Sunday, December 18, 2016

Let it Snow..

This summer, on a particularly hot day, I was wondering Target & found half pint canning jars & thought they'd make perfect snow globes!  So I made some for my kids' teachers as Christmas gifts:

I hand painted a mountain scene along the three smooth sides & covered the "Ball" logo with this adorable reindeer from Simon Says Stamp "Merry & Bright" set.  Filled it with a Hot Chocolate Cupcake (seriously amazing!) & top it all off with some pretty silver ribbon :-).

Because these were rather time intensive I only did 4 for their main teachers & did gift bags for the other 12 teachers/ support staff.  On these tags I used a snowman from Lawn Fawn's "Snow Much Fun" set

And like I said the above cupcakes are A-M-A-Z-I-N-G ...quite possibly one of the best (baked) things I've ever made.  I was shocked that I couldn't find an existing recipe for hot chocolate cupcakes - at least not like I was thinking of, there are plenty of ones for all shades of chocolate & several using hot chocolate mix but none that would actually taste like a cup of hot chocolate. So starting with my favorite chocolate cupcake recipe (by Brown Eyed Baker) I started experimenting to find the correct balance of chocolate, creaminess & marshmallow & I think I found it ;-).  I'll have to go back & do proper weight measurements but in the meantime:

Hot Chocolate Cupcakes w/ Marshamllow Frosting
For the cake:
1/2 C Coffee [I used Starbucks Christmas Blend]
3 oz Semi-Sweet Choc, chopped fine [I used Scharffen-Berger]
1/2 C Canola Oil
2 Eggs
1 C Buttermilk 
1 t Vanilla
1 3/4 C AP Flour
3/4 C Cocoa [I use Ghiradelli]
1 3/4 Granulated Sugar
1 1/2 t Baking Soda
1 t Baking Powder
1/2 t Salt

For the ganache:
16 oz Andes Mints chopped
1 C Heavy Cream

For Frosting:
1/2 C unsalted butter (softened)
1 t Vanilla
1 C Marshmallow Fluff
3 T Heavy Cream
2 C powdered Sugar (sifted)
1/4 t Salt

1. Place chopped choc in a small bowl, pour coffee over & leave it for the moment
2. In bowl of stand mixer (w/ paddle attachment) mix the oil, eggs, buttermilk & vanilla on low-medium speed
3. Sift flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda, baking powder & salt onto a piece of parchment paper (or flexible cutting board). Slowly pour into oil mixture @ a low speed.
4. Give the choc-coffee mixture a quick whisk & add to batter.  Turn up to medium speed until fully incorporated.
5. Fill cupcake pans 3/4 full & bake in 350F for 18-20 mins until a toothpick comes out clean
6. Heat 1 C heavy cream in small pan on the stove until it just starts to scald; pour over chopped Andes mints & let set for ~1 min before whisking to smooth consistency & store in refrigerator to cool.
7. Whip butter in stand mixer (w/ whisk attachment) until light & creamy then add in marshmallow fluff & vanilla.
8. Once smooth add in 2 T heavy cream followed by the powdered sugar.  If it's too thick then add in last T heavy cream.
9. Once cupcakes are cool, scoop out the middle, pip in ganache, top w/ frosting & a sprinking of candy canes. YUM!

1 comment:

  1. What a GREAT gift idea! Love your deer tag and use of dies and ribbons, Rachel! So glad that you join the fun over Simon Says Stamp Wednesday “Gift It” Challenge! Awesome details and design! Super work!