This recipe was my second attempt at chocolate and peppermint this year. The first attempt was a complete disaster. At first, I thought this recipe was going to go the same way. Luckily, I made a tweak after the first batch, and all was well.
Thank goodness, too, because I thought someone had put a Christmas-baking curse on me. For those of you who were around last year, you’ll remember my despair over crystallized fudge and Play Doh-ie snickerdoodles.
This year, I attempted to make a triple-layer chocolate and peppermint bar. Total disaster. The Oreo crust stuck to the peppermint cream filling and made a crumbly mess, and the chocolate topping cracked every which way when I tried to cut it. I ended up mashing it all together and used it as ice cream topping.
No, biggie, I thought. Probably just a wonky recipe.
And then I made my first batch of cocoa cups.
All was fine, at first. I made the dough, refrigerated it, and put it in the mini-cupcake tin. Sure, the cups weren’t super pretty – going back to my total lack of coordination – but they seemed OK.
Until I tried to remove them from the muffin tin.
The recipe hadn’t said to grease the pan, which I thought was a little strange, but I figured the recipe writers knew what they were doing.
The cups stuck horribly, and by the time I got them out, they were cracked and crumbled and no longer in cup form. A few curses later, I decided to try a second batch, but I would grease the pan generously this time.
It worked! Although still fragile, the cocoa cups came out fine. I also let them cool longer in the tins, which seemed to firm them up a bit.
The rest of the recipe was pretty easy. I didn’t have a piping bag for the peppermint filling, so I simply snipped off a small corner of a plastic baggie. Worked fine.
I did try to add some festive Christmas sprinkles to the top, but they didn’t stick to the marshmallow creme.
Recipe: Cocoa cups with peppermint cream filling
Adapted from bhg.com
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup cold butter
- 1 egg yolk, slightly beaten
- 2 tablespoons cold water
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- 7-ounce jar marshmallow creme
- 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
- 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- In a medium bowl, sift together flour, sugar and cocoa powder. Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. In a small bowl, combine egg yolk and the cold water. Gradually stir egg yolk mixture into flour mixture. Gently knead the dough just until a ball forms. If necessary, cover dough with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 30 to 60 minutes or until dough is easy to handle.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Divide dough into 36 pieces. Press dough pieces onto bottoms and up sides of greased 1-3/4-inch muffin cups. Bake in preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until shells are firm. Cool in muffin cups for at least 5 minutes. Remove shells from muffin cups. Cool completely on wire rack.
- In a large bowl, combine the softened butter, marshmallow creme and peppermint extract. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Gradually beat in 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar. Beat in 1 tablespoon milk. Beat in additional 1 cup powdered sugar. Using a wooden spoon, stir in last cup of powdered sugar. If necessary, stir in enough additional milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, to make a filling of piping consistency.
- To fill shells, use a pastry bag fitted with an open star tip or snip a small corner off the side of a plastic baggie. Pipe filling into shells. Makes 36.
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