These Grasshopper Cupcakes, rich chocolate cupcakes with a chocolate mint cookie crust, filled with a minty ganache, and topped with a light, fluffy mint frosting, are my attempt at keeping my sanity. It's snowing here again, the second snowstorm in less than five days. Ugh. That's really all I can say. So, on this dreary, cold day, I'm focusing on the end of winter, and seriously looking forward to St. Patrick's Day on March 17th. That's just three, yes THREE, days away from the official first day of spring.
I based these cupcakes off of the retro American dessert, grasshopper pie. It's a pie with a chocolate crust and a creamy, mint filling. Oh, and the filling has to be tinted green. It's green filling is quintessential to any grasshopper pie.
While I love pie, it's a tough dessert to share with anyone others unless they're actually sitting down with you. That's why I turned my version into cupcakes because you can give one or all of the cupcakes to a deserving friend or loved one.
That's my trick actually. I give away almost every single item I bake. The recipients are happy, and my pants still fit. It's a good deal for everyone.
While Grasshopper Cupcakes are delicious any time, the green icing makes them perfect for St. Patrick's Day.
Ingredients for the Cupcakes
Adapted from Martha Stewart's One Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup warm water
3/4 cup milk
3/4 tbs white vinegar
3 tbs vegetable oil
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
1/2 cup of mini chocolate chips (for decorating the cupcakes)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard size cupcake tin with paper liners.
Mix the milk and vinegar in a small bowl. Let it stand (the milk will separate).
Sift the cocoa, all-purpose flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Add the eggs, warm water, milk and vinegar mixture, oil, and vanilla extract. Mix until smooth.
Place one mint-chocolate cookie on the bottom of each cupcake liner. Fill cupcake tins 2/3 full of the batter.
Bake for 20 minutes, rotating the pans half way through the baking time.
Ingredients for the Peppermint Ganache
12 ounces of bittersweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp peppermint extract
Instructions for Peppermint Ganache
Place the chopped chocolate in a medium bowl. Heat the cream until just simmering. Pour the warm cream over the chopped chocolate. Allow the mixture to sit for about a minute. Add the peppermint flavor. Then mix until a smooth, glossy mixture forms.
Set the warm ganache aside. Allow to cool before using it in cupcakes.
Ingredients for the Peppermint Frosting
1 1/2 cups of unsalted butter at room temperature
3 cups of powdered sugar
a pinch of salt
1 to 2 tbs heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp peppermint extract
green food color
Instructions for the Peppermint Frosting
In a small measuring cup, add the vanilla, peppermint, and cream. Add salt. Mix until salt is dissolved.
Beat the sugar and butter until smooth. Add the liquid ingredients, and beat until light and fluffy.
Instructions for Assembling the Cupcakes
Once cupcakes have cooled completely, core out a 1 1/2 inch diameter circle in each cupcake, saving the top of the cored cupcake piece. Fill the hole with a heaping teaspoon of cooled chocolate ganache. Replace the top of the hole with the reserved cupcake piece.
Spread a thin layer of the ganache over the edges of the cupcake. Immediately press mini-chocolate chips into the wet ganache.
Pipe the frosting on each cupcake. Drizzle left over ganache over cupcakes. Top with a chocolate mint cookie.
Yields 12 cupcakes
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