Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes (Contributed by Denise Vasak)
To kick off the 12 days of cupcakes I decided to take a favorite and spice it up a bit.
For this cupcake, find your favorite Chocolate Cake recipe - mine is the one on the side of the Hershey's cocoa powder - and prepare according to directions. Once the cake is all mixed, add 1-2 teaspoons of peppermint extract. If you have peppermint oil instead, start by adding 1/2 teaspoon and wafting the smell of the batter up towards your nose. You essentially want to catch both the chocolate and peppermint smells evenly. Bake as directed, cool and use a basic buttercream recipe to frost. I lightly tinted the icing green, added some sugar crystals and topped the whole thing off with an Andes candy. If you taste your cupcake and the peppermint flavor isn't strong enough, try adding some peppermint oil or extract to your buttercream and then pipe on cupcakes.
Enjoy and remember to EAT DESSERT FIRST!!