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Andes Mint Cupcakes

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Guess what???  It’s Monday and I have the day off with my husband.  I’m SO excited!  Before I became permanent and my schedule changed, we had the weekends off together, but now we only get one day off together once every five weeks so it’s cause for celebration.  I’m going to relish it.

Speaking of my husband and celebrations, I made these cupcakes for his birthday in December, and everyone at the party fell in loveMel calls these “over-the-top” and I’d have to agree.  It starts with a moist, deep chocolate cupcake.  Then there’s the cool & creamy mint frosting.  Garnished with peppermint ganache and an Andes mint.  But there’s more to these cupcakes than what meets the eye, and my only regret is that I did not have the chance to snap a photo of the inside to show you they are also filled with the same peppermint ganache that is drizzled over the top.  Making them, you might say, over the top. :)

These would be great for your St. Patrick’s Day festivities!

Andes Mint Cupcakes

Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

1 recipe of your favorite chocolate cake*, baked into 24 cupcakes and cooled completely

Chocolate Mint Filling:
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
6 tablespoons heavy cream
2 teaspoons peppermint extract
2/3 cup powdered sugar

Mint Buttercream:
1 cup (2 sticks, 16 tablespoons) butter, softened to room temperature
8 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
2 lbs. powdered sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons peppermint extract
Green food coloring

24 Andes mints for garnish

For the mint filling, place the chocolate chips and heavy cream in a small microwave-safe bowl and heat for 1 minute at 50% power. Stir. Repeat the process until the mixture is smooth. Stir in the peppermint extract and powdered sugar, whisking until smooth. Let the mixture cool to room temperature (but don’t let it get too stiff) and pour it into a disposable pastry bag fitted with a small round tip, or a squeeze bottle with a tip.

Insert the decorating tip or tip of the squeeze bottle into the center of the cupcake and press gently to fill the middle of the cupcake with the mint ganache.  You can be pretty generous, squeezing until you see the top of the cupcake start to rise a little. Repeat with the remaining cupcakes.

For the frosting, in a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar and mix until smooth. Add the heavy cream and peppermint and vanilla extracts. Beat until light and fluffy. Add green food coloring until the color you like is achieved.

Frost the cooled, filled cupcakes with frosting (using a large star tip, I used Wilton # 1M) or simply spread the frosting in a large dollop (again, you can be generous-there is plenty) with a butter knife or flat spatula. Garnish with a drizzle of leftover ganache (make sure the ganache is completely cool or it will melt the frosting when you drizzle it on top of the cupcake), and an unwrapped Andes mint.  Serve at room temperature.

*I used a devil’s food cake mix, but this is my favorite from-scratch chocolate cake recipe.

Recipe source: adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

***

I had to share a few more photos from his party, which was actually only half for his birthday (our preacher and his wife had a holiday dinner/birthday party combo).  One of the games we played was holding paper plates on top of our heads and trying to draw a picture of Dennis playing his guitar without looking.  You have no idea how difficult this is until you try to do it!  This is what I ended up with:

http://sphotos.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/s720x720/375983_10150501251206480_541706479_10934912_410175853_n.jpg

However, this is what his best friend, Jack, came up with:

http://sphotos.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/s720x720/386399_10150501252261480_541706479_10934919_836445075_n.jpg

Highly suspicious.

Here’s Dennis and Jack trying to look natural after I urged them to try embracing each other for a photo.  I don’t think this is natural for most men, but they pulled it off better than I expected. :)

http://sphotos.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-snc7/s720x720/384593_10150501252876480_541706479_10934928_1748743330_n.jpg

And here’s Dennis practicing his Kung Fu moves with our preacher’s bat’leth (a Klingon weapon…as in something a Trekkie would totally recognize but me, not so much) shortly before we left (and yes, this thing is super sharp and dangerous! Yet he was swinging it like the pro he is.):

http://sphotos.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/s720x720/382966_10150501256611480_541706479_10934943_332731381_n.jpg

Your Klingon Kung Fu is strong, honey.

***

Reminder: this is the last week to get your postcards out to Beverly! You can get the deets here if you missed the announcement: Operation Postcard for Beverly.

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1 Year Blogoversary: Thank You’s and a Top Ten–Yours and Mine


It has been a year since I decided I needed a new location for all the recipes I had been posting on MySpace.  I started Recipe Rhapsody last fall with just a few interested readers.   Faith, I think you were my very first (not counting friends and family)!  Thank you so much for sticking with me and inadvertently introducing me to so many wonderful fellow food bloggers, especially Sophia, Brandy, & Biz.  Thank you to Laura, Kim, Cheryl, Erin, Suzie, & Carla who all followed me from MySpace to continue to support and encourage me on my new blog.

I remember when I first started this blog, I’d log on every day to check my statistics and see how many people had found me.  In the beginning, I got maybe twenty-five views a day.  That quickly increased to the hundreds and eventually even reached thousands, and although I don’t check my statistics any more, I did so today so I could give you the latest report.  As of this second, I’ve had 166,006 hits and am averaging about 1,000 per day.  Wow.  Thank you for your interest in little old  me and my adventures in baking!  Those are likely laughably small numbers to most bloggers, but they utterly floor me.

To celebrate Recipe Rhapsody’s first year, I put together a top ten.  Actually, I put together two! The first is based on your favorites–those posts that got the most views to date.  And the second is a top ten of my own favorites.

Reader’s Favorites:

1. Cake Pops won your hearts by a landslide, with 48,392 views since January.

2. Cinnamon Roll Sugar Cookies

3. No Bake Cookie Bars

4. Soft Caramels (oh, these would have definitely made my own top ten as well!)

5. Chicken Ranch Tacos

6. Best Made Plans & 10 Dozen Cupcakes

7. Rolo Pretzel Turtles

8. Cherry Cordials

9. Carrot Cake Breakfast Muffins

10.  One Minute Mayonnaise

(Some of) My favorites:

Incredible Dinner Rolls

General Tso’s Chicken


Creamy Chicken Enchiladas

Dulce de Leche Apple Pie

Shrimp & Bacon Ranch Pizza

Chipotle Honey Roasted Peanuts

Mexican Corn Dip

Snickerdoodle Blondies

World’s Greatest Salmon

and last but certainly not least….(drumroll please)

 

THE Mocha Crunch Cake


Oh, you’re looking for the link to this one?  Well, I haven’t posted the recipe yet, but you can look forward to it soon as part of the continued celebration of Recipe Rhapsody’s first year.  It is my signature cake–my favorite, my family’s favorite, my customers’ favorite, and the one they most often order.  And I (*gasp*) am really going to give you my secret recipe.  Really, really!

Also, look forward to another giveaway later in the week as well!

And thank you all, my dear readers, for your continued interest and encouragement.  XOXO

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