Growing up, my family was never big on celebrating Christmas, or any North American holiday for that matter. In fact, I didn’t know who or what Santa was until I started kindergarten. The day I learnt about Santa and his elves in the North Pole was life-changing. Of course, the excitement didn’t last long:
“Hey, how was school?”
“There’s an old fat man named Santa who flies around the world in his sleigh giving presents on Christmas eve!!!!”
“Oh honey, Santa’s not real.”
Then they proceeded by laughing at me for a solid 5 minutes. (Jerks!)
Weird thing is, I’ve always loved anything and everything Christmas related. Probably because I was deprived of it in my early years 😛
Now that I’m older, I try to make up for it! I listen to Christmas music (Michael Buble to be exact) from October to January, eat EXTRA chocolate, organize a gift exchange with my cousins, and watch A Charlie brown Christmas at least 3 times.
I’m going to add these peppermint chocolate cupcakes to my growing list of traditions as well. I made my go-to chocolate cake, filled it with ganache then topped it with a hint-of-mint peppermint buttercream. My sister had one and actually liked it – that says A LOT!
What are some of your favourite Christmas traditions?
Oh and if you’ve ever wondered how I take my photos… here’s a picture of my setup. I’m very minimalistic when it comes to photo set-up 😛
Peppermint Chocolate Cupcakes
- 2 cups sugar
- 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup cocoa
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup buttermilk or sour milk* (I used 1 cup skim milk with 1 tbsp white vinegar)
- 1 cup strong black coffee
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Heat oven to 350°F.
2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, buttermilk, coffee, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes (Batter will be thin). Pour batter evenly into prepared pans.
3. Bake 15-20 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely. Frost as desired. Yields 35 ccupcakes.
2.5 cups unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
4 cups icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
1 tsp vanilla extract
mint extract (add to taste)
1. Beat butter and icing sugar together until light in colour. My trick to getting super fluffy buttercream is to whip the heck out of the butter for 15 minutes.
2. Mix in vanilla bean paste and vanilla extract.
3. Add mint extract little by little (a little goes a long way!!!) until you like it.