Friday, August 5, 2011

I'll have a scoop of the (mint) chocolate chip

This post was almost titled "why you should check your cabinets for ingredients before you start baking," but I decided that was a bit wordy.  In any event, let my story serve as a cautionary tale...

As you know, I've been in an ice cream-inspired mood of late.  So, when deciding what to make for a barbecue two weeks ago (obviously, I'm on blogging delay), I decided to go with something classic - just a basic cupcake inspired by some of my favorite ice cream flavors.  Chocolate chip ice cream or mint chocolate chip ice cream?  Why choose when you can have both?

I thought these turned out pretty well... don't they look like two scoops of ice cream waiting to be enjoyed?

I decided to do a simple chocolate cupcake as my base.  I found this recipe for One-Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes on Sprinkle Bakes, and it seemed like the perfect choice.  (My dear reader, do yourself a favor and click over to see what Sprinkle Bakes did with those chocolate cupcakes.  It's awesome.)  I with the cupcakes had been a tad more moist... so I think I'd make a few tweaks next time.  However, I was somewhat scattered that day, so perhaps I wasn't at the top of my game.  Exhibit A: I barely had enough sugar to make the cupcakes.  Once I'd measured it all out, my sugar supply looked like this:

I've never used all of my sugar before!  I usually have plenty on hand.  I should have recognized this bad omen and checked to make sure I wasn't running low on anything else, but I did not...

In any event... for the frosting, I decided to make two flavors - chocolate chip and mint chocolate chip.  (Recipe appears at the end of the post.)  After I creamed the butter, I realized that I was completely out of powdered sugar!  That's also something that has never happened to me before - I generally buy it in bulk from Costco.  I'm the only person I know who keeps 7 pound bags of powdered sugar on hand... and yet, I was out.  So, I left the butter in the mixing bowl and made an emergency run to the grocery store for powdered sugar.  Once that crisis was averted, I returned home to finish making the frosting.  Here are a few photos of the finished product - they were pretty tasty!

(Mint) Chocolate Chip Buttercream

2 sticks of unsalted butter (room temperature)
1 box  of powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 tbsp. milk
6 oz. mini-chocolate chips
1 1/2 tsp peppermint extract
24 drops green food coloring

Cream butter in mixer on low speed.  (I'm a Kitchen Aid addict - buttercream is a snap when you can use a stand mixer.)  Slowly add powdered sugar and mix until smooth.  Add vanilla extract and milk - beat on medium speed until creamy.  Add chocolate chips and mix on low speed until incorporated throughout.

Divide frosting into two portions.  Remove half from mixing bowl and set aside - that's your chocolate chip buttercream.  Add peppermint extract and food coloring to remaining frosting.  Mix on low speed until frosting is a consistent green color.  (Add more food coloring if you want a darker green color.)

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