secret - I usually do not eat what I bake! Although I am payed many positive compliments on various treats I bring to parties or share with family and friends, I usually do not end up personally liking tastes of my creations. Anyway, long story short, if I like them, than you'll LOVE them! I will definitely be making these candy inspired cupcakes again!

Stay Sweet, Candee


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