peppermint fudge cupcake jars*

Are you in need of a last-minute neighbor or co-worker Christmas gift? Well don't you fret, because I've got your back! Not only are these little jars adorable and look so festive, but they are amazingly delicious! I have given these jars away for gifts for two years straight! I just love their presentation, but even more I love knowing that they not only look great, but taste great, too.

Peppermint Fudge Cupcake Jars
from Our Best Bites

Makes approximately 8 jars or 12 Cupcakes
Cupcakes (cake base for this dessert adapted from Shelly Kaldunski)

2/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/2 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3 oz chocolate, chopped.  (or abt 1/2 C chips) Use bittersweet, dark, or semi-sweet.
1/2 C + 3 Tbs real butter, cut into pieces
3/4 C plus 2 Tbs sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
8 8oz wide mouth mason jars (the short squatty kind)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place the chocolate and butter in a large heatproof bowl and microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring after each, until melted and smooth.  

Set mixture aside and let cool 10-15 minutes.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. 

Using a wooden spoon (don’t use an electric mixer) stir the sugar into the chocolate mixture until combined.  Stir in the eggs one and a time, beating with your spoon until combined after each addition, and then beat in the vanilla.  Gently fold in the flour mixture just until no traces of flour remain; do not overmix.

Place the mason jars on a cookie sheet.  Divide the mixture evenly among the 8 jars (no need for greasing the jars) or 12 cupcake liners if you’re going that route.  The jars should be about half full or a little less. 

Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the jar comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached 22-25 minutes.   Remove from oven and carefully (with a pot-holder!) transfer jars to a cooling rack.  Let jars cool till at least close to room temperature before topping with ganache.

Peppermint Ganache
4 oz semi-sweet chocolate (chocolate chips are fine)
1/2 C heavy cream
1/4 tsp peppermint 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, pour 1 1/2-2 Tbs ganache over the top of each cupcake jar.  If desired, use a paring knife to first hollow out a well in the middle of the cake. 

Tilt jars to distribute ganache evenly over the top of the cake and then let cool for the ganache to set.  If storing overnight, place lids and rings on jars and leave at room temperature.

Use this frosting recipe, adding peppermint extract (in addition to the vanilla extract called for) at the end by 1/4 tsp to taste.  I prefer at least 1/2 tsp.  Pipe frosting on each jar, being careful to leave room for the lid.  If desired, sprinkle on some crushed candycanes and then screw on jar lids.

Click Here to print free labels for the mason jars (compliments of Our Best Bites. Thanks ladies!!).



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