Your Home Based Mom posted this a couple of weeks ago. I saw them and immediately thought they'd be an excellent treat to take to work on Christmas Eve to enjoy with my coworkers. If you're gonna have to work a holiday shift, it might as well be with good food in hand. They were a big hit, and I'm going to apply the same techniques to other cupcake recipes. I made my cupcake base from scratch rather than using a mix like she did. The peppermint ganache and frosting are as she posted them, though I don't really consider the ganache real ganache since there was no cream involved. I'd love to make these again with a good cream and melted chocolate ganache...mmm. The very best part is the core of chocolate in the middle created by pushing a wooden spoon handle into the middle of the cupcake to make a hole. I put the chocolate filling in a baggie, snipped off the corner and drizzled the filling in to each hole and generously around the top of the cupcake before piping on the frosting.
Leigh Anne's Lovely Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes
3/4 cup butter, softened
2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 t. baking soda
3/4 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
2 cups sugar
2 t. vanilla
1 1/2 cups milk
Allow butter and eggs to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, line 24 cupcake tins with cupcake papers. This quantity actually made 24 regular size cupcakes and an additional 12 mini cupcakes for me.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter until fluffy, then add in sugar a bit at a time until well combined. Add eggs one at a time, beating until well combined, and beat in the vanilla. Mix all of the dry ingredients together and add them alternately with the milk, beating well after each addition. Pour the batter into a gallon size ziplock bag, cut a hole the size of your thumb in one corner and squeeze the batter into the cupcake papers, filling each about 2/3 full.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes, or until the cake springs back when touched lightly. Remove to a wire rack to cool slightly, and poke a hole in the center of each cupcake by pushing a wooden spoon handle all the way to the bottom.
Meanwhile, make the peppermint ganache.
1/2 cup butter
5 T. unsweetened cocoa
6 T. buttermilk
3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 t. peppermint extract
In a small pan, melt the butter and add cocoa and buttermilk. Bring to a boil, then pour over the powdered sugar in a medium bowl. Add peppermint extract and stir until smooth. Pour into a quart size bag, snip off a small hole in one corner and drizzle into the holes in each cupcake, then around the top of each cupcake until a nice puddle forms. Allow to cool/set.
8 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2-1 t. peppermint extract
Beat the cream cheese and butter together until fluff, then beat in the powdered sugar and peppermint extract. Scoop into a decorating bag fitted with a large star tip and pipe swirls of frosting on top of each cupcake. Garnish with crushed candy canes.
Store loosely covered. I put mine in a tupperware, and the moisture in the frosting caused the candy cane pieces to dissolve, leaving pink streaks in the frosting rather than tasty chunks.