05 December 2008

andes mint chocolate cupcakes with melt away mint toppers

Andes Mint Chocolate Cupcakes with melt away mint topper

I absolutely love the mint + chocolate combo. And naturally, one of my favorite chocolates are those Andes mints. A funny story: Olive Garden always gives you these mints after dinner. I was dining there with my friend P whoalso liked the mints. So much that after our waiter gave us our mints at the end of the meal, she still wanted more. And we eyed the bowl of Andes mints a few feet away. And she kept talking about wanting more, so I thought I would be nice and grab a few more for her.

Except our waiter saw me. How about, embarassing!? I was caught with my arm in the cookie jar, and I felt even worse because I was doing it for someone, not myself! So ever since that incident, P gives me a bag of Andes mints every year for my birthday as a "sorry." Forgiven, for sure!

Andes baking chips

Somebody at andes realized the genius of making baking chips, which are nothing more than chopped up Andes so you are saved the time of unwrapping and chopping.

Recipe adapted from I Heart Food 4 Thought, which in turn was adapted from Dorie Greenspan.

[1] cup all-purpose unbleached flour
[1/4] cup unsweetened cocoa powder
[1/4] tsp baking powder
[1/4] tsp baking soda
[1/4] tsp salt
[1 stick] (8 tbsp) unsalted butter, at room temperature
[3/4] cup sugar
[1] large egg
[1] large egg yolk
[1/2] tsp pure vanilla extract
[1/2] tsp peppermint extract
[1/2] cup buttermilk
[2] oz andes mint chocolate baking chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 fahrenheit.
2. Melt your baking chips, and set aside to let it cool. I just microwaved them.
3. In one bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
4. In another bowl, beat the butter until it no longer looks like a stick. Add the sugar, and beat until well mixed. Add the egg. Mix. Add the yolk. Mix. Add the extracts. Mix.
5. Add half of the dry material into the butter mix. Mix.
6 Add the buttermilk. Mix.
7. Add your melted chocolate. Mix.
8. Add the rest of the dry materials, mix.
9. Fill up your cupcake pan and bake away!

melt away mints

As for the icing, it's the same as usual for me. I like how they look, but hate the taste and effort. I'm definitely a cake person and not a cream person. So, I found a cute alternative! Every christmas season, the malls are filled with Hickory Farm (oddly enough I can't find the mints on their website) stands that sells sausages, cheese, and my favorite: those pink green and yellow melt away mints that are covered in sprinkles at the bottom! However, I just went to Central Market where they sell christmas versions in bulk, so I can get as few or as many I want of them.

Conclusion: Yum! Can't go wrong with mint and chocolate. Next time, I want to bake the melt away mints inside the cupcake. And maybe increase the amount of cocoa powder or chocolate.


nicisme said...

I love that first photo! Great combo.

joanh said...

mm. i love the hickory farm mints. the photos looks amazing!

Katie said...

This might seem like a dumb question, but I'm new to baking so please bear with me.

For this recipe, do you mean one whole and a separate egg yolk or just one egg separated?

Also, how do you get them to dome so perfectly? They are beautiful :)

cathy said...

@Katie: Hi there! I mean 1 whole egg + extra egg yolk - so you will end up with a leftover egg white. as for the doming, aside from the recipe ratios, i find that how far you fill them up makes a difference. and it always changes for every recipe. so it's good to fill them at different heights and see which one domes at the height of your liking. good luck with making them!