Friday, December 16, 2011

Semi-homemade holiday cupcakes

First off, ooch! Sorry blog, I didn't mean to be away so long. Hubbs and I went to Vegas for a couple days sans babe (it was a blast) and then things happened and whatnot and such. Anyhoo, I'm back, and I've been in a holiday mood!

I wanted to bake something festive but I didn't want it to be complicated. I started digging through the pantry and inspiration struck when I saw the chocolate cake mix. I sent hubbs out for some frosting and candy canes (which I needed for the Christmas tree anyway...) and the chocolate, peppermint cupcake was born!

This is all you need. These turned out amazing. They were met with both "Oooos" and "Ahhhhhs" and also with requests for seconds. So I'd say they were pretty AND nummers. Win!

The deets: I added a half teaspoon of peppermint extract right into the frosting can and mixed it up before decorating the cupcakes. I think it was just the right amount. A subtle flavor that was definitely noticeable but not overpowering. I would add more flavor by the 1/4 teaspoon to taste if you want something a little punchier. For the "Martha Stewart" topping I just unwrapped 3 candy canes, put them in a freezer bag and smashed them up with the bottom of my Pyrex liquid measuring cup. The single can of frosting and 3 candy canes were just about the perfect amount for 24 cupcakes (1 box of mix).

Note: In the photo you'll see whipped frosting. This turned out to be a bad idea and hubbs went back out for cream cheese, which ended up much tastier anyway. See, once you mix the flavoring into the whipped frosting, the texture turns to a silky paste which when combined with peppermint flavor is unmistakably toothpaste-ish. Not yummy at all.

I would totally make these again. They were a huge hit and so easy. Perfect for a quick and easy festive project. Happy baking!

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