I’ve been thinking about peppermint for my seasonal cupcakes and found LorAnn peppermint oil at Wal-Mart of all places.
On the peppermint kick, I looked for ways to use candy canes too. I found a couple good posts for melting them, but I found two I liked most on Thrifty Fun for making shapes and from Storybook Woods for melting them into syrup. The idea to make a candy cane shot glass is particularly appealing since the candy canes can be melted completely into syrup, molded and used for a martini or be given as gifts during the holidays.
The cupcake recipe is one adapted from Oprah.com
On to the recipes
Peppermint cupcakes with Peppermint Buttercream
Servings: Makes 1 dozen cupcakes (I made 8 regular cupcakes and 24 mini cupcakes from this recipe)
- 1½ cups (7½ oz.) all-purpose flour, sifted
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- ¼ tsp. coarse salt
- ½ cup (4 oz.) milk, room temperature
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. peppermint extract (I used ¼ tsp. of LorAnn peppermint oil)
- ½ cup (4 oz.) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup (7 oz.) sugar
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 2 large egg whites, room temperature
- 1 cup (8 oz.) unsalted butter, firm but not cold (I used half cold, half room temperature)
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 3½ cups (14 oz.) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- ½ tsp. vanilla extract
- ½ tsp. peppermint extract (again, I used a few drops of LorAnn oil)
- ½ tsp. milk
- Preheat oven to 350°. Line a muffin tin(s) with cupcake liners; set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
- In a small bowl, mix together milk and extracts; set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter on medium-high speed, until light and fluffy. Gradually add sugar and continue to beat until well combined and fluffy. Reduce the mixer speed to medium and slowly add egg and egg whites until just blended.
- With the mixer on low, slowly add half the flour mixture; mix until just blended. Add the milk mixture; mix until just blended. Slowly add remaining flour mixture, scraping down sides of the bowl with a spatula, as necessary, until just blended.
- Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups. Transfer muffin tin to oven and bake until tops are just dry to the touch, 15 to 25 minutes, depending on muffin size. Transfer muffin tin to a wire rack and let cupcakes cool completely in tin before icing.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the butter and salt on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
- Reduce the speed to low, gradually add the confectioners’ sugar and beat until incorporated. Add the extracts and milk and beat until smooth and creamy. Do not overmix or the frosting will incorporate too much air; it should be creamy and dense, like ice cream. Add additional milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, if frosting does not have a spreadable consistency.
Candy Cane Syrup
It’s the season for peppermint-flavored sweets. Add the syrup to your hot chocolate, coffee and even tea. Experimenting with your favorite liquor is also encouraged. Responsibly of course.
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 3 large candy canes
- 1 tsp. peppermint extract (I used LorAnn peppermint oil)
- Place all ingredients in a sauce pan.
- Simmer on medium heat until the sugar and candy canes are completely melted. Allow to cool and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one month.
Chocolate Candy Cane Martini
This drink, modified slightly from And All the Trimmings has a little kick. Feel free to reduce the amount of liquor to your tolerance level.
- 3 oz. vodka (I used Tanquery Sterling)
- 3 oz. crème de cacao (I made mine courtesy of Serious Eats
- Candy cane stick
- Add a couple of cubes of ice to a shaker. Pour the vodka and crème de cacao and shake to combine.
- Garnish with peppermint stick.