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Thursday, April 2, 2015

Minty Deliciousness

Mint and chocolate are one of many classic combinations and you can't go wrong pairing them together whether it is in a brownie, a cookie, a cake, a pie or a cupcake.

My family has always enjoyed the Mint layered brownies, but when I wanted to make cupcakes for someone's birthday, I thought why not chocolate and mint with a Thin Mint cookie decoration. Not to forget the ganache filling and coating on top of the cupcake. Or for either of those to be outdone by the Butter Mint frosting that tastes just like an after dinner butter mint.

Thin Mint Cupcakes

1 Chocolate Cake Mix
1 cup warm water
2 tsp. instant coffee
3 eggs
1 cup mayonnaise
24 Girls Scout Thin Mint Cookies (for decorating)
1/2 cup of mini chocolate chips (for decorating)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard size cupcake tin with paper liners. Pour cake mix into a medium sized bowl. Add in eggs and mayonnaise, stir until combined. Add water with coffee mixed in, stir just until combined. Fill cupcake tins 2/3 full of the batter. Bake for 20 minutes, rotating the pans half way through the baking time. Do not overbake (dries out your cake).

Chocolate Ganache
12 ounces chocolate chips
1 cup heavy cream

Instructions for Ganache
Place the chocolate chips in a small bowl. Heat the cream in the microwave just until heated through. Pour the warm cream over the chopped chocolate. Allow the mixture to sit for about a minute. Then mix until it looks smooth and glossy.

Set the warm ganache aside. Allow to cool before using it in cupcakes.

Butter Mint Frosting
1 1/2 cups of unsalted butter at room temperature
3 cups of powdered sugar
Pinch of salt
1 to 2 tbs. heavy cream
1tsp. peppermint extract
1 tbsp. Crème de Menthe
Instructions for the Butter Mint Frosting
In a small measuring cup, add the Crème de Menthe, peppermint extract, salt and cream. Mix until salt is dissolved.

Cream the butter until smooth and it is light and fluffy. Add the sugar a little at a time, beating until combined. Add the liquid ingredients, and beat again until light and fluffy.

Assembling the Cupcakes
Once cupcakes have cooled, core out a 1 1/2 inch diameter circle in each cupcake. Save the top of the cored cupcake piece to put back on top after filling with ganache.

Fill the hole with a heaping teaspoon of cooled chocolate ganache. Replace the top of the hole with the reserved cupcake piece.

Spread a thin layer of the ganache over the entire cupcake. Immediately press mini-chocolate chips, around the edges only, into the wet ganache.

Pipe the frosting on each cupcake inside of the rim of mini chocolate chips.

Drizzle left over ganache over cupcakes. Top with a chocolate mint cookie.

Notes & Swaps
You can add more mint flavoring to either the ganache or the cupcake, but I didn't want the mint to overpower the chocolate flavor. 

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