I’m sure you’ve learned by now I have a slight obsession with mint and chocolate. From cupcakes to brownies, it might be my all time favorite combination. This dip and cookies take that obsession to a whole new level. The dip is divine. As in, eat-it-with-a-spoon, divine. It’s creamy, pepperminty, flecked with candy cane chunks and so different than anything else I’ve made for Christmas. Seriously, if you want to wow people at your next holiday party, make this dip. It literally took me about five minutes to mix together and then I made these Dark Chocolate Sugar Cookies to go with them. A match made in heaven. The dip would also be good with bite-size brownies, chocolate chip cookies or even pretzels.
½ c. Crushed Candy Canes (plus a little bit more for garnish)
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the cream cheese, marshmallow creme and powdered sugar until smooth. Beat in the peppermint oil and crushed candy canes. Place in a bowl and garnish with more crushed candy canes. Serve immediately with cookies, brownies, etc.
I started this cupcake with a layer of crushed Oreo crust, followed by the delicious candy cane cheesecake layer, a dark chocolate cake layer and topped it off with dreamy peppermint frosting and candy cane bark. OMG, to die for. My only little issue with this cupcake was the Oreo crust wanted to stick to the wrappers a little but I think that could be avoided with high-quality wrappers. Mine were pretty cheap. Also, if you do candy cane bark, be sure to add it the day you plan on serving these. Otherwise, the moisture from the frosting will cause the little peppermint pieces to bleed onto your cupcake. Which doesn’t make it taste bad, but I’m not so sure you want your cupcakes to look like they’re bleeding. But hey, whatever!
I hope you love these as much as I do! They are definitely going into my regular holiday baking rotation.
2 Large Eggs, at room temperature and lightly beaten
1 T. Pure Vanilla Extract
1 Stick Unsalted Butter, softened
½ c. Shortening
4 c. Powdered Sugar
½ c. Heavy Whipping Cream
½ t. Pure Vanilla Extract
2 t. Pure Peppermint Oil
Candy Cane Bark
½ lb. White Chocolate Candy Coating
½ c. Crushed Candy Canes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 24 cupcake tins with cupcake wrappers.
For the Oreo Crust
Mix melted butter and Oreos together in a medium bowl. Press 1 tablespoon of mixture into each cupcake tin.
For the Candy Cane Cheesecake
Beat cream cheese and sugar together in the bowl of an electric mixer until smooth. Beat in egg and peppermint oil. Stir in crushed candy canes. Fill each cupcake tin with 1 scant tablespoon of cheesecake.
For the Dark Chocolate Cake
In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk together all of the dry ingredients. Add all the remaining ingredients to the bowl and beat for 2 minutes on medium speed. Spoon 2 tablespoon cake batter into each cupcake tin*.
Bake cupcakes for 20 minutes. Cool completely in tins on wire racks. Frost with peppermint frosting and top with candy cane bark.
For the Peppermint Frosting
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and shortening until fluffy. Gradually beat in 2 cups of the powdered sugar and then ¼ cup of the heavy whipping cream. Beat in the remaining 2 cups of powdered sugar and ¼ cup of heavy whipping cream. Beat in the vanilla and peppermint oil.
For the Candy Cane Bark
Melt white chocolate in microwave at 20-second intervals, stirring between each. Spread onto a medium baking sheet lined with foil. Cover with crushed candy canes. Put in freezer for 1-2 minutes until bark has hardened completely.
Makes 24 cheesecake cupcakes.
*I had enough chocolate cake batter to make 6 plain chocolate cupcakes.
*Some of my cupcakes sunk in the middle, which sometimes happens with cheesecake. They still turned out fine. Just FYI.
Ah, Christmas candy, my favorite kind of Christmas indulgence. I LOVE homemade Christmas candy. Luckily I am surrounded by family that knows a thing or two about making it. My mom makes homemade fudge like no one else, my grandparent’s peanut brittle is THE BEST and my aunt Theresa makes divinity that is out of this world. I guess you could say that candy making runs in my blood! Hence my love for homemade marshmallows, chocolate covered cherries, toffee, truffles…so many divine options.
For Thanksgiving I had FOUR different kinds of truffles that I wanted to make but between making three different pies, cherry cheesecake and brownies, plus a myriad of non-dessert food, I only got around to making one. Sigh. Just not enough hours for all the baking and cooking. But it’s ok because the truffles were scrumptious! They’re a combination of coffee, peppermint and dark chocolate. It’s all mixed up with a touch of cream cheese which makes the center of the truffle almost cheesecake-like! So good.
Oh and yes, I WILL be making those other truffles and sharing the recipes, don’t you worry.
1 c. Bittersweet or Dark Chocolate Chips (I prefer the Ghirardelli 60% Bittersweet)
½ c. Heavy Whipping Cream
3 T. Instant Coffee
4 oz. Cream Cheese, softened
1 lb. Dark Chocolate Candy Coating
4 Candy Canes, crushed
Place chocolate chips in a small bowl. In a small saucepan over medium heat, warm the cream just until it begins to boil. Quickly stir in the instant coffee until it has dissolved and pour over the chocolate chips. Stir until the mixture is smooth. Let cool until it is barely warm. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth and slowly beat in the chocolate ganache mixture. Place mixture in the refrigerator until stiff, about one hour.
With a melon baller or small spoon, scoop out 1½" mounds onto a foil lined baking sheet. Place in the freezer for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, melt the dark chocolate candy coating in the microwave at 20 second intervals, stirring between each, until completely smooth. Using the palm of your hands, shape the truffle mounds into balls and dip in the melted candy coating. Top immediately with crushed candy canes. Serve immediately or store in a single layer in an air-tight container.
Last year I went to my first ever Christmas cookie exchange and it was so, so fun! In case you have never been to one, you make enough of a cookie or candy so that everyone gets one of everything (plus the recipe). You swap sweets, snack on holiday goodies and leave with enough sugar to give you heart palpitations for days. Good times. And totally worth the sugar overload.
I loved trying everyone’s homemade creations and am so looking forward to doing the exchange again this year. I’ve already started researching recipes and found so many that I want to try. If you have a cookie exchange you’re going to, take a second and browse these scrumptious cookie and bar recipes!
Nothing is more symbolic of Christmas than a candy cane and peppermint has been one of my favorite flavors for as long as I can remember. I’ll never forget taking trips to see my Grandma who lived in Kansas City around the holidays and there was a little ice cream shoppe that had the most amazing hand-dipped candy cane ice cream. I could hardly stand the three-hour drive from Springfield to KC in anticipation of that peppermint, creamy, frozen goodness! Such a good memory.
So, I went searching for some awesome peppermint recipes and found so many, I almost didn’t know when to stop! But I did manage to stop and I have quite the selection to share with you! Not only are these desserts GORGEOUS but they are chocked full of peppermint goodness. Make one of these for your holiday gathering this weekend!
I couldn’t let all this Christmas baking love go by without mentioning what else….cupcakes! There are some seriously cute ones out there. I really don’t know how people come up with this stuff, but I LOVE it. I think I’d make the snowmen, but with my homemade marshmallows, of course! They are just toooooo cute. Check out all of them below!
This past weekend I made homemade candy, which is probably my favorite thing to make in the kitchen. I tried a couple of old recipes and a couple of new ones. One of the new ones was out of a candy book that I have and unfortunately it was a total disaster. It was supposed to be similar to a 3 Musketeers but was more like chocolate taffy. The taste was great because I used my super delicious Mexican cocoa powder but the texture was way off. I was soooo disappointed in the recipe but I’m not going to give up! I think that is what I like about candy making, it can be a challenge and it’s fun to figure out why recipes went wrong and what to do right or change the next time.
Here is a small collection of candy recipes that I’d love to try this Christmas, from simple to a little bit more complicated. The homemade Snickers bar and Coffee Toffee are totally calling my name…actually they ALL look good! Which one would you like to try??
Happy Friday! In case you’ve been thinking about what you’re going to give to that hard-to-buy for friend or family member for Christmas, why not give them food?? Everyone loves food. Seriously, everyone. What I like about these food gifts is that they are not your typical fudge or baked good that will probably get a little stale before you can recover from all the holiday eating. These can be stored away for a cold winter night (or day) and made or used whenever the urge strikes.