Sunday, December 18, 2011

Chocolate Peppermint Ganache Cupcakes

Meet the lone survivor. The last cupcake of the batch..... Oh so yummy :) It's not the best photo, but you all get that the taste is what's important, right?

The cupcakes:

3 eggs
½ C water
¼ C milk
½ C oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 box devil’s food cake mix
1 C sour cream

Peppermint Ganache:

1/2 C butter
5 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa
6 Tbsp buttermilk (or 5 ½ T milk, ½ T lemon juice)
3 C powdered sugar
½ tsp peppermint extract

Peppermint Buttercream:
8 oz cream cheese
½ C butter, softened
2 C powdered sugar
½- 1 tsp peppermint extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix the eggs, water, milk, oil and vanilla together. Add in cake cake mix and sour cream until well blended.

Fill cupcake liner ¾ full and bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

While cupcakes are baking, make the peppermint ganache.

In a bowl, sift 3 cups powdered sugar. In a small pan, melt butter and add cocoa and buttermilk and bring to a boil. Pour mixture over powdered sugar and, add peppermint extract and stir until smooth.

Dip the tops of the warm cupcakes into the warm ganache and let cool before frosting. You can also poke a hole in the middle of the cupcake with a wooden spoon and fill the whole with ganache. So good!! Extra ganache will keep fine in the refrigerator. (I found it was easier to poke the hole and lightly spoon the ganache in while spreading a thin layer over the top. Then it wont drip as bad. Dipping was an epic fail for me)

Frosting: Beat cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Gradually add powdered sugar. Add extra sugar if needed for right consistency. Add peppermint extract and beat again.

Pipe frosting onto cupcake (I used my 1M frosting tip) and then top with candy cane kisses, crushed candy cane or even mint M & M’s.

adapted from home based mom (she has way more cool pictures than me and helpful tips)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Egg Nog Cookies

Oh my egg nog! Gotta love Mrs. Fields and her creative genius on this one. I'm a huge egg nog fan and these just hit the spot this time of year. Luckily there was lots of leftover delicious icing! Any ideas what I can do with egg nog icing? Otherwise I'll probably just eat it straight. Yes, it's that good.

2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 1/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup SALTED butter, room temp (Mrs. Fields calls for this)
1/2 cup eggnog
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 egg yolks
1 tablespoon nutmeg (optional)

Preheat oven to 300F.

In a medium bowl combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg; mix well with a wire whisk and set aside.

In a large bowl, cream sugar and butter with an electric mixer. Add eggnog, vanilla and egg yolks and beat at medium speed until smooth. Add the dry ingredients and beat at low speed just until combined.

Drop by rounded teaspoons onto ungreased baking sheets, 1″ apart. Sprinkle lightly with nutmeg or skip this step and sprinkle on the nutmeg after you ice the cookies. Bake for 23-25 minutes or until bottoms turn light brown.

Transfer to cool, flat surface immediately with spatula.

Eggnog Icing

3 C. confectioners’ sugar
1/4 C. softened butter or margarine
1/3 C. commercial eggnog (use as much as you need)

In small mixer bowl, beat confectioners’ sugar and butter or margarine until well blended. Gradually beat in eggnog until icing is smooth. Makes about 1 1/2 cups. (I waited until cookies were cool and used my cupcake star tip #1M because I'm a sucker for a pretty cookie)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Candy Cane Chocolate Chip Cookies

Are you ready??

1 cup butter, room temperature
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 (3.4 ounce) package instant Candy Cane Pudding mix
2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla (if you like your stuff REALLY minty, you may want to add 1/2 tsp peppermint extract. I thought they were perfect the next day without the extract)
1/4 teaspoon salt
30 mini candy canes broken into chunks
1 cup Ghiradellli 60% cacao semi-sweet chocolate chips
food coloring, optional

Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl and set aside. Cream together butter and sugars (add food coloring, if desired). Beat in pudding mix until blended. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix well. Add the flour mixture and mix to combine. Stir in candy pieces and chocolate chips.

Place golf ball sized dough balls on a cookie sheet (I use a baking stone) lined with baking parchment (of course this is optional, but when baking with candy you'll have sticking if you dont). Bake at 350 degrees for 8-9 minutes. Do not over-bake! Let cookies cool for 5 minutes on cookie sheet before moving to a cooking rack. Store in air-tight container (I suggest doing this while they're still a little warm if you like your cookies on the chewy side)