Perfectly pepperminty. Just the right amount. Not too little, not too much!
I am not always a fan of minty things because in most cases I find the flavor too overpowering. I have always been a fan of a simple Chocolate Layer Cake. However, every once in a while I will eat a perfectly minted something or other and let out an uncontrollable MMMmmmmm. These cupcakes? Perfectly pepperminty. Just the right amount. Not too little, not too much.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and lightly grease 12 muffin cups with cooking spray.
In a medium bowl, stir together:
1 1/4 cups flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
In a large bowl, beat 1/4 cup of shortening with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds.
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
I always see faces in my mixing bowls. Does anyone else see a smiley, blonde-haired little girl who just got hit in the face with a snowball? Poor thing.
Beat until combined, occasionally scraping the side of the bowl.
Add 2 egg yolks, one at a time.
Beat well after each addition.
Alternately add the flour mixture and 2/3 cup cold water to the shortening mixture.
Beat on low speed after each addition until just combined.
Thoroughly wash beaters. In a small bowl, beat two egg whites on medium speed until soft peaks form (the tips will curl).
Gradually add 1/3 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating on high speed until stiff peaks form (tips will stand straight).
Fold beaten egg whites into chocolate batter.
Do this in small batches.
Gently fold in 1/3 cup of miniature semisweet chocolate chips.
Divide among prepared muffin cups. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow cupcakes to cool. Remove from pan.
While the cupcakes are cooling, prepare a batch of Peppermint Buttercream Frosting.
Then put 6 or so candy canes into a ziploc bag.
Crush the candies.
Cut the cupcakes in half horizontally and spread about 1 tablespoon of frosting onto the bottom of each cupcake. Replace cupcake tops, pressing gently to spread frosting to the edges.
Place crushed candies on a sheet of waxed paper and roll the sides of the cupcakes in the candies to coat the exposed frosting. Pipe or spread the remaining frosting onto tops of cupcakes. Sprinkle with additional crushed candies.
And you will have perfectly pepperminty, chocolatey cupcakes that will make you squeal with delight.