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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Cupcakes in a Jar

At work we give each other little gifts for Christmas. Most people do treats. This year I found this cute idea on this blog. I enjoy this blog and have found many good recipes on it. When I saw this post, I knew it would be the perfect little treat for my co-workers. Let me just tell you... it was a hit! Everyone loved it. I made one for myself so I could try it and it was pretty darn good. Not going to lie. Plus, when you give a cupcake in a jar, you can eat it little by little and since it has a lid, it saves really well.

Mine did not turn out quite as pretty as the ones from the blog. My jar was a different size, but they sure tasted good... which is the important thing right?

Peppermint Fudge Cupcake Jars
Recipe by Our Best Bites
Makes approximately 8 jars or 12 Cupcakes 

Cupcakes  (cake base for this dessert adapted from Shelly Kaldunski)

 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/2 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 tsp baking powder 
1/4 tsp salt
3 oz chocolate, chopped.  (or abt 1/2 C chips) Use bittersweet, dark, or semi-sweet.
1/2 C + 3 Tbs real butter, cut into pieces
3/4 C plus 2 Tbs sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract

8 8oz wide mouth mason jars (the short squatty kind) 


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place the chocolate and butter in a large heatproof bowl and microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring after each, until melted and smooth.   Set mixture aside and let cool 10-15 minutes.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt.  Using a wooden spoon (don't use an electric mixer) stir the sugar into the chocolate mixture until combined.  Stir in the eggs one and a time, beating with your spoon until combined after each addition, and then beat in the vanilla.  Gently fold in the flour mixture just until no traces of flour remain; do not overmix.



Place the mason jars on a cookie sheet.  Divide the mixture evenly among the 8 jars (no need for greasing the jars) or 12 cupcake liners if you're going that route.  The jars should be about half full or a little less.  Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the jar comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached 22-25 minutes.   Remove from oven and carefully (with a pot-holder!) transfer jars to a cooling rack.  Let jars cool till at least close to room temperature before topping with ganache.

Peppermint Ganache

4 oz semi-sweet chocolate (chocolate chips are fine)
1/2 C heavy cream
1/4 tsp peppermint extract

Place chocolate chips in a bowl.  Heat cream in microwave until bubbles form around the outside.  Pour in bowl over chocolate chips and immediately cover bowl with plastic wrap.  Let sit for 5 minutes, add peppermint extract and then whisk until smooth.  Let cool un-covered until thickened slightly, almost like a thin pudding.

To assemble, pour 1 1/2-2 Tbs ganache over the top of each cupcake jar.  If desired, use a paring knife to first hollow out a well in the middle of the cake.  Tilt jars to distribute ganache evenly over the top of the cake and then let cool for the ganache to set.  If storing overnight, place lids and rings on jars and leave at room temperature.




Frosting
Use this frosting recipe, adding peppermint extract (in addition to the vanilla extract called for) at the end by 1/4 tsp to taste.  I prefer at least 1/2 tsp.  See instructions in the above post for creating a red and white striped look.  Pipe frosting on each jar, being careful to leave room for the lid.  If desired, sprinkle on some crushed candycanes and then screw on jar lids.




Click Here to print free labels for the mason jars.

Storage:  Note that just because these are in jars does not mean they are shelf stable for extended periods of time.  Also, baked goods are always best fresh, that being said, here are a few storage options.

When fully made, store with lids on at room temp for a day or two.   If made up to the ganache step (before frosting) you can screw lids on and store in the fridge for 3-4 days, then frost right before gifting.  If you'd like to fully prepare them a day or two ahead of time, I would actually reverse the filling and topping.  Core out the center of the cupcakes and fill with frosting.  Place the "cap" of the cupcake back over the hole and then top the entire top with ganache and a sprinkling of candycane.  Store at room temp for 1-2 days or refrigerated for 3-4. 




I totally recommend this tasty treat whether its for a gift or just for you. Merry Christmas & Happy Baking!

4 comments:

politicchic6 said...

This is such a great idea. All our neighbors have been dropping treats by and I feel like a total jerk. :) No treats for anyone, maybe next year.

Tracy said...

Well Michele, you have a pretty good excuse this year... you DID just have a baby. :o)

Lynette Mills said...

I'm glad I can access these recipes anytime... ha ha

jamie hixon said...

Awesome idea. That is such a great gift idea for co-workers.