The Thin Mint Cupcake – Another fantastic concoction from The Cupcake Diaries – and a timely one, as the Girl Scouts were recently around the office selling their cookies. I snagged two boxes specifically for use in these cupcakes.
A couple of baking notes – the cookies that you crumble to go into the cupcakes seem to vanish once the cakes are baked. They simply flavor the cupcakes with their essence. Definitely don’t leave them out, but don’t expect them to remain recognizable as cookie crumbles.
Also, add the topping of crushed cookies and the mint leaf garnish just before serving, or else the cookies will lose their crunch and the mint leaves will wilt. This doesn’t diminish the flavor, but can reduce the lovely crunch-to-soft texture, and a wilted leaf just ain’t that pretty.
I’d really like to try these again with a cream cheese or buttercream frosting. The ganache is lovely, but I think doing 2 cupcakes in a row with ganache has made me a bit jaded. And if you haven’t gone out to buy this cookbook yet – What are you WAITING for? So far, everything is delicious, and baking from scratch to make these recipes is a cinch. You owe it to yourself – go buy it.
Thin Mint Cupcakes, from The Cupcake Diaries
Makes 18 cupcakes (or fewer, if you like to lick the spoon)
For the cupcakes:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons European-style unsalted butter at room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs at room temperature
1 1/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup whole milk, at room temperature
1/2 cup Valrhona cocoa powder
1 cup crushed Thin Mint cookies (about 12 cookies)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line cupcake pans with a total of 18 paper baking cups, or grease with butter if not using cups.
Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl, set aside.
Place butter in the bowl of stand mixer (or bowl with handheld mixer). Beat on medium speed until fluffy. Add sugar; beat on medium speed until well incorporated. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing slowly after each.
Combine the vanilla with the milk in a measuring cup.
On low speed, add one third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, then one third of the milk mixture, beating until well incorporated. Add another third of the flour mix followed by one third of the milk/vanilla mix. Scrape down the bowl as needed. Add the final third of the flour mix followed by the milk mixture, and mix slowly until just combined.
Add the cocoa powder, mixing on low until just incorporated. Using a spatula, fold the cookie crumbs into the batter.
Use an ice-cream scoop to fill each baking cup with batter until two-thirds full. Bake for 18-20 minutes (start checking at 15 minutes) or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.
For the Ganache icing:
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup good-quality semi-sweet chocolate chips
6 whole mint leaves (plus additional for garnish)
1 cup crushed Thin Mint Cookies (about 12 cookies)
Combine the heavy cream, chocolate and 6 mint leaves in a medium heat-proof bowl over a sauce pan containing an inch or two of water – place over medium-low heat on the stove. Let chocolate melt, stirring continuously until shiny and smooth.
Remove bowl from pan and let cool for 2-3 minutes. Place the cool cupcakes on a sheet of waxed paper next to the bowl. One cupcake at a time, dip the cupcake top into the ganache, gently twisting to cover the surface. To prevent drips, tip the cupcake rightside up quickly. Place on the wax paper and let set for about 5 minutes before adding crumbs and mint leaves (see note regarding toppings, above).