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Dec 15

Cocoa cups with peppermint creme filling

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.

They didn’t.

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
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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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