Uh huh, yep, it’s that time of year again…….
Isn’t it crazy how this year is flying by? Recently things have been really busy for me and so many things have changed in the last few months, while other things are the same as ever. I guess that’s the beauty of time. Hey, so we just found out we’re going to have some visitors coming in a few weeks, my brother-in-law’s parents are coming to stay for a bit!
I know that his mom reads my blog, (Hi Lisa!), and by the way, can I admit something? I truly forget sometimes that there are people actually reading my blog. I mean, I know you do, you guys are the best, but I don’t think about it that way while I’m deciding what to write. I’m sure it’s best that way because otherwise I’d have an even harder time than I already do in writing posts.
Usually I try to write as if I’m talking to a good friend, keep it real you know? It’s just that I’ve seen so many bloggers out there who I feel come off way too phony and I never want to be that way. I want to be as genuine as I can with you guys. Haha, a fact as proved by my often very embarrassing and blunt comments and/or confessions.But anyway, they are coming and that means our household ranks will be bumped to a whopping 16 personas for a few weeks. It’s like I said a while back, totally like living in a bed and breakfast. It’s sometimes crazy but always so much fun.
So in talking about this time of year, when we first moved here we were living in a pretty remote area so there weren’t any neighbors or houses around us for us to see what goes on for the 31st and we just assumed that halloween wasn’t even recognized here. Then we moved to a more urban area and so last year we were pretty surprised to realize that the American custom of dressing up and going door to door has made its way down here.
My opinion about the whole event is pretty mixed because I can’t deny having some really fun memories at costume parties and similar things with my friends while growing up and I must say I love a good scary movie. I’m sort of indifferent to the whole thing now, even though I don’t agree with celebrating a day with such dark meaning behind it. I’ve come to think that going the opposite direction and trying to completely boycott the light-hearted side of it that’s become a cross-cultural thing or judging people for how they spend the day, regardless of how I feel about it, actually just causes it to become a bigger deal than it should be. That brings me to these spooky little ghost cupcakes!
Whether you’re into it or not, these treats are super fun to make with the kiddos and they’re so easy. I just didn’t want to let the month pass without sharing at least one scary themed recipe because you all know how much I love themes.
Oh, and as for the flavor and actual cupcakes themselves, they were a big hit. I don’t even know how to describe the taste you get when you mix coffee, chocolate, and mint together other than YUM! I hope these are something you can make and enjoy with your whole family.
And one last note on them, you can totally skip the coffee if your family doesn’t like it and make these simply chocolate mint cupcakes. The ghost faces are also optional. If you want you can skip them and leave your frosting clean and pretty, ooooooh or better yet, mix lots of mini chocolate chips into the frosting. <—-Yes definitely do that!
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
- 2/3 cup full-fat Greek yogurt
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 1/2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 2/3 cup semi-sweet dark chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter (or shortening)
- 4 1/2 - 5 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons whole milk
- 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips for the ghost faces
- Preheat oven to 350° F (180° C) and combine butter and sugar in large mixing bowl and whisk until smooth. Add the yogurt and beat in eggs. Mix in salt, espresso powder, extracts, and soda, then cocoa powder and flour and stir until batter is smooth.
- Line 2 (6-count) or 1 (12-count) cupcake pans with paper liners (or you can just grease and flour the pans if preferred). Divide batter among them, filling each cup about 3/4 of the way full. Bake for about 20-22 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean when inserted in center.
- Cool for at least 5 minutes then loosen cupcakes from pan and place on a wire rack to finish cooling.
- Beat butterin a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment until combined smooth then add 4 1/2 cups powdered sugar, a few cups at a time, until combined. Add milk, salt, and extracts and slowly beat in. Scrape down sides of bowl and then beat on high for 2 to 3 minutes until light and fluffy. If the frosting seems a bit too soft add a little more powdered sugar as needed to thicken.
- Fit a pastry bag with a large round top and fill with frosting. Pipe the frosting onto tops of cupcakes as desired in medium to tall spirals to look like ghosts. Place 3 chocolate chips per cupcake to make the little ghostly faces and serve as soon as possible. Store in an air-tight container for up to 3 days at room temp or 1 week in the fridge.