Peppermint Hot Cocoa Cupcakes with Marshmallow Frosting

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/de1/37223523/files/2014/12/img_3588.jpgLast night I had plans to cook dinner for a friend who now lives several states away. Since I don’t get to see her often, I wanted something special but that was also appropriate for the season since Christmas is just days away. I decided to combine a couple of recipes for a cupcake that is reminiscent of a cup of hot cocoa with gourmet marshmallows and a kiss of peppermint. Hope you enjoy these as much as we did!/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/de1/37223523/files/2014/12/img_3597.jpgYasmine was a fan!

Hot Cocoa Cupcakes with Marshmallow Frosting
2 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup dark cocoa powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons GOOD vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water
Marshmallow frosting (see below)
A few tablespoons of crushed peppermints

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Put cupcake liners in two cupcake tins.

2. On low, stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla all at once and beat on medium for a couple of minutes, until well combined. Stir in boiling water. (I know it seems like this will ruin it but it will not.) Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full with prepared batter. Note: I like dainty cupcakes and had extra batter to make six more after the first twenty-four came out of the oven.

3. Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely.

4. When cooled, make marshmallow frosting. Quickly spread onto cupcakes before the marshmallow sets. Sprinkle with crushed peppermint chunks.

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Marshmallow Frosting (a labor of love)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons cold water
1 egg white
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. In a double boiler combine sugar, the cold water, egg white, and cream of tartar. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds. Place the double boiler on a stove set to medium-high.

2. Cook, beating constantly with the mixer on high speed, for 10 to 13 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer registers 160 degrees F when inserted in mixture. I’m not going to lie to you: it’s fairly unpleasant to stand over a hot stove beating frosting for that amount of time but the results are so worth it!

3. Remove pan from heat. Add vanilla and mix well. The frosting should be fluffy and should hold soft peaks, which gives your cupcakes the cutest little curls.

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