Chocolate Mint Cupcakes | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Chocolate Mint Cupcakes

Chocolate Mint Cupcakes | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I’m supposed to be writing about life and chocolate cupcakes. I’ve been staring this computer for a good fifteen minutes trying to conjure up some words. My husband is out drinking with work friends, and my animals are both asleep on separate sofas. Old episodes of Friends are playing in the background, and I’m just sitting here so happy it’s Friday. It’ll already be Saturday when you read this. You will be well and truly sunk into the weekend by now, and I hope you’re absolutely reveling in it. 

I think the older I get, the more precious weekends become. Especially when I think about how I probably won’t be able to retire until like a week before I die. I suppose that’s all the more reason to take the time to make and eat cupcakes. Let every weekend be a celebration. You survived another week, and you deserve chocolate.

Chocolate Mint Cupcakes | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Chocolate Mint Cupcakes stay moist for days, and the combination of tender chocolate cake and creamy mint frosting is unbelievable. They also have a lovely light texture because of the addition of ground almonds. If you have a hard time finding them, you can always throw some skinned almonds in into the food processor. 

The mint frosting is sweet and refreshing. I promise it doesn’t taste like toothpaste. Though if you could eat it from a tube, I’d be cool with that. These are definitely from scratch cupcakes. There are no clever shortcuts. But there’s absolutely nothing fiddly about making them. You’ll be nice and relaxed, and the smell is absolutely heavenly.

Chocolate Mint Cupcakes | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

You work hard. You deserve a cupcake.

Mint Chocolate Cupcakes
Serves 24
Chocolate Mint Cupcakes stay moist for days, and the combination of tender chocolate cake and creamy mint frosting is unbelievable. 
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
25 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
25 min
For the cake
  1. 100 grams chocolate chips
  2. 175 grams unsalted butter, room temperature
  3. 275 grams brown sugar
  4. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  5. 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  6. 150 ml buttermilk
  7. 200 grams all-purpose flour
  8. 1 tsp baking powder
  9. 1 tsp baking soda
  10. 100 grams ground almonds
For the frosting
  1. 200 grams unsalted butter, room temp
  2. 250 grams powdered sugar, sifted
  3. 1 tsp peppermint extract
  4. green food coloring, or not, whatever you like
For the cake
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 and prep 24 cupcake papers. If you only have one pan, stash the batter in the fridge between batches. It’s not the end of the world.
  2. Boil some water, then measure out your chocolate into a bowl. Pour 120 ml (1/2 cup) of the boiling water over the chocolate. Stir until the chocolate is melted and smoothish. It doesn’t have to be perfect.
  3. With your mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  4. Add the vanilla to your beaten eggs.
  5. With the mixer on low, slowly add in the egg mixture.
  6. Add the chocolate. Make sure to get it all.
  7. Add the buttermilk and mix until combined. If you’ve been using a stand mixer, you can abandon it at this point.
  8. Sift the flour, baking powder, and baking soda over your wet ingredients, then add the almonds.
  9. Fold the wet and dry ingredients together.
  10. Divide your batter between the 24 cups. I use my cookie scoop. Each one gets two generous scoops. Fill them about two thirds full.
  11. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until they spring back when touched.
  12. Let them cool in the pan for about 2 minutes, then cool them completely on a wire rack if you have it. Or the counter is totally fine, too.
For the frosting
  1. Beat the butter and powdered sugar together with your mixer on medium high for about five minutes. It should be light and fluffy.
  2. Turn the mixer down to low and add in the peppermint extract and food coloring for your desired effect.
  3. Marry your cake and frosting in whatever way you see fit. I used a Wilton 1m tip straight above the cupcake. Just squeeze it for about three seconds. Easy!
Adapted from How to be Awesome on $20 a Day
http://awesomeon20.com/
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Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Blossoms | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Blossoms

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Blossoms | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I’m constantly waffling back and forth about whether or not to continue with this blog. It never became successful, and I understand why. My photos are fine but not extraordinary, and the food I like doesn’t fit in with what’s popular. I’ve learned to accept that I won’t ever be a professional blogger. It’s not even close to my biggest failure. But I do keep asking myself, what’s the point? You’re probably sick of hearing about it. 

I recently got some encouragement to continue blogging from one of my all time favorite bloggers. This is someone who’s work I’ve admired since I first discovered food and baking blogs back in 2011. The fact that she even knows my blog exists is a certain level of success. It absolutely gave me a huge hit of encouragement to continue being myself and putting it out there.

So now that that decision is made, I’ve got a new problem. I’ve suddenly got the urge to completely redesign my site and give it a fresh new look. This could get messy. Stick with me, friends.

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Blossoms | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

While we work through our midlife blogging crisis, let’s eat cookies. But not just plain old chocolate chip cookies, but really tasty chocolate chip cookies with a totally awesome surprise in the center, a mini peanut butter cup. Apparently this was a complete revelation in Glasgow because I brought these to school for an event I was hosting, and I got compliments for a week. I thought they seemed pretty basic, but non-bakers seem to find them quite impressive.

They’re super simple to make. The firs time I made them, I had two friends in my kitchen, so they don’t even require all your attention. You can put your friends to work unwrapping the peanut butter cups. Just make sure they don’t eat all of them before you actually put them into your cookies. And how do we get those peanut butter cups into the cookies, you ask? Simply press one into each cookie as soon as they come out of the oven. Your cookies will continue to bake and set up for a few minutes after they come out of the oven, and once they’re cool, they will have set up perfectly.

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Blossoms | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

It may be a bit untidy around here for a while, but it’s gonna be delicious. Have a cookie and just relax. Everything’s gonna be awesome.

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Blossoms
Yields 24
Beautiful chocolate chip cookies surrounding a peanut butter cup are so delicious and so impressive.
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Prep Time
20 hr
Cook Time
13 hr
Prep Time
20 hr
Cook Time
13 hr
Ingredients
  1. 8 ounces unsalted butter, softened
  2. 3/4 cup sugar
  3. 3/4 cup brown sugar
  4. 2 eggs
  5. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  6. 2-1/4 cup all purpose flour
  7. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  8. 1 teaspoon salt
  9. 12 ounces chocolate chips
  10. 24 mini peanut butter cups
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 and fish out your muffin pan.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and both kinds of sugar together with an electric mixer until combined and fluffy.
  3. Beat in eggs and vanilla until combined.
  4. Add flour, baking soda, and salt, and mix on the lowest speed until just combined.
  5. Add chocolate chips and mix briefly to incorporate them into your dough.
  6. Use a medium scoop to fill each muffin cup about a third full. You want there to be enough to cover the bottom of each muffin cup, but the dough will spread and rise a bit as it bakes.
  7. Bake for 13-15 minutes or until the cookies just start to turn golden on top. They will still be a bit soft inside, but they'll firm up as they cool.
  8. As soon as your cookies come out of the oven, press a peanut butter cup into the center of each cookie. Allow them to cool for about 10 minutes in the pan before removing to a rack to cool completely. Get on with your second batch if you don't have another muffin pan.
  9. If you have any leftover cookie dough, obviously you can just make cookies with them.
Adapted from Circle of Friends Cookbook - 25 Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipes
http://awesomeon20.com/
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Cadbury Creme Egg Brownies | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Cadbury Creme Egg Brownies

Cadbury Creme Egg Brownies | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

As I write this, it’s 7:55 pm, and I’m strongly wishing I could go to bed right now. I don’t even have work in the morning. I cannot possibly express how happy I am to have turned my alarm off and not have to get up at any specific time tomorrow morning. I’m definitely an old lady. 

I also can’t believe Easter has snuck up so quickly. It’s still absolutely frigid here, so that may be part of the reason it hadn’t occurred to me that the Easter bunny might be visiting soon. Or it could be that I’m so completely consumed by my work schedule that I’m lucky to know what day it is most of the time, let alone the season. I have a blessed four day weekend coming my way, and two weeks in which I will hopefully be able to work relatively uninterrupted by teen angst. I’m worried it won’t be enough. 

Cadbury Creme Egg Brownies | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Allow me to sneak in a recipe that ticks that Easter box and also helps us smother our stress in the most ridiculous chocolate situation you can imagine. These Cadbury Creme Egg Brownies are just unreal. Not only does every piece have half a Cadbury Creme Egg submerged in its fudgy depths, but the brownies themselves are so gooey and dense they almost shouldn’t be allowed. Geoff and I ate this whole pan between us. It was hard work, but I don’t regret a single bite.

These brownies are really easy to make. You might want to bake yours a little bit longer than I did. I had to refrigerate mine in order to keep them from falling apart. I thought initially they were too gooey, but when I was actually eating them, it was amazing. So if you’re worried about salmonella or something stupid like that, take your brownies more into the properly baked zone. Chopping your Cadbury Creme Eggs can be a little bit tricky, so I recommend buying an extra one just in case one of yours gets crushed in the chopping process. The good news is, you get to eat leftover Creme Eggs while your brownies are baking then cooling. As these are by far the best Easter candy, this can only be a good thing. 

Cadbury Creme Egg Brownies | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I hope your Easter is filled with joy and chocolate and that you don’t think about work once the entire weekend. 

Cadbury Creme Egg Brownies
Serves 9
Cadbury Creme Egg Brownies are about to make your Easter chocolate next level awesome.
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
30 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 185 grams unsalted butter
  2. 185 grams chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
  3. 3 eggs
  4. 275 grams sugar
  5. 85 grams all purpose flour
  6. 40 grams cocoa powder
  7. a pinch of salt
  8. 5 Cadbury Creme Eggs, cut in half top to bottom
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 and butter a 9x9 inch pan.
  2. Put butter and chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and heat for thirty seconds at a time, stirring after each interval. Continue until everything is smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.
  3. Crack your eggs into a bowl and add sugar. Beat them together until they're pale and fluffy and double in size. You can use an electric mixer or get your arm workout for the day by using a whisk.
  4. Pour your melted butter and chocolate into the egg mixture and fold to combine. Keep working until the streaks are gone.
  5. Sift your flour, cocoa powder, and salt into the batter. Gently fold this in.
  6. Pour your brownie batter into your prepared pan and bake for 15 minutes.
  7. Remove the brownies from the oven and gently drp your Cadbury Creme Eggs, cut side up, into the the partly cooked brownies. They should sink in on their own.
  8. Return the brownies to the oven for 15 minutes or so, depending on your desired gooeyness level. They may take a bit longer if you want them completely cooked through.
  9. Torture yourself by allowing these to cool completely before cutting. Good luck.
Notes
  1. If you do manage do cut all your creme eggs properly, you can make each serving a bit smaller by dropping in three rows of four creme egg halves.
Adapted from How to be Awesome on $20 a Day
http://awesomeon20.com/
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