peppermint mocha cupcakes

i know….

three posts in one week!

what has happened to me??

i mean i went like a year between the last couple of posts and this week.

and to be honest, i wasn’t planning on posting this much this week but today is super special…

see i just made these cupcakes for my mom’s office departmental christmas party. and i was feeling quite proud of myself so i posted a picture over on instagram and one of my favorite bloggers said she just made them too!! so zainab and i made a blogging date to share these today because great minds think alike!!

{and you should go totally check out her version too!!}

so these cupcakes….

when my mom asked me to make something, she gave me carte blanche. she did mention chocolate and maybe something stuffed in the center. so i brainstormed because at this time of year, festive is always best. and that’s when i remembered seeing these over at naomi’s site. plus i had already bought the peppermint andes and i knew that a boozed topped version was meant to be….

Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes from Pink Tiger in the Kitchen

peppermint mocha cupcakes

  • 1 c flour
  • 1 c + 2 tbs sugar
  • 1/3 c + 2 tbs dark cocoa
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 c {1 stick} unsalted butter, melted and warm
  • 2 eggs, room temp
  • 1 tsp peppermint extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 tbs instant espresso
  • 1/2 c hot coffee
  • 1 recipe peppermint schnapps ganache {recipe below}
  • 1 recipe peppermint schnapps swiss meringue buttercream {recipe below}
  • 1/2 recipe chocolate pouring sauce {recipe below}
  • peppermint andes, for decorarting {optional}
  • peppermint candies, for topping {optional}
  1. preheat oven to 350F and line baking cups with paper liners.
  2. in a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda and salt; set aside. add the butter, eggs, peppermint and vanilla extract to a bowl and beat together on medium speed for one minute. add in half the coffee followed by the dry ingredients. add the remaining coffee and beat until just combined. divide evenly among lined cupcake cups.
  3. bake 18-22 min or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. remove from oven and set on a rack to cool.
  4. while the cupcakes are cooling, make the peppermint schnapps ganache and allow to cool slightly before filling the cupcakes by either cutting a 1 in hole with a small knife in the top or by using the bottom of a large pastry tip; cut the hole about 2/3 the way down into the cupcakes. spoon the cooled ganache into the center of the cupcakes, pipe the peppermint schnapps swiss meringue buttercream on top and drizzle over the chocolate sauce. sprinkle the peppermint andes over the top and top each with single peppermint candy.

peppermint schnapps ganache

  • 8 oz bittersweet chocolate
  • 2/3 c heavy cream
  • 2 tbs unsalted butter
  • 2 tsp peppermint schnapps
  1. make the peppermint schnapps ganache filling by heating the heavy cream until just simmering and the pouring it over the bittersweet chocolate and 2 tbs butter to melt. stir in the peppermint schnapps.

peppermint schnapps swiss meringue buttercream

  • 3 egg whites, room temp
  • 3/4 c sugar
  • 1 c {2 sticks} unsalted butter, diced and softened
  • 1/4 c peppermint schnapps
  • 1 tsp peppermint extract
  • pinch salt
  1. combine the egg whites and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer placed over simmering water. while whisking constantly, bring the mixture to 160F, or until the sugar is completely dissolved {you can test this by rubbing the mixture between your fingers; it should be completely smooth.}
  2. transfer the bowl to the mixer base; using your whisk attachment, beat on medium speed until the mixture cools and doubles in volume, about 10-12 min. {the bowl should feel cool to the touch.} add the butter 1 tbs at a time allowing each piece to incorporate before adding the next. once all the butter has been added, add in the peppermint extract, peppermint schnapps and salt. continue to beat until it’s thoroughly combined. {it might not look like it’s coming together but keep beating; it will become even and smooth.}

chocolate pouring sauce

  • 2/3 c dark chocolate chips
  • 2 tbs heavy cream
  • 4 tbs powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1-5 tbs warm water
  1. place chocolate chips and heavy cream in a bowl over simmering water. let the chocolate and cream heat and melt together for 2-3 min without stirring; slowly stir mixture to combine. sift the powdered sugar into the chocolate mixture and stir to combine. add water 1 tbs at a time until the mixture is a pouring consistency. {i only need 1-1/2 tbs.} set aside to let the sauce cool before drizzling over the assembled cupcakes.

kisses

cupcake and pouring sauce recipe adapted from: bakers royale, ganache recipe adapted from this whiskey ganache, swiss meringue buttercream adapted from: bakers royale

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almond flour brownies

want to know how to feel real old lady? live in a condo complex with college students.

true story.

nothing will make you feel as old lady as that will.

i mean it.

and this is coming from the broad that goes to bed by 10P everynight (including weekends).

see my complex is relatively close to campus but not so close that it’s over run by college kids. normally it’s nice and quiet. but a year ago, these two jokers moved in next door and now i’m counting down the days until the end of july and they move out. oh and i’m praying who ever moves in will be nice quiet people with no big loud dogs. please pray for me.

until then, let’s comfort ourselves with brownies.

these aren’t your traditional flour based brownie. these are another almond flour/meal based recipe for the week. but if you didn’t make them yourself or you didn’t know that they weren’t traditional all purpose flour, you wouldn’t know any different. they are dense and fudgy and everything you want a brownie to be. i bumped up the espresso powdered a bit to not only give the dark chocolate a little more depth but also bring out the coffee flavor out a bit. the white chocolate chips replaced the m&m’s in tracey’s recipe because i figure the white chocolate represented the “cream” in my coffee-ish brownies.

almond flour brownies

almond flour brownies

  • 1/2 c (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, browned and cooled to room temp
  • 5 oz dark chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1-1/2 tbs instant espress powder
  • 3 eggs, room temp
  • 3/4 c sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 c almond flour/meal
  • 1 c white chocolate chips
  1. preheat oven to 350F. spray a 8×8 in baking pan with cooking spray. line with aluminum foil, leaving some overhang so you can lift the brownies out the pan once thery’re baked. spray foil with cooking spray.
  2. in the bowl of a double boiler, melt together the browned butter and dark chocolate. whisk in the espresso powder and cocoa powder. set aside to cool to room temp.
  3. in a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, vanilla and salt. add the chocolate mixture to the egg mixture; whisk to combine. stir in the almond flour until just combined. stir in the white chocolate chips. pour into the prepared pan and smooth out evenly. bake 28-30 min or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. remove from the oven and cool completely.

kisses.

recipe slightly adapted from: tracey’s culinary adventures

this post is linked up to these fun link parties! what’s cookin’ wednesday, what’s in your kitchen wednesday, taste and tell thursdays

coffee caramel glazed mini bundts

true story…

i’ve been trying to pump myself up about sharing some crawfish etouffee with you but then i remembered about these little goodies. i had kinda forgotten about these little gems until i was going through the pictures on my phone and i was like DUH!! how in the heck did i forget about these?!? i couldn’t believe myself.

the best thing about these little cakes is that i maaaaaay have found a perfect vanilla cupcake. for real. they are that good. and then you throw some caramel that’s been spiked with coffee up on top of there. sold.

coffee caramel glazed mini bundts

  • 1 1/2 c flour
  • 1/4 tsp + 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 c (1 stick) + 1/4 c (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1 c sugar
  • 1 tsp + 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs, room temp
  • 1/2 c milk, room temp
  • 1/2 c dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 c strongly brewed coffee
  • 1 tbs heavy cream
  • 2 tbs powdered sugar
  1. preheat your oven to 350F. grease and flour your mini bundt pan (or a standard 12 cup muffin tin will work too).
  2. mix together the flour and baking soda in a bowl; set aside.
  3. beat together the sugar, 1/2 c butter, 1/4 tsp salt and 1 tsp vanilla until the mixture is light and fluffy. beat in the eggs, one at a time. reduce speed and add the dry ingredients until just about blended. add the milk, mixing until everything is just well blended. divide the batter among the mini bundt cups.
  4. bake 10 min before rotating the pan and rapping it on the rack to deflate them a bit. continue baking 10-12 min more until a toothpick comes out clean. cool completely on a wire rack before inverting the cakes out.
  5. make the glaze: combine the brown sugar, coffee, remaining butter and salt in a small saucepan. over high heat and stirring often, bring the mixture to a boil and boil until reduced by half, about 3 min. remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla and heavy cream. allow to cool 20 min before adding the powdered sugar.
  6. spoon the glaze over the cakes and let set for about 30 min.

y’all for real.

these were freaking fantastic.

and on top of that, shauna wrote another cookbook! it’s called pure vanilla. now… i don’t own this cookbook (yet) nor do i know shauna BUT i might have mentioned how much i like good vanilla. so in that spirit, i figure i would tell you about the cookbook. that’s it.

oh and i absolutely must share this picture of these babies that i posted on instagram (@pinktigerblog) the night i made them…

i mean i absolutely have no words.

ok maybe i have these: go make these. now.

kisses.

recipe from: piece of cake

bestest dessert ever?

so clearly, i’m a huge fan of desserts. i don’t think that information surprises or shocks anyone… when i go out to eat, i’m more likely to order dessert than a drink (or in special cases, drink my dessert). that being cleared up there are some desserts that are in my all time top five faves… what are they you ask?

1. bread pudding – i used to think i wasn’t a fan but then i found out i was wrong. so very, very wrong.

2. pecan pie – i mean is there anything better than pecans, sugar and butter combined into perfect deliciousnes? if you answered yes to that, you’d be wrong.

3. brownies – and yes i mean brownies and not chocolate cake. the two are so similar, especially if you’re a fan of “cake-like” brownies but then my friend you’d be wrong again. see… it’s the fudgy, gooey brownies that are the best.

4. wedding cake – when i say wedding cake i don’t mean just any pretty cake that a happy couple probably paid way too much for since it’s going to get destroyed in about 2.5 seconds. i mean traditional white, almond flavored cake with a traditional buttercream. there’s absolutely no better cake out there. no joke. (p.s. best flavor of snowball? wedding cake.)

5. tiramisu – there are a lot of good things that the italians are known for but this is probably one of my favorites, if it’s not the best thing ever.

that leads me to this (since i know you’ve been waiting with baited breath for the second thanksgiving dessert)….

a tiramisu tie in is what initially made me choose to try this dessert (plus it was pretty much a cinch to make)… you see there’s mascarpone cheese in it. those of you not familiar with mascarpone are probably asking yourself what the heck is a cheese doing in a dessert? i would answer that with i’m sure you’re one of the people in the world that likes cheesecake right? but mascarpone cheese is so much better than cream cheese (which i don’t eat because it’s gross). it gives food a creaminess with a very mild tanginess. it’s just that little something yummy. in fact, i’m usually drawn to a recipe just because it has mascarpone in it.

plus this dessert has booze in it.

for real.

this icebox cake was everything i could have ever wanted out of it plus some. i was expecting it to be good because hey it’s an ina garten recipe. but did i expect to take hold of me like it did? not really. i don’t really know what i was expecting but when i took a taste of the leftover whipped cream/mascarpone mixture, i knew this was going to be trouble for my hips. and it was. but it was worth every calorie.

mocha icebox cake

  • 2 c cold heavy cream
  • 12 ounces mascarpone cheese
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1/4 c kahlua – i have seen this recipe made using bailey’s instead which i think would be delish. i also think amaretto would also be lovely.
  • 2 tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp instant espresso powder
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 24 ounces crispy chocolate chip cookies – ina recommends using 3 (8oz) packages of tate’s bake shop cookies and i did because i happen to know i can buy them at fresh market
  • shaved semisweet chocolate
  1. in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the heavy cream, mascarpone, sugar, kahlua, cocoa powder, espresso powder, and vanilla. mix on low speed to combine and then slowly raise the speed, until it forms firm peaks
  2. to assemble the cake, arrange chocolate chip cookies flat in an 8-inch springform pan, covering the bottom as much as possible. (ina breaks some cookies to fill in the spaces and so did i.) spread 1/5 of the mocha whipped cream evenly over the cookies. place another layer of cookies on top, lying flat and touching, followed by another 1/5 of the cream. continue layering cookies and cream until there are 5 layers of each, ending with a layer of cream (i don’t think i actually had 5 layers of each. i just did it until i was at the top of the springform and i was out of cookies/cream). smooth the top, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.
  3. run a small sharp knife around the outside of the cake and remove the sides of the pan. sprinkle the top with the chocolate, cut in wedges, and serve cold.

during the thanksgiving meal, my mom asked what my favorite part was…. i initially had to go with the green bean casserole. but that was before dessert. this icebox cake was hands down the.best.thing.ever. pure awesomeness.

seriously.

you need to run (and i do mean run) to the store and buy you a springform pan, mascarpone cheese, and all the other ingredients and make this tonight.

kisses.

recipe from: ina garten’s how easy is that? cookbook