Andes Mint Cupcakes

printed from melskitchencafe.com

*Makes about 30 cupcakes

Ingredients:

Cupcakes:

2 cups sugar

1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa

1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

1 cup milk

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup boiling water

Chocolate Mint Filling:

1/2 cup chocolate chips

3 tablespoons heavy cream

1 teaspoon peppermint extract

1/3 cup powdered sugar

Mint Buttercream:

1 cup (2 sticks, 16 tablespoons) butter, softened to room temperature

8 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature

32 ounces powdered sugar (about 7 cups)

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

2 teaspoons peppermint extract

Green food coloring

30 Andes mints for garnish

Directions:

For the cupcakes, preheat oven to 350°F. Line muffin cups with paper baking cups. In a large bowl, stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; using a handheld electric mixer or an electric stand mixer, beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water. The batter will be on the thinner side. Fill the muffin cups 2/3 full and bake for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs. This recipe makes about 30 cupcakes. So you may need to bake the cupcakes in installments if you only have 1 or 2 muffin tins. Let the cupcakes cool completely on a wire rack, after removing them from the muffin tin.

For the mint filling, while the cupcakes are baking, place the chocolate chips and heavy cream in a small microwave-safe bowl and heat for 1 minute at 50% power. Stir. Repeat the process until the mixture is smooth. Stir in the peppermint extract and powdered sugar, whisking until smooth. Let the mixture cool to room temperature (but don't let it get too stiff) and pour it into a squeeze bottle or a ziploc bag (it helps to place the ziploc bag, one point down, in a tall glass while filling).

When the cupcakes are cool, insert the tip of the squeeze bottle into the center of the cupcake and press gently to fill the middle of the cupcake with the mint ganache.

For the frosting, in a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar and mix until smooth. Add the heavy cream and peppermint and vanilla extracts. Beat until light and fluffy. Add green food coloring until the color you like is achieved.

Frost the cooled, filled cupcakes with frosting (using a large star tip) or simply spread the frosting in a large dollop with a butter knife or flat spatula. Garnish with an unwrapped Andes mint and a drizzle of leftover ganache (make sure the ganache is completely cool or it will melt the frosting when you drizzle it on top of the cupcake). Refrigerate until serving.