Mini Mint Filled Brownie Cupcakes

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Sometimes a girl just needs chocolate! Call it a craving, blame it on stress, whatever. It is, at times, needed. Just a bite of dark, velvety, fudgey chocolate, and in this case, with a creamy, melted mint center thanks to the “hidden” York Peppermint Patty.

This Martha Stewart recipe called for large cupcakes, but I made mini ones for a gathering of girlfriends for all of the reasons above. So fun always to gather with this group, my “playgroup” girls.

I met these neighborhood moms more than 10 years ago on a desperate afternoon at home with my then twin 18 month olds. I was feeling more than a bit stir crazy and deprived of adult conversation and interaction, so, on this mild, sunny fall afternoon, I piled my son and daughter into their red wagon and walked up and down the street past the homes where I had seen small children playing. Thankfully, before I could be accused of stalking, I ran into two of those moms and shared my idea. Lets get together one morning a week, enjoy coffee and snacks and let the kids play. They told two friends and so on until we became eight moms and fourteen kids. Over the years we began meeting in the afternoon, then Friday evenings, and now that our kids are in middle school we celebrate every couple of months with a girls night out for cocktails and munchies at a local restaurant. We laugh, we sympathize, we share and we learn from each other. I love this group! All funny, bright, beautiful women that I am blessed to have in my life.

I served these mini cupcakes with a bottle of red wine as we talked about our kids, shared thoughts and ideas, and laughed until our faces hurt. Sweet.

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Makes 36 mini cupcakes.

8 oz semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips (I used a mixture of both)

1/2 stick unsalted butter cut into pieces

1 cup sugar

3/4 tsp salt

3 large eggs at room temp

1/2 cup ap flour

1/4 cup unsweetened Dutch- process cocoa powder, sifted

8 York Peppermint Patties, (1 and 1/2 inch sized)

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Preheat oven to 350. Line a mini muffin pan with mini paper liners. Cut each peppermint into quarters. Set aside. Place chocolate chips and butter in a small heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Stir occasionally until melted.

Remove bowl from the heat. Whisk in sugar and salt until smooth. Whisk in eggs to combine. Gently whisk in flour and cocoa (do not overmix).

Spoon one scant tablespoon of batter into each cup, top with peppermint pattie piece (pressing down a bit into the batter), then cover with another dollop of batter to cover completely. Bake, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time, until a cake tester comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached, about 10 to 12 minutes. Cool completely.

I did not have this issue, but, leftovers can be store up to three days in an airtight container.

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