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Mini Chocolate Cupcakes

Our ladies recently started laying eggs again after a long hiatus of shorter days and chilly nights. You can imagine my excitement when we got our first egg again! In celebration of fresh eggs and our ladies who lay the best ones, I made some mini chocolate cupcakes with chocolate buttercream frosting and sprinkles- because sprinkles make me happy and a classic chocolate cupcake is always satisfying.

Chocolate Cupcakes

from Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes

1 1/2 c all purpose flour

3/4 c unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder

1 1/2 c sugar

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

3/4 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp salt

2 large eggs

3/4 c buttermilk

3 T vegetable oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

3/4 c warm water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line mini muffin tins wit paper liners. Whisk together the first 6 ingredients. Add next 5 ingredients. Beat until smooth and ingredients are well combined.

Fill paper cups 3/4 full and bake for 15 minutes rotating half way. Cupcakes are done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Yield: approx 56 mini cupcakes

Chocolate Buttercream

adapted from The Whimsical Bakehouse

1/2 c water

2 1/4 c sugar

1 c egg whites, place in mixing bowl fitted with a whip attachment

1 1/2 pounds (6 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1″ pieces

1 tsp vanilla extract

5 1/2 oz semi-sweet chocolate, melted

Combine sugar and water in a non-reactive saucepan and wash down the sides so that it is free of any sugar crystals. Using a candy thermometer, cook until sugar reaches 248 degrees. *When mixture reaches 235 degrees, begin whipping egg whites at high speed to medium peak. Whites should reach medium peak at the same time the sugar reaches 248 degrees. At this time, slowly pour the hot sugar into the whipped whites, leaving the mixer on high speed . Be careful to avoid pouring sugar on the whip, keep the stream of sugar closer to, but not touching the edge of the mixing bowl.

Beat until the mixture is cool to the touch, approximately 10 minutes.

Slowly add the butter pieces with the mixer on high speed.

When all butter is added, pour in the vanilla extract and beat until fluffy.

At this point, you can portion out the buttercream, I separate the batch into 2 cup portions and freeze in individually wrapped ziploc bags for later use.

Yield: 8 cups

Take 2 cups of the buttercream and whip with the melted chocolate until combined to make a chocolate buttercream to use for icing the mini cupcakes

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