Andes Peppermint Crunch Cupcakes -

A Small Rant and a Made From Scratch Recipe

Recently, I purchased Andes Peppermint Crunch Baking Chips. I love mint and Aldi had them cheap. Glancing at the back of the bag I saw recipes for cookies and cupcakes. The picture showed the cupcakes to be chocolate. I was excited to try it.

( Here begins the rant! )
I was so disappointed when I looked closer at the "recipe" for the cupcakes. The ingredient list: 1 package Devil's Food cake mix; eggs, oil, and water according to the package directions; 1 package Andes Peppermint Crunch Baking Chips; 1 container white ready to spread frosting. (My emphasis added!)

The "recipe" continues to tell you to follow the box directions, throw in a cup of the chips, follow the box directions. Cool, frost and top with the rest of the chips. Of course, I am paraphrasing here, but the "recipe" is online, if you'd like to go see it for yourself.

This is not a recipe. This is a serving suggestion! If you use cake mixes, I have no issue with you. We all take short cuts here and there. I'm not anti-cake mix, but you know if you are reading a recipe, and it is making cupcakes, you can substitute a cake mix instead. What you may not know is the recipe for making them from scratch. It is the dumbing down of American cooking, I tell you!
( Here ends rant )

I decided I wanted to make these cupcakes for a function we were attending. I did not have a cake mix, so I pulled out my1965 edition of the Settlement Cookbook again. Do I really have to go back to 1965 to find out how to cook from scratch?!

Old-Fashioned Devil's Food Cake
2 squares unsweetened chocolate
3TB water
1 1/4 C sugar
1/2 C butter
1 C sour milk or buttermilk
1 tsp. baking soda
1 egg yolk
2 scant C flour

Preheat oven to 350 F. Melt the chocolate, water and sugar in double boiler; when dissolved add the butter. Stir well. Set aside to cool. Mix buttermilk, baking soda and beaten yolk, add the melted chocolate mixture and then the flour. Bake in two well-greased and floured 9-inch layer pans for 25 minutes. Frost as desired. Does anyone else have trouble finding unsweetened chocolate squares? I had semisweet. I used those and put a bit less sugar in. You can also substitute 3 TB cocoa plus 1 TB butter for each square of chocolate..

I melted the chocolate in the microwave. I adjusted the recipe by adding 1 C peppermint chips to the batter and making them cupcakes. I didn't use paper liners, but would recommend them for this recipe. The chips tend to stick. I frosted them with Basic Butter Frosting (recipe below) and topped with the remaining chips. They were a hit at the function we attended, and they were made from scratch!

Basic Butter Frosting
2 TB butter
1 C confectioners sugar
2TB milk, cream, sherry, rum or brandy
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Cream butter and sugar well, add the flavoring and liquid until mixture spreads well.

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Andes Peppermint Crunch Cupcakes - + water