Living, Learning & Loving La Vida Nueva

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Mint Brownie Cupcakes

In case you haven't caught on, I'll state it plainly for you...... I love cupcakes.  There,  I told you.  Now I don't have to try to hide it or beat around the bush any longer.  I love that they are perfectly proportioned (although, admittedly, I often want to eat another because, unlike with cake, you can't just cut off a sliver more to satisfy that lingering craving for one more bite).  I love that they come wrapped in a festive wrapper and they have a great cake to icing ratio - heavy on the icing, that is.  Plus, they are easy to make, bake and take anywhere.

These maybe-brownie-maybe-cupcakes will fulfill all your chocolatey mint desires during this holiday season, or any season for that matter.  The icing, made with marsh'ellows (as one of my sisters used to call them), is extremely light and fluffy.  Moist and dense aptly describes the filling, something you are sure to crave often.  If I wasn't making these for a par-tay, I would certainly be tempted to stand with the fridge door open and devour more than my fair share of them.  I came across the recipe as I was buscing (pronounced boo-sking - a spanglish word I created which means casually searching) through my Taste of Country Cooking cookbook which I mentioned in my last cupcake post.  I tweeked the recipe ever so slightly by substituting Andees mint pieces for mint chocolate chips and I wasn't disappointed with my minor change.  Yumm-O!

The recipe is simple; I like that.  Very few steps and not many bowls makes for quick, easy clean up.  Begin by melting the butter and chocolate together until smooth; then, add the eggs and sugar.  Lastly, slowly stir in the flour and baking powder until it is all incorporated.  Fill lined muffin tins half way and bake for 15-20 minutes.

While those are baking, you can whip up the icing.  Over low heat, cook marshmallows and milk until creamy and all lumps have dissolved.  Add mint extract and green coloring at the end.  Let that cool in the fridge while you whip the whipping cream.  Fold the two together and ice cooled cupcakes.  Sprinkle with extra chocolate, of course.  Refrigerate to allow icing to set.

Mint Chocolate Cupcakes:

1/2 cup butter
1 cup mint chocolate chips*

Over medium heat, melt butter and chocolate together until smooth. Remove from heat. Add:

2 eggs
1/2 cup sugar

Stir thoroughly.

To the mixture add sifted:

1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder

Use to fill cupcake liners half way.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes, until toothpick entered into the center comes out clean.  (The centers will drop some, so don't fill the liners any more than half way.)

*if mint chocolate chips are unavailable, you can substitute regular chocolate chips plus 1/2 teaspoon mint extract.

Mint Icing:

3 cups marshmallows
1/2 cup milk
 1 teaspoon mint extract
Green food coloring
1 cup whipping cream, whipped

Heat marshmallows and milk over medium heat until marshmallows are completely melted.  Add coloring and mint extract and stir until incorporated.  Let cool.  Whip cream until thick, fold in to marshmallow mixture.

Cover cupcakes with icing and cool in refrigerator for at least one hour.

Recipe yields 12 cupcakes.  

As I was baking, I had an adorable penguin come to visit me.  He crawls around these days saying two things, "Mama" and "Dada."  Of course, that melts our pathetically sensitive hearts and we are so in love.......

With Kyle and cupcakes!

Happy Christmas Eve, ya'll!

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