Chocolate and peppermint play very well together, so it's no wonder that peppermint bark is so popular during the Christmas season. With this in mind, I decided to use that flavor combo for these cupcakes, which accompanied the red velvet cake (posted last week) that my co-worker commissioned for his holiday party. Both items were a success, or to put it in his words: "The red velvet cake was a hit, and the cupcakes were even hittier!" :D I think we all just learned a new word there.
To make these cupcakes, just bake up 24-28 of your favorite dark chocolate cupcakes. I used Betty Crocker® Chocolate Fudge and swapped out buttermilk for the water. No shame in using cake mix here, because the real star of the show is the billowy white chocolate peppermint frosting! I garnished each cupcake with a sprinkling of chopped Peppermint Crunch Andes Mints (yum!). These are a seasonal offering, so I might go hoard some before Christmas is over. If you're lucky enough to find some already chopped up (usually near the chocolate chips or in the holiday baking section), go for it--you'll save yourself a bunch of chopping time! I saw some last year at Super Target, but no luck finding any this year. :(
White Chocolate Peppermint Frosting (Yield: 3½ cups) Original recipe found on Recipezaar 1 cup unsalted butter, softened (no substitutions!) 2 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted if lumpy 6 oz. white chocolate bar, melted and cooled (not chips, if you can help it) 3-5 Tbl. whipping cream or half-and-half 1½ tsp. peppermint extract Food coloring, if desired
In a large bowl, beat the butter and confectioner's sugar at low speed until fluffy. Add in melted and cooled white chocolate and whipping cream (start with 3 Tablespoons and add in more to achieve desired consistency. I only needed 3 Tbl). Beat on high speed for 3-4 minutes, scraping bowl with a spatula once or twice. Frosting will get very light and fluffy. Add peppermint extract and food coloring if using, and beat until blended.
Use to frost cupcakes or layer cake. I piped very generously onto 24 cupcakes, and still had enough for maybe 4-6 more. If you spread instead of pipe, you'll probably have enough for about 4 dozen cupcakes.
Store leftovers refrigerated. Frosting will become quite firm, but will regain its soft consistency at room temperature.