December 19, 2010

Chocolate Peppermint Cakes (in Jars)

After I saw a posting about cupcakes in jars at Cupcake Project, I had to try it for myself especially with Christmas right around the corner. I bought all ingredients for the featured cupcake before I realized the cupcakes must be eaten within two days, which wouldn't work so well for mailing them to grandparents in Texas and Michigan. So, I created a chocolate peppermint cupcake recipe instead. (Don't worry, the Brandied Cherry recipe should be coming after Christmas!)

The cupcakes were moist with sticky bits of crushed candy cane. The frosting was delicious, although I can't give you an exact recipe. Unless I'm duplicating a recipe exactly, I usually combine powdered sugar and butter until it tastes good, temper it with milk and my extract of choice. Use your favorite buttercream recipe spiked with peppermint extract, and you'll be fine!

Chocolate Peppermint Cakes (in Jars)
2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
2/3 cup butter
1 3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
3 oz. unsweetened chocolate, melted & cooled
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/4 cups water
3 candy canes, crushed

Grease a combination of half-pint mason jars or cupcake tins, totaling approximately 24 to 30 cupcake depositories. Preheat oven to 350ºF.

Stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In large mixing bowl, beat butter on medium/high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar, beating until well combined. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each egg. Beat in chocolate and vanilla.

Add portion of flour mixture, alternated with portion of water, beating on low after each addition until just combined. Continue alternating until both flour mixture and water are mixed into the batter. Stir in the crushed candy canes.

Divide batter evenly among cupcake tins and jars. Note: these cupcakes rise fairly well, so only fill jars 1/3 full. You'll want room for your cupcake and frosting!

Bake for 20 minutes, and then check cupcakes. Continue baking until a toothpick inserted into center of cupcake comes out clean. (Depending on the size of your cupcakes, they may take quite a bit longer.)

Cool cupcakes on wire rack. Frost. Share!

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