Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Chocolate Cupcakes with Peppermint Icing and Chocolate Ganache

Today is my orchestra teacher's birthday. Miss B is loved by everyone because she is an extremely devoted instructor and her eccentricity never fails to bring some color to orchestra rehearsal. The senior girls thought that it would be a good idea to honor Miss B on her special day by throwing her a party. Girls came in early this morning and elaborately decorated the orchestra room with streamers and balloons. I meant to come in early, but Wednesdays are my day to sleep in and I had some stuff going on. Instead, this was my contribution to Miss B's birthday extravaganza!
I know they're kind of a mess. But they're tasty. More than tasty. I personally feel that they were awesome, and to be honest I rarely feel that way about my baked goods. Especially when I didn't truly follow a recipe and kinda just winged the entire thing. I can make a recipe for you lovely people though!
Since I had to make enough cupcakes for my rather large orchestra class, I used boxed dark chocolate cake. I added some brown sugar and vanilla to the mix for moisture and flavor, but that was about it. Boxed cake is better than rushed homemade cake though! It worked.

Peppermint Frosting (my own made up recipe!)

  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1-2 teaspoons milk, if needed
  • food coloring if desired
  • candy cane pieces (optional)
- Beat butter and cream cheese together until creamy. Add in peppermint extract.
- Add powdered sugar in one cup at time and mix slowly until incorporated.
- Add milk if necessary and food coloring and candy cane pieces.

Now, if you're a normal person you could just stop there and have some delicious chocolatey and pepperminty cupcakes... If you're me, you're thinking you need more chocolate. So. Chocolate ganache it is!

Chocolate Ganache
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
-In a bowl pour chocolate chips and vanilla. Set aside
- In a small saucepan bring cream to a boil.
- Pour cream over chocolate chips, stir until chocolate is completely melted and incorporated. Let stand until thickens then top cupcakes. Add more candy cane pieces if desired!
Happy birthday, Miss B! And enjoy!

Red Velvet Thumbprints with Marshmallow Frosting

I'm afraid that I've become a terrible blogger. I just realized that I haven't posted anything since August, but I definitely know that I've baked PLENTY of goodies since August. One of these days I'll get better, I swear. I hope these cookies are able to be my apology.
My mouth honestly begins to water when I look at these. If you're anything like me, you believe that red velvet is both the king and queen of the baked goods world. Add some marshmallow frosting, and I'm sold for life.
I was originally supposed to make six dozen of these cookies for Noah's mom over the weekend for a cookie exchange, but plans changed. I decided that I still needed to bake, so I thought I'd take these cookies for a test run to see if they were worth six dozen. I do know that anything my favorite blogger posts is going to be delectable, but a girl has to look for excuses, right?!

Red Velvet Thumbprints:
(makes about 20 cookies)
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons red food coloring (may need more or less if using gel or liquid food coloring)
  • 1/2 mini chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Sift together flour, cocoa powder, and salt into a bowl and set off to the side.
- In a separate bowl, beat together butters and sugars until light and fluffy. Add in egg yolk, then vanilla and beat for another minute until combined.
- Add in red food coloring and mix until the color spreads completely.
- With a mixer on low, slowly beat in flour mixture, then gradually increase the speed for the dough to come together. Once dough has come together, fold in the chocolate chips.
-Roll into one inch balls, bake for five minutes, remove from oven and gently press your thumb into each of the cookies. Place the cookies back in the oven for another 5-6 minutes, then remove and let cool completely before frosting.

Marshmallow Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup marshmallow fluff
  • 1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1-2 teaspoons milk, if necessary
- Beat cream cheese with mixer until creamy. Add in marshmallow fluff and beat for an additional 2-3 minutes, then add vanilla.
- With the mixer on low, add in the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time until fully incorporated. If the mixture is runny, add more sugar. If the mixture is too stiff, add milk, one teaspoon at a time.