Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays!

I have had, seriously, the best year. 2014 was so kind and I am indescribably grateful. I set a lot of lofty goals. I was promoted to my dream job surrounded by the most supportive, creative, intelligent and hard-working team ever. I was offered new opportunities, lifting me to new professional heights. I purchased my first home which I continue to be obsessed with. I pushed myself to new physical limits; I ran longer races, lifted heavier weights, pushed myself up the hills and danced through the off-days. I traveled on new adventures, work and play, meeting new people, getting to know old and curing my ever-present travel bug.

I spent 365 days of this year with the best friends and most-loving family ever, and that is the greatest gift of all.

Sappy tangent over. I was full of love this Sunday and feeling a little bit nostalgic. Over a year ago, I attempted to put together Peppermint Fudge cupcakes and I thought this was a style that needed finessing. This week’s cupcakes and sparkly choice is the annual holiday gift for my close girlfriends- spoiler alert.

Biggest lesson– no paper liners when you’re baking fudgecentric cupcakes, aluminum liners only. Other huge lesson- no giant peppermint pieces in the frosting. I went through SIX different frosting bags because large pieces of peppermint clogged the frosting piping tool. Overall- huge fan. My two best friends that test-drove these this weekend responded with really kind feedback.

Recipe (makes 20)

Cupcakes

  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

Frosting

  • 1 cup butter
  • 20 oz confectioners sugar
  • 4 candy canes smashed
  • 1 tbsp peppermint extract
  • 2 tbsp heavy whipping cream

Preheat oven to 350 and line cupcake tin with aluminum liners. combine cupcake ingredients and bake 30 minutes, more than usual. Combine frosting ingredients while cupcakes bake. Ensure that candy canes are smashed into small enough pieces. Once cupcakes are finished and cooled, frost and enjoy!

peppermint 4

peppermint 1

peppermint 2

I chose this Spanish Cava for my girlfriends because of its tropical tones, easy drinkability and small bubbles. Crisp and light bodied, it’s easy on the pallet and a nice choice for new sparkling wine drinkers. Dibon CavaΒ would be an amazing companion with any brunch dish, sweet side or many carbohydrate heavy dishes as it has fresh, fruity flavors that enhance a variety of salty dishes.

peppermint 3

Hope everyone has a wonderful week!

Cheers,
Jenna

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