Archive for the 'Mint' Category

Chocolate-Stuffed Chocolate Cupcakes with Candy Cane Icing

Ever since I began baking cupcakes, I’ve been drooling over this blog. But I was vegan for so long that I never got to try any of the recipes as they were intended. I was searching for the perfect mint chocolate cupcake recipe for Christmas Eve dinner, and realized I could look at Cupcake Bakeshop. I found her dark chocolate cupcakes with mint chocolate ganache and mint icing, decided right away that they would be the perfect cupcake for tonight. I was right. With a few substitutions and additions, here is my version:

I’m not going to post the recipe (you’ll have to look here for the gorgeous process pictures and full recipe) but I’ll give you the deets about my own changes:

Cupcakes: recipe the same, except I substituted Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Flour Mix instead of wheat flour.

Ganache: recipe the same, except I didn’t include the mint leaves at all.

Icing: recipe the same, except I used Earth Balance margarine and added 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract.

Trying-to-Be-Sonja’s Chewy Mint Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

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One of my friends (and now classmates!), Sasha, had a birthday yesterday! Since we had a long day of student teaching and then classes of our own, I knew she was going to need some treats to keep the day fun. One of her favorite cookie recipes is the Post Punk Kitchen’s Chewy Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies, and one of my favorite kinds of cookies is my friend Sonja’s Mint Chocolate Cookies, so I decided to meld the two together and create Chewy Mint Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies. I used the PPK’s recipe (which is simple and quick!), and instead of 2 teaspoons of vanilla I used only 1 teaspoon vanilla and added 1 1/2 teaspoons of mint extract to the batter. The cookies are dark and chewy just as promised, with a strong hit of mint. They are not quite as thick as Sonja’s cookies but to my memory, they taste just as good. Mmm. They were eaten with gusto by many of our classmates and professors, and I got a big grin and hug from Sasha – which was definitely the biggest incentive for making them!

Mint Chocolate Cupcake Heaven

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I’m a little behind on my posts! I baked these cupcakes last week with my friend Sonja’s darling niece, Ava, who is 4 years old. Her grandma, Linda, was taking care of her and her little brother Julian, and I got to go over and have a little fun with Ava while Linda and J had some down time. I knew Ava loves chocolate, so I originally suggested that we make Cookies ‘n Creme Cupcakes, which I thought would be a hit since she’d get to crush up cookies – and what’s better than cookies and cupcakes together? Well…Ava had other ideas! She was not thrilled with my idea but was dead set on a mint-chocolate combination. Good thing her “Auntie Sonie” loves mint and chocolate together too, and happened to have left some mint extract in the cupboard for us to use!

So we decided to make a chocolate cupcake base, with mint buttercream frosting on top, and then a dark chocolate ganache on top of that. And of course Ava requested that we add lots and lots of sprinkles on top! We used the Mint Chocolate Cupcake recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World. We had such a great time together, measuring ingredients and pouring them in, mixing them together, and of course tasting the batter at every stage! It was pretty hilarious; about every 30 seconds, Ava would look slyly at the spoon I’d been mixing with, or the spatula, or the electic mixer attatchments, and say “Don’t you think it’s time to clean that now?” and then proceed to lick it clean! She’s spunky and cute as a button, and thus is very hard to resist. She probably consumed at least a cupcake’s worth of batter and frosting before they were even baked (clearly, we are kindred spirits).

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It was very difficult to wait while the cupcakes baked, and then cooled, because we were so excited to put frosting and sprinkles on, and then eat them! I piped the frosting on, and put a dollop of chocolate ganache on top, and then Ava decorated each one very carefully with many colors of sprinkles. It was interesting to watch Ava and her brother J eat their cupcakes. While Ava was happy as a clam, carefully peeling her wrapper off, licking the frosting off the top, and then eating the cake by itself, her brother was not as polite! J was thrilled about the idea of cupcakes; when he woke up from his nap and saw what we were decorating, he was beside himself with excitement. His little 2 year old body was literally shaking! He held his cupcake with one hand and very very very carefully and slowly ate the frosting off the top just using one finger. And as soon as he finished the frosting, he held the cake up and said “Want More Cupcake!”, and pointed to the rest of the cupcakes that I was finishing decorating on the other side of the counter. After we explained to him that he still had a cupcake in his hand, he continued to yell for more cupcakes and then smashed his cake onto the counter and smooshed it with his little hands! I’ve never had quite that reception to my baked goods before. Clearly, the frosting was quite a hit!

I found that, like all the other cupcakes I’ve made from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World, these were fluffy and moist and delicious. The icing was great too; perfectly creamy and minty, without getting to that toothpaste-mint-stage. And the dark chocolate ganache on top certainly made this cupcake a bit more “adult” and balanced out the sweet frosting (but clearly was still popular with the children!). I would love to see how this recipe bakes as a larger cake some time.


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