Or as my mom calls them, better than “*ahem* something-really-good” cupcakes. This is a G rated blog after all.
My mom is a fan of Junior Mints. For as long as I can remember these yummy little discs have been her indulgence after a long day of grocery shopping. I offered to make dessert for our weekly family dinner and while trying to think of what to make remembered that I had run across this recipe for Junior Mint cupcakes. They look delish, no?
I tweaked the recipe a bit so as not to overload my senses with mint. Because I don’t want to be minty-fresh for the rest of the year.
The cake batter is very thin. So thin in fact, I ladled it into the cupcake liners with my soup ladle. Don’t worry about it, the result is a moist cake that doesn’t crumble to pieces when you bite into it.
The frosting is rich, minty and tangy. I piped it on high, but you could just slap it on there with a knife if you don’t want to mess with a piping bag. It pretty much doesn’t matter because…
when it is dipped, the piped on design disappears beneath a thick layer of chocolate coated heaven.
I loved how these turned out. When I make them again, I will probably add a shake of instant coffee grounds to the cake batter to kick up the chocolate flavor a bit more. I think adding a touch of coffee really enhances the flavor, but it isn’t necessary. The only reason I didn’t do it this time is because I couldn’t find the instant coffee in my newly rearranged cabinets (what was I thinking?!).
Dark Chocolate Mint Cupcakes (adapted from Confessions of a Cookbook Queen)
For the cupcakes:
2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup Hershey’s special dark baking cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 large eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water
For the frosting:
3 sticks (1 1/2 cup) salted butter, slightly softened
8 ounces cream cheese, slightly softened
3/8 cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoons mint extract
10 cups powdered sugar
For the coating:
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
For the Cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 24 muffin tins with liners and set aside. In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine sugar, flour, baking soda, baking powder, and cocoa powder. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla extract and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Slowly stir in boiling water. Ladle batter into muffin tins evenly (about 2/3 full) and bake for about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely.
For the Frosting: In the bowl of your stand mixer, beat butter, cream cheese, milk and mint extract on medium speed until smooth.With the mixer on low, slowly add powdered sugar, beating until just combined. Increase speed to medium high and beat for one minute. Frost cooled cupcakes. Place cupcakes in the refrigerator to let the frosting chill for 30 minutes prior to dipping in the coating.
For the coating: In a microwave safe bowl, heat chocolate chips and shortening, for 1 minute at 80% power. Stir until smooth. If needed, return to microwave for 20 seconds at 80% power and stir until smooth. Remove cupcakes from the refrigerator and holding each cupcake upside down, dip them in the coating. Let the excess chocolate drip off for a moment before placing back on your plate.
Store in the refrigerator. Remove from fridge about 30 minutes before serving.