Baking #42: Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes

In some ways, I wondered if I should count this, but I figured if I counted two different kind of rolls as one project, I could count using a mix as another project. Yes, I used a mix for these cupcakes… but not just any mix…

I had a Sprinkles cupcake mix to use and I couldn’t let that go to waste!!! Sprinkles, and this particular mix, has a special place in my heart. I was obsessed with cupcakes before they became a trend. I know, that sounds really annoying, but it is true! In college, just before the cupcake trend went big, one of my best friends and I stayed up almost all night talking

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My cupcake theory of love companion

and formulating what we have come to call the Cupcake Theory of Love. I SWEAR I’ll go into that sometime (hmmm… next year is C’s …. maybe i’ll have a month of cupcakes…) Anyway, that was back in fall of 2004… Sprinkles Cupcakes was launched in 2005 I believe and took LA by storm and with it many other boutique cupcake shops soon followed. My friend and i constantly joked that we missed our window to publish our brilliant theory of love, and cupcakes remained a special joke between us. So much so that he even gave me a cupcake cookbook at my rehearsal dinner for my wedding.

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The top of our (homemade) cupcake tower at our wedding!

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Not sure why I used a kitchen scale.. or needed such a huge, messy space…

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Much cleaner nowadays

But before that, I threw a big old Christmas party the December after I graduated college and was determined to bake Sprinkles cupcakes with this mix that they had. It was the first time I used a kitchen aid all on my own. I was SUPER proud of them. So baking these bring back all sorts of fond memories. PLUS, December without peppermint would just be sad so I was delighted to bake some of these to help celebrate the season.

IMG_8767I felt a little like cheating using a mix for my final project, in spite of my connections to it, but there are a good number of steps to the process. It was much easier and less overwhelming than the first time I attempted this mix and was not sure how long to wait to use the butter after i took it out of the fridge or how to tell if I was over mixing things. I even melted chocolate without it seizing up which is never an easy feat for me. The cupcakes turned out fluffy and a great way to celebrate a family birthday yesterday!!! I ended up making a few adjustments to the frosting because it was too sweet for my tastes, and forgot the peppermint topping at first, but they turned out pretty great!

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So that’s it. 42 different baking projects in a little less than 52 weeks.The downside of this little project: I failed a few times and I also gained some weight and astounded myself with how much butter most baked goods call for! the upside: I learned a lot, began making my own bread instead of buying it as much, found a few recipes I will use over and over again, exceeded my own expectations, became a more confident and, when needed, a pretty resourceful baker, and made a lot of people happy with home baked goods throughout the year! I’m going to call it a win 🙂

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