Friday, December 14, 2012

Chocolate Cupcakes with Candy Cane Icing

I whipped these up this morning after I was informed at breakfast that treats were still needed for a bake sale I knew nothing about.  Lucky for me I have a well stocked kitchen for times just like these.  I came up with this idea a year ago when I was removing my tree and candy canes remained.  I raced out and bought the peppermint flavoring and well, as you can see, sometimes good things take time.

All in all, we are super impressed with these super delicious cupcakes with my own inventive candy cane icing!  This will do just the trick!!  When I picked up my son today, he told me when he saw them he knew I had made them.  He paid $.50 for one at school, though unbeknownst to him, I made mini cupcakes with the remaining batter and he could've had one for free.

Before I begin, I want to say I used the pictured Wilton Baking Cups for the first time and they worked out perfectly.  The cups allowed me to add a bit more batter than usual and they rose nicely just above the rim of the pan which I think is an appetizing size.

The recipe I always use is Martha Stewart 's One Bowl Chocolate Cake and it comes from my copy of her Baking Handbook.  If you don't own the book, I highly recommend it and at the very least, put it on your Barnes and Noble list and check it out at the book store.  The recipe is on my blog already and it's simple to make and delicious!

When filling my muffin tins for muffins and cupcakes, I always use scoops.  In this case, I was able to use my 3 Tablespoon Sized Scoop and I added batter on top of that using a 2 Teaspoon Sized Scoop.  Adding those measurements together, just shy of 1/4 Cup in case you don't own scoops...BTW, they make great stocking stuffers and they are life savers in the kitchen.  After using my 24 baking cups, I pulled out my mini muffin tin and made an additional 18 mini Cupcakes (pictured) for home. 

Bake the cupcakes and let cool completely before icing.  While they are baking, place 1 Stick of Butter and an 8oz Cream Cheese in a mixing bowl and let it soften for about an hour. Meanwhile, open and crush 6 Candy Canes.  I used my meat tenderizer for this task. 

When the butter has softened, add 8 Tbl Milk.  Begin adding 2 lbs Confectioners Sugar, about 1/2 cup at a time, until you have a stiff icing.  This recipe is very forgiving and you can adjust it depending on the weather.  Add confectioners sugar or milk to get an icing that when piped, will stay put.

Place 1 cup of the cream cheese icing in a small bowl.  Add red food coloring and an 1/8 teaspoon of peppermint  flavoring.

I use a Wilton Plastic pastry bag.  Add the tip you want but for speed and the deep ridges to hold the topping, I used my larger fluted tip. I suppose it has a number but I don't know what it is.  Add the white icing first, then add a dollop of the pink, and then top with white.  When you pipe the icing you will get a random design. 

Top immediately with crushed candy cane.  Additionally, I had crunchy peppermint sprinkles that I added for a little sparkle, but red sugar will works just the same.  Have a Merry Little Christmas with these cheery holiday cupcakes!

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