Saturday, March 29, 2014

.thin mint cookie cupcakes.

once upon a time, in a magical minty land, lived a cookie so perfect that in its raw form, it would make grown people swoon. 
along came an evil wench who decided this most delicate cookie was not good enough. she was determined to smash it to smithereens and put it in the furnace of an oven in cupcake form. no one lived happily ever after. WAIT- that is not the right ending. 
in fact, everyone lived so much MORE happily after they tasted this thin mint cookie cupcake. 

bragging is not a pleasant trait. but hey, i've just got to this time. these cupcakes are freakishly delicious! they're like taking the perfection of a thin mint cookie and smashing it with the perfection of a cupcake until they explode into a firework display of bliss. ok, ok...that's a lot of theatrics and dramatics, but this thing is g. o. o. d. let me show you how to make your own. 

take a sleeve of girl scout thin mint cookies and pulverize them either with a food processor or by hand.   maybe the extra workout will burn some of the calories you're about to consume. maybe. 

sift together your flour, baking soda, baking powder, sugar, salt, and cocoa powder into the bowl of your stand mixer. 

toss in your thin mint crumbles and then mix to combine. 

go ahead and preheat your oven to 350 degrees. brew a fresh cup of coffee. not for lounging and sipping, silly.
in a separate bowl, stir together the eggs, buttermilk, vegetable oil and vanilla. with the mixer on low, slowly pour this liquid mixture into your dry ingredients. 
now, pour in your fresh, hot cup of coffee. do not overmix. 

this is one of those batters that will look just wrong. if you're like me, you'll think it is WAY too liquidy to be finished. just trust me, it'll all come out fine after it bakes. fill each lined muffin well almost to the top. 

bake the cupcakes for 15-22 minutes. i always start low and check with a toothpick. actually, one of my muffin pans cooks quicker than the other; so, i remove them at different times. when your toothpick pulls out clean, you'll know you're done. 

while your two dozen chocolate thin mint cupcakes are baking (insert drool), whip up some buttercream frosting. cream 3 sticks of room temperature butter on high for about 5 minutes before adding the confectionary sugar.
now for sugar. keep adding sugar until it is fluffy is my motto. it'll take 2+ cups. then, add your vanilla and mint extracts. 

as an ode to my own days in the green girl scouts, i put in just a spot of this beautiful kelly green food coloring. trust me when i say our uniforms were a much greener green than this. but hey, i think this shade gives just the right hint that there's mint in these things. 

after your cupcakes bake, allow them to rest in the pans for 5-10 more minutes outside the oven. this is the perfect time to top each one with a thin mint cookie. then, allow them all to cool on a wire wrack.

pipe or plop your frosting on top to hide the cookie surprise. 

if you're not convinced yet that you should make these, let me describe the experience you get when biting in...
imagine a delicate chocolate cake with hints of thin mint cookie nestled in the softness, topped with the crisp crunch of an actual thin mint cookie that is wearing a frosting hat so delicate and refreshing with just a hint of minty heaven. 

yeah, i went there. 
you should too. 

thin mint cookie cupcakes

what you need
for the cake...
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 sleeve thin mint cookies
1 tsp kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup freshly brewed coffee
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract

for the cookie...
girl scout thin mint cookies

for the frosting...
3 sticks room temperature unsalted butter
2+ cups confectionary sugar (keep adding sugar until the frosting gets fluffy)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp mint extract
a smidgeon of kelly green food coloring (optional)

what you do
sift together your dry ingredients (minus the cookies) into the bowl of an electric mixer. in a food processor or by hand, crumble one sleeve of thin mint cookies and add to the mixer bowl. mix all ingredients together with the paddle attachment. 

preheat oven to 350.

in a separate bowl, mix together the buttermilk, vegetable oil, eggs and vanilla. slowly pour it into the dry ingredients with the mixer on low. then, add the coffee.

before you scoop your batter into your lined muffin wells, be aware that the batter will be very liquidy. do scrape the bottom of the bowl with your spatula before scooping.  you should be able to make 2 dozen cupcakes. bake for 15-22 minutes.

while the cupcakes are baking, make your frosting by creaming your butter in your electric stand mixer. slowly add in the confectionary sugar and then the vanilla and mint. if you are coloring yours, put in a little dab of your color. mix on high speed until fluffy. continue to add confectionary sugar

when the cupcakes are done, a toothpick should pull clean. let them stand in the pan for 5-10 minutes before allowing to cool on a wire rack. 

place a thin mint cookie on the top of each cupcake. when the cakes are completely cooled, frost them. now...


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