You can’t celebrate a holiday without chocolate.
(At least not in my family.)
Thanksgiving, of course, was no exception. Since I was in charge of our dessert dishes this year, I wanted to make one traditional dessert (pumpkin pie) and one that was something a little different, a little seasonal, and a whole lotta good.
And, since I am inevitably drawn to a mix of mint, chocolate, and coffee every winter, I thought this recipe sounded perfect.
(By the way, I fully blame my mom for my love of the mint mocha combination. Ever since she gave me my first Frango Mint Mocha at Frederick & Nelson’s as a teenager, I have been hooked — and if you know what Frederick & Nelson’s is, you’re either from the great Northwest, or I am very impressed!)
Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes, adapted from Bakers Royale
1 c all-purpose flour
1 c plus 2 T sugar
1/3 c plus 2 T unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
1/2 c (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and warm
2 large eggs
½ t peppermint extract
1 T instant coffee
1/2 c hot coffee
3/4 c chopped peppermint Andes
Heat oven to 350 degrees and line wells of cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
Add flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a blow and mix thoroughly to combine. Add the butter, eggs, and peppermint extract and beat on medium speed for one minute. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the instant coffee and the hot coffee. Beat for 20-30 seconds until the batter is smooth. Fold in chopped peppermint Andes. (The batter will be thin enough to pour.)
Fill about liners about 2/3 full. Bake 18-22 minutes – just until a toothpick inserted into a few of the cupcakes comes out clean. Set the pan on a rack to cool.
Peppermint Buttercream Frosting, adapted from tasteofhome.com
1/4 c butter, softened
2-1/4 c confectioners’ sugar
3/4 t peppermint extract
3 T 2% milk
In a large bowl, cream butter until light and fluffy. Beat in the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and enough milk to achieve desired consistency.
Frost the cupcakes when they are completely cool. Store and serve at room temperature.
Yeah, I think these might’ve been good.
Actually, I think they might’ve been exceptionally good. At least in my humble opinion.
Let’s see how I got there…
Peppermint Andes Mints – not as easy to find as you might think, but so worth it.
The making of the batter was not exciting at all. The only thing that threw me for a loop was that the batter was really, really thin. I was worried I’d done something wrong, but it just happens to be a thin batter.
I used a small ladel to fill the cupcake liners, baked them for the allotted time, and…
After they cooled, I made my frosting. Again, boring! (What are we gonna do with me??)
I had a little fun playing with the frosting tips and figuring out what I wanted the tops to look like.
And we seriously ate them.
There was a wonderful balance of coffee, mint, and chocolate – and the texture was a perfect cupcake-lightness.
I think these were a great choice to enter the holiday season with.
And I’m pretty sure they’ll show up again.
(Holiday or not.)
Happy belated Thanksgiving, everyone!