The not-too-sweet Chocolate Cupcake recipe uses instant mashed potatoes. They have a moist, slightly dense texture.
The Peppermint Patty Topper is made with a russet potato, peppermint candy and powdered sugar; then dipped in chocolate. You'll never know they aren't spendy York Mints... I peppermint PINKY-swear! ;-D
What a surprise to know these pretty and DELICIOUS cupcakes start and end with the humble spud!
Step 1: Make the Peppermint Patties
Ingredients you'll need:
1 small (5-6 oz) russet potato, peeled, in 1/2" slices.
7 Peppermint Candies-OR- 1 teaspoon Peppermint Extract
1 large bag Powdered Sugar. At least 2 lbs.
Chocolate melting wafers or semi-sweet chocolate chips.
Red Food coloring (optional)
Tools you'll need:
Cookie sheet covered in waxed paper or foil
Microwave to heat the dipping chocolate
Small, flat-bottom drinking glass
Small Cookie Cutter (optional)
Room in your freezer.
Place the peeled, sliced potatoes in the saucepan. Add 6 Peppermint Candies. (If you're using Peppermint Extract, disregard) Add just enough water to cover. Cover and simmer until the potatoes are well-cooked and super soft.
Drain the potatoes and SAVE the sweet, pink water.
Place the cooked potatoes in a medium sized mixing bowl and thorughly mash with a fork. If you're using Peppermint extract (not candies), add it now. Then let your electric mixer do the work. Start adding the reserved pink-peppermint water just a little at a time. Mix on high continuously.
What you want is a thick but SMOOTH syrup/batter to evolve. No lumps whatsoever. Use as much (or as little) pink water as needed to accomplish this. Just know that the runnier the syrup/batter is, the more powdered sugar you'll need to use.
Start adding the powdered sugar and begin beating it in on a medium speed.
LOL... you will think I got you involved in some strange science experiment because at this stage, the potatoes start to liquefy!
Never fear... keep adding more powdered sugar and keep beating the potato mixture and keep beating.
If you want to add red food coloring, now's the time. A couple of drops should be ample and produce a bright pink-colored mint filling.
When the mixture becomes too much for your electric mixer, it's time to dig in and use your hands to mix in more powdered sugar. When it's developed a sticky-dough texture. You're almost there! Add just enough powdered sugar to form a soft (not sticky) dough ball.
Hint: stay near your sink so you can wash your hands and keep a towel close by to dry them off. If you start working the dough with wet hands, it will get sticky... again.
Turn the "dough" ball onto a clean surface dusted generously with more powdered sugar.
Dust your hands with powdered sugar and pinch off just over a tablespoon at a time and roll it between your palms into a ball. Place the ball on a Wax paper or foil-covered cookie sheet.
Dip your flat-bottom glass in powdered sugar and press to make a round disc-shaped patty about 1/3" thick.
Is your glass sticking to the dough? Cover the dough ball with saran wrap so it doesn't dry out and put the clean, dry glass in the freezer for 5-10 minutes. Try again. If your dough is still too sticky, you'll want to knead in a little more powdered sugar.
Once you've made the balls disc-shaped, use a small cookie cutter in the desired shape. Peel away the remaining pattie dough and put it back on the "mother" dough ball. This step is optional and it doesn't change the incredible taste. It just adds some "pretty".
When your cookie sheet is full, take the toothpicks and stick one diagonally into each pattie about 3/4 of the way though. It'll make the chocolate dipping a breeze!
Cover what's left (if any) of your "Mother" mint-dough ball snugly with saran wrap. She'll keep it your freezer indefinitely!
Place the mint-filled cookie sheet in the freezer for an hour or as long as it takes. You want them rock hard. No need to cover them. They'll even keep overnight.
When the mint patties are frozen solid, leave them in the freezer, but begin melting your chocolate wafers or chips.
I don't recommend using any shortening or your finished chocolate won't have a nice firm shell. I microwaved the wafers on low and stirred every 15 seconds until the chocolate was manageable for dipping.
Working quickly, take hold of the toothpick and dip your Peppermint Patties in the Chocolate. Tap off the excess chocolate and return them, one by one to the frozen cookie sheet. Immediately twist the toothpick and it should gently slide out of the pattie. If the patties get a little squirrely and fall off during dipping, just put them back in the freezer for 5-10 minutes.
Once all of the Peppermint Patties are chocolate covered, put them into the refrigerator until the chocolate is completely set. Once it is, you can transfer them to a plate, using plastic wrap or wax paper between the layers. Store in the refrigerator.
It's POTATO CUPCAKE TIME! ;-D
Step 2: Make the Potato Cupcakes
1 cup Butter- room temperature
2 cups white sugar
4 Eggs- room temperature
2 Tablespoons Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 cup PREPARED Instant Mashed Potatoes- room temperature
2 cups all-purpose flour sifted
1 t Baking Soda
1 t salt (OR- substitute the Flour/Baking soda/salt with 2 Cups sifted Self-rising flour)
1 teaspoon Baking soda
1 teaspoon Peppermint -or- Vanilla Extract
3/4 cup Buttermilk
If you don't have buttermilk, you can make your own. Learn how right here: http://www.foodsubs.com/Cultmilk.html
First, make the mashed potatoes according to the package directions and let it cool to room temperature.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Stir the flour, salt and baking soda together and set it aside. Grab your sifter and keep it handy.
With an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
Beat in the room temperature eggs on medium speed, one at a time. Beat well after each addition.
Reduce the speed to low and slowly add the extract, buttermilk and cocoa powder.
Add the prepared mashed potatoes. Beat on low speed until fully incorporated.
Scrap the mixer blades and the sides of the bowl. Set the mixer aside because from here on out, you'll be mixing with a rubber spatula.
Sift the flour/baking soda/salt into your batter a little at a time using your spatula. Don't overwork the batter. It should be thick.
Spoon into lined muffin tins until each is about 3/4 full.
Bake for 15 - 20 minutes. When the cupcakes pass the toothpick test, remove them from the oven and let them cool to room temperature.
Once cool, place them in either your frig or freezer. This is just to get the cupcake cold so they'll be more agreeable to the Whipped cream frosting.
Step 3: Frosting and Garnishing Tips
You can find the recipe here: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Sturdy-Whipped-Cream-Frosting/Detail.aspx
You'll be using Reduced fat cream cheese, heavy cream, white granulated sugar and Vanilla OR peppermint extract.
Caveat: Be SURE and use reduced-fat Cream Cheese! The fat in regular Cream cheese will result in a yummy frosting, but it tends to lose it's crisp shape at room temperatures and must be refrigerated.
I don't have a stand mixer or whisk attachments, but I was still happy with the results.
Chocolate sprinkles and Crushed peppermint candies.
Note: I LOVE the shards and shimmer-effect that comes from hammering a simple piece of hard candy. From lollipops to lifesavers, you can turn hard candy into your own glitter sugar dust with flavor!
Step 4: Add the Peppermint Pattie and Serve.
Your friends and family will pepper (or peppermint;-) you with praise and pat (or patticake;-) you on the back for serving them such a yummy cupcake!