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

peppermint white chocolate frosted brownie bites

i don’t know about where you are but down here is weird.

what i mean by that is that it kinda feels like the holidays are in full swing but then i step outside and i lose the feeling. i mean it’s supposed to get to close to 80F here today and i just can’t seem to quite find the holiday spirit when it’s hot outside.

and worse than that…

i feel very wardrobe challenged. i mean with the temps where they are, i want to be in shorts and sandals but my head is telling me it’s december and it’s boot season and i look forward to boot season so i need to be wearing boots. and then try shopping… i mean all the stores have these cute sweaters and longsleeve shirts but i’m here dying of heat.

this all makes me very sad.

what doesn’t make me sad though is baking this time of year. it’s like you can bake everyday and it’s completely acceptable to have a mound of cookies, brownies and cake on your desk for breakfast.

holla!

i’ve been craving a brownie recently. i’ve also been craving a cupcake with all it’s glorious buttercream on top. and i remembered i had these little gems pinned and it solved both! and bonus… they’re all pepperminty which is totally a flavor of the season! yay!

peppermint white chocolate frosted brownie bites

peppermint white chocolate brownie

  • 1 1/2 c sugar
  • 3/4 c flour
  • 3/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 eggs, room temp
  • 3/4 c (1 1/2 sticks) butter, melted
  • 1 c dark chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 c (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 2 c powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbs milk
  • 1 tsp peppermint extract
  • 12 oz white chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
  1. preheat the oven to 375F. spray a mini muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray or line with mini cupcake liners.
  2. sift together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl. in a separate bowl, whisk together the melted butter, eggs and vanilla. add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until it’s all incorporated. fold in the dark chocolate chips.
  3. spoon about 1 tbs of batter into each of the muffin wells. bake 10-15 min, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of one of the bites comes out clean. remove from the oven and let cool 1 min before cooling completely on a baking rack.
  4. make the buttercream: beat the butter; add in the melted white chocolate. beat until creamy. add in the powdered sugar, milk and peppermint extract. mix 2-3 min until it’s smooth and fluffy.
  5. frost the brownie bites and sprinkle some red sprinkles on top.

even though these aren’t “cookies” they would make a great addition to your holiday cookie swap. and you could even change out the white chocolate for semisweet and make them peppermint double chocolate.

what holiday baking do you look forward to most?

kisses.

recipe lightly adapted from: shugary sweets

chocolate mint whoopie pies

chocolate + mint = pure deliciousness.

don’t agree?

too bad. because you’re straight up wrong.

i mean this is a classic flavor combination that is one for the history books. don’t get me wrong… i love all kinds of flavor combinations (chocolate + peanut butter, peanut butter + honey, bacon + anything) but the chocolate / mint thing is classic. i mean just think about it… when you have chocolate and peanut butter combination i bet you think of reese’s cups. anything else? probably not. peanuts and honey… well i think of a sandwich or justin’s honey nut butter. but when it comes to chocolate and mint, well there’s york peppermint patties, junior mints, thin mints, mint chocolate chip ice cream… i mean the list goes on and i’m about to add something to it to blow your mind.

chocolate mint whoopie pies.

yep that’s right.

what is a whoopie pie you ask because you’re like me and from the south. well the best way i can describe it is a soft, cake cookie filled with delicious buttercream. yep. that about sums it up.

see growing up we didn’t have whoopie pies. they’ve only recently been introduced to my stomach. we had moon pies. which in case you’re unfamiliar with those they are like graham cookies sandwiching marshamallow all dipped in chocolate. and i loved me some moon pies. but these whoopie pies may have stolen the crown. i mean they are soft little pillowy cookie goodness with buttercream. what could be wrong with that? um absolutely nothing.

now since they’re all new to me i don’t know who came up with these suckers. i just know that there’s some huge debate about it. all kinds of states in the northeast claim they invented them. know what i think? WHO FRIGGIN CARES. just eat them and be happy. for real.

chocolate mint whoopie pies

  • 2 c flour
  • 1/2 c cocoa
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 c buttermilk
  • 1 tsp + 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 c (1/2 stick) + 1/2 c (1 stick) softened, room temperature butter
  • 1/4 c crisco
  • 1 c brown sugar
  • 1 beaten egg, room temperature
  • 3 c powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp peppermint extract
  • green food coloring, optional
  1. preheat oven to 425F. line 2 baking sheets with parchment or a silpat.
  2. combine flour, cocoa and baking soda in bowl; set aside. combine buttermilk and vanilla; set aside at room temp.
  3. cream the butter and shortening together until completely mixed and fluffy. scrape down the sides of the bowl. add the brown sugar and continue mixing on high speed until the mixture is light in color and fluffy. add the egg and mix. scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  4. with the mixer on low, alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk mixture, beginning and ending with the flour.
  5. using your handy dandy cookie scoop, scoop out the batter on the prepared cookie sheets and place about 2 in apart. bake one sheet at a time for 8 min, or until the cakes are puffed. remove to a cookie rack and let cool completely.
  6. make your buttercream – whip the butter until it’s light and fluffy. scrape down the sides and add the powdered sugar, heavy cream, peppermint extract and food coloring, if using. mix on low until the powdered sugar is throughly incorporated. whip 1-2 min more.
  7. assemble your whoopie pies – using your handy dandy buttercream scoop (yes i mean your cookie scoop), scoop a glob of buttercream on the flat side of one whoopie cake and then top it with another whoopie cake.
  8. now go pour yourself a glass of milk and enjoy the mint chocolate goodness.

these whoopie pis are fantastic. like you should be on the way to the store to purchase the items you don’t have in your kitchen already.

kisses.

recipe from: so sweet! by sur la table

peppermint sugar cookies

i’ve officially decided to do away with the cutesy post titles. it gets kinda difficult to come with something and i’m over. plus i figure most people would rather know what they’re getting into from the get go….

so i have a confession. i don’t like the holidays. this time of year makes me feel very scrooge like. there’s too much stress that comes with this time of year. if i could remove november 20 – december 31 from the calendar, i probably would. i’m all for winter (especially since it doesn’t get bitterly cold here) and all the parties and food and such. i just wish it was parties and foods because it’s fun. that being said, now that i know about these cookies, i might just have to change my tune.

see these cookies are like crack. seriously. think i’m lying? bake yourself a batch and see how long they last around you. maybe you have better will power than i do (which isn’t too hard to say you do). normally when i bake something, i try it but then i bring everything to work… but these little jewels, let’s just say i didn’t bring all of them to work. but now they are gone. and i’m thankful and sad for that.

what is more quintessentially christmastime than peppermint?? just as i feel like maple flavors represent fall (like we have that here!), i feel like peppermints represent winter and christmas. i mean what other time of year do you see candy canes?!? and candy canes combined with a pillowy soft sugar cookie? oh geez. i might have to stash some candy canes away just so i can make these cookies all year long.

peppermint sugar cookies

  • 3 c powdered sugar, divided
  • 1 1/4 c butter, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp peppermint extract
  • 1 egg
  • 3 c flour
  • 1 tbs baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 c finely crushed candy canes, divided
  • 1/2 c granulated sugar
  • 2-3 tbs milk
  1. preheat oven to 350F.
  2. beat 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar and butter until fluffy. add vanilla and egg and beat until combined.
  3. in a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. stir to combine. slowly add to mixing bowl, beating until just incorporated. stir 1/2 c finely crushed candy canes.
  4. roll dough into small balls using just under a teaspoon of dough (or use your handy dandy cookie scoop!). rolls balls through granulated sugar to coat and place on baking sheet (because of the crushed candy canes, this dough might stick to your parchment paper or cookie sheet so you might want to use a silpat or cooking spray). bake for 10-12 minutes. remove to wire cooling racks and let cool completely.
  5. while cookies are cooling, stir together remaining 1 1/2 c powdered sugar with 2-3 tbs of milk (you want just enough milk to form a thick glaze). spread or drizzle over cooled cookies and top with remaining crushed candy canes immediately.

feeling scroogelike??

go make these cookies. trust me.

they make me want to say bah humbug less!

kisses.

recipe slightly adapted from: cooking during stolen moments