chocolate mint grasshopper cupcakes*

Here is round 2 of our St. Patty's Day celebration! I actually made this recipe around Christmas time and handed them out to some of my fellow co-workers as Christmas gifts. Only instead of a cupcake it was a cupcake in a jar, and it was peppermint fudge for the holiday. I have never done any canning in my life, so I was excited to feel like a homemaker and use my jar for none other than a cupcake (much better than canned peaches right?). Anyway, I thought that recipe would be equally delicious as a chocolate mint grasshopper cupcake!

Let's talk grasshopper cookies for a minute. If you don't like grasshopper cookies, you are crazy. If you have never had one, what on earth are you waiting for??? They are a replica of the Girl Scouts cookies Thin Mints, only they are available year round. Personally I think that Keebler makes Thin Mints, but that is strictly my own opinion. Anyway, they are amazing and one of my top all time favorite cookies EVER.

Chocolate Mint Grasshopper Cupcakes
adapted from Our Best Bites

1 box chocolate cake mix (I used milk chocolate mix)

Make and bake the cupcakes according to the directions on the box. When done baking, set them aside to cool for at least 30 minutes.

Mint Ganache

4 oz semi-sweet chocolate (chocolate chips are fine)
1/2 C heavy cream
1/4 tsp mint extract

Place chocolate chips in a bowl.  Heat cream in microwave until bubbles form around the outside.  Pour in bowl over chocolate chips and immediately cover bowl with plastic wrap.  Let sit for 5 minutes, add peppermint extract and then whisk until smooth.  Let cool un-covered until thickened slightly, almost like a thin pudding.

To assemble, use a paring knife to first hollow out a well in the middle of the cake. Pour ganache until the hole is full. Let sit for about 10 minutes until the ganache has started to harden. Then dip the top of the cupcake into the ganache.

Perfect Cupcake Frosting and Filling
adapted from Our Best Bites

3 T Flour
1/2 C milk (whole milk is best, but I used non-fat when it's all I have and it's actually fine)
1/2 C real butter
1/2 C sugar (that's granulated sugar, not powdered sugar)
1 t vanilla extract, or other flavor if you wish.
green food coloring

Whisk together the flour and the milk. Heat in a small sauce pan on medium heat. Whisk continuously until it starts to thicken. I think this is the critical point for any of you who have had problems with this recipe. I have a feeling people are under-cooking this part. Let it cook, while stirring, until it looks like pudding (you should be able to see the bottom of the pan when you stir it). Even though it's thick, you can still it through a mesh strainer (just whisk the mixture in the strainer to push the thick stuff through) and then let it cool completely to room temp. or chill it in the fridge. It needs to be cooled completely. If you don't let it cool completely, it will melt the butter and you'll have runny frosting.

It an electric stand mixer, beat the butter and the sugar for a minute or two until well combined and fluffy. You'll want to use the whisk attachment on a stand mixer, not the flat paddle. Then while beating, add in the thickened milk mixture and the vanilla. Beat on the highest speed you can get to without it spraying all over the place for 7 minutes. Yes, 7 whole minutes, maybe even 8 or 9. I know that seems like a long time, but that's when the magic happens!

You will be scared because it will look like a weird goopy mess at first and you'll wonder what on earth you did wrong. 

Keep beating and something amazing happens. It goes from that goopy mess to something thick, velvety smooth, and perfectly fluffy.

At this point add your food coloring. Then put your frosting in a pastry bag with the big star tip. Place the tip in the center of the cupcake and press your frosting out until you have a cute little dollop. Then, the best part. Top with a 1/2 piece of those AMAZING grasshopper cookies! MMMmmmmMMM!!!

Does it get any better than this people?? Does it? I really don't think so.

Heads up on great things to come! Tomorrow I am going to my brother-in-laws parents cabin up in the Uintah's (again, I don't know how it's spelled...) and I am going to be making coconutty sweet chex mix, cookie dough stuffed cupcakes, and creamy crepes with lemon strawberries. Tune in next week for the reveal of these delicious goodies! HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND!



Karen Tapahe said...
March 18, 2011 at 9:49 AM

I ate one of these cupcakes yesterday and they were absolutely delicious!! They looked great, too. I was thinking that you might have actually used Thin Mint cookies, so you may be right about who is manufacturing our Girl Scout cookie favorites.

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