Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Cake Re-Mix: Mint Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

I don't always have time to bake from scratch (shocking, huh?!) But I've found that using ::gasp:: boxed cake mix and even pre-made frosting can be a good jumping off point to create some yummy goodness. Kind of like how I imagine Britney Spears enters the music studio, puts her gum behind her ear, reads three lines off a sheet of paper into a microphone, says "bye y'all" and six hours later her production team spits out a hit record.

Easy Mint Chocolate Cupcakes: (makes approx. 2 dozen)
1 box chocolate cake mix (I prefer the richer ones like Chocolate Fudge, or Dark Chocolate)
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup oil
3 eggs
2 cups mint chips*

The Rolls Royce of Chips: Guittard!

*If you don't have mint chips on hand, you can substitute chocolate chips and add 2 tsps of mint flavoring. (Or 1/4 cup mint liquer, for grown up cupcakes!)

Before mixing ingredients, set aside about a 2 Tbsps of the cake mix in a small bowl. I like to break up any chunks in the mix before opening the bag. Add the chips to this bowl and stir to dust the chips lightly with the mix. This helps them not all fall to the bottom of your cupcakes while they bake.

Then just mix together the sour cream, oil, eggs and cake mix in a large mixing bowl. You may notice that the batter is a little thicker than usual, more like brownie batter. The thicker batter is easier to portion into your pan, and you should fill each cup about 1/2 - 2/3 full.

All ingredients mixed

With the chips

The cupcakes should rise nicely into little rounded tops.

I bake mine at 350 degrees for 18 minutes, but my oven tends to run almost 25 degrees hotter than what it reads. I would say set a timer for 15 minutes, then check 'em to see if either a toothpick inserted comes out clean or the tops bounce back when you press them lightly. If they are not done, check them every 2 1/2 to 3 minutes until done.

Let cupcakes cool completely while you make the frosting.
Personally, I like to sample two or three one while they are still warm.
Mint Frosting:
2 cans (12 oz) Vanilla or "White" Frosting
1 tsp Vanilla extract
1 tsp Mint Extract
Food Coloring (optional)

In a medium mixing bowl, mix frosting with flavorings and add food coloring if desired. You can adjust the flavorings to your desired taste. Just try not to overdo it on the fake mint flavoring or it'll taste like you frosted your cupcakes with Colgate. Finally, frost and enjoy!

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