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Peppermint Hot Chocolate Cupcakes

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Rich chocolate cupcakes filled with peppermint cream and topped with a chocolate frosting made with hot chocolate mix ~ a perfect winter treat!

(the hot cocoa frosting is to DIE for…just thought you should know that right up front….!)

I love hot chocolate…. it is one of my favorite parts of winter.  My friend Dawn recently suggested we participate in a Hot Chocolate Run.  If you’ve never heard of this (I hadn’t!) let me show you a little of the amazingness that makes up a Hot Chocolate Run.

Hot Chocolate RaceStarting line of the Hot Chocolate Race

Finisher's MugYUM!!!!

Nothing motivates better than chocolate, I always say!  Who needs a medal when you can have a big cup of cocoa and warm chocolate fondue after a race?

In any case, I’ve been moderately addicted to hot cocoa ever since that weekend.  We all know what happens when I get a flavor stuck in my mind right?  Cupcakes happen.  Hot Chocolate Cupcakes in this case– with some peppermint as a bonus.  If you don’t like peppermint you can easily leave it out of this recipe, but I love the combination!  Are you ready to make these?  Here we go.

INGREDIENTS:

  • One boxed dark chocolate cake mix (plus oil, water and eggs needed to make mix according to box)
  • One packet of Dream Whip (what is Dream Whip? Click HERE)
  • 1/2c. cold milk
  • 3 t. vanilla (divided)
  • 3 tablespoons of finely crushed peppermint candies (I used Peppermint Sprinkles )
  • 1 stick (4 oz.) of salted butter at room temp.
  • 1 stick (4 oz.) of unsalted butter at room temp.
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup of hot cocoa mix (I used Nestle)
  • Kraft Mallow Bits  and peppermint candies to decorate as desired.

DIRECTIONS:

  • Make cake mix according to box, and bake in 24 cupcake liners in muffin tins.
  • Cool cupcakes completely.
  • Make cream filling by placing Dream whip, milk and 1 t. vanilla in a mixing bowl and beating on high until light and fluffy.
  • Add finely crushed  peppermint candy and gently fold in until well combined.
  • Hollow a core out of each cupcake (I used a Chicago Metallic Cupcake Plunger that was recommended to me by a friend– LOVED it!)

Chicago Metallic Cupcake PlungerSo easy to core cupcakes!

(If you have baking friends this is SUCH an inexpensive and fun stocking stuffer idea– it only took me about 5 minutes to core all 24 cupcakes– and I stopped to take pictures!)

  • Pipe filling into each cupcake core.
  • Make frosting by combining butters, powdered sugar, cocoa mix and 2 t. vanilla in a large bowl and beating on high until fluffy.
  • Pipe frosting over cupcakes and decorate as desired.  (The mallow bits were really yummy with this frosting!


Peppermint Hot Chocolate Cupcakes!!!

My thoughts:  Fun and yummy winter treat!!  Not a fan of peppermint?  Just leave the crushed peppermint out of the filling and you have a yummy whipped cream taste with your hot chocolate frosting instead!  

One note:  Put the peppermints on just before serving as the frosting eventually makes them a little sticky.  I hope you and your family love these little treats!  Enjoy!!!  ~r

Hot Chocolate Pops!

You’ve heard of cake pops, cookie pops, brownie pops, doughnut pops and even pie pops— but have you ever tried a Hot Chocolate Pop?  Creamy chocolate surrounding a marshmallow surprise center- pop it into a cup of hot milk and YUM- a perfect yummy creamy cup of cocoa.  Wrap them up and they make the PERFECT winter gift!

Ingredients:

  • Wilton White Candy Melts and Wilton Dark Candy Cocoa Melts.  You will need about one 12 oz. bag per 8 pops.
  • Marshmallows (one for every pop you intend to make!)
  • Stir sticks (I found these cute dowels at Michaels)
  • Small plastic cups (I used 3 oz. clear plastic cups by Solo)
  • Clear plastic bags I used Wilton Lollipop Bags -they are so easy- perfect size and come with a bow!
  • Cute tags– use mine if you want or make your own!! 🙂

Hot Chocolate Pop Labels

Hot Chocolate Pop Labels- Mint

Hot Chocolate Pop Labels- Instructions for use.

Instructions:

  • Melt candy melts in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring between until smooth.
  • Spoon melted candy into a zip-top bag and seal.
  • Clip a corner off and squeeze about a teaspoon of chocolate into the bottom of each cup.  Tap cup against counter to spread chocolate and remove bubbles.
  • Place cups in the refrigerator for about 5 minutes until chocolate is hard.
  • Press dowels or stir sticks into marshmallows
  • Squeeze about 2 teaspoons of chocolate (I used a contrasting color) into cup and while it is still melted, press marshmallow into cup (this will squeeze the chocolate up along the sides of the cup.) Tap to remove bubbles.
  • Top with chocolate until marshmallow is completely covered -or—
  • (If you are using contrasting chocolates) Refrigerate about 10 minutes until second layer is hard and then add contrasting chocolate over the top, completely covering marshmallow.
  • Place cups in fridge for about 30 minutes to an hour.
  • Clip top of cup with scissors and tear it down the side which will release the pop.
  • Serve or gift wrap!  Enjoy!!!
  • To eat pop: Use a BIG mug (20 oz.) and heat up about 10oz. of milk in it.  Place pop in hot milk and stir until smooth and creamy!

My thoughts:  I love these so much…I love to come up with fun and creative edible gifts each year for giving in bulk (Bible studies, family get-togethers, hair stylist etc…) and these are just FUN!!!  I am wholeheartedly a blonde and my 1st use of these involved a full cup of hot milk plus a pop -resulting in  a huge lake of hot milk on the counter…so learn from me and use a big cup with room in it for the pop- lol!  

Also– I found MINT Wiltons candy melts and that is how I got the mint cocoa flavor.  I just added a little layer of green candy melt before I put lots of white melts and a marshmallow– I like how it turned out!  I wish I’d thought to take pictures as I went for you- I just forgot!  (NOTE: see below!!) Experiment with colors and flavors- these are pretty forgiving projects!

Enjoy– and a very Merry Christmas to you!!!!  -R

Ok– I had to make a second batch because I ran out.  Since I was making them again I took the time to take some pictures for you of the process:

A little bit of chocolate in the bottom of a 3 oz. cup.

White chocolate added over dark and marshmallow pressed into center.

Dark chocolate added over white and marshmallow– don’t forget to tap the bubbles out!

Everything is so pretty set up for pictures….this is what my counter ACTUALLY looked like at the end!

Pops ready to go in the fridge to harden!

Clip the top of the cup and tear down the side to release. (I used paper cups too this second time and they worked great– you just have to peel them off a little more.)

I hope these help– have fun!!  r-

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