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Devil’s Food Thin Mint Cupcakes with Peppermint Buttercream & Getting a Photo Accepted to Foodgawker

 
So I submitted my first round of photos to both Foodgawker and Tastespotting yesterday and have already had two pictures accepted.  My Junior League French Quarter Cheese & Laura Bush Cowboy Cookies!
 
Can I get a woooohooooo!
 
This is probably better than Christmas!  I have been dancing around my office all afternoon.  If you don’t know what these two websites are, you should definitely check them out.  They are professional food photography websites and it can be very difficult to get your photos approved.  I have been diligently working to get my photography up to par, and have finally made it!  I still have a long way to go, but I am starting to get a handle on aperture, depth of field, ISO, etc.  I use Photoshop Elements for my editing, which is a huge learning process in itself.  I would recommend watching some videos on post processing, as they really help get your photos to “pop”  I will eventually do a post on my Food Photography and editing, but right now, I am focusing on getting some more pictures accepted to foodgawker!
 
and now for these cupcakes!
 
Last weekend I was on the hunt for some girl scouts.  It’s cookie season and I had all kinds of yummy treats planned.  I finally found a couple girls outside of a local restaurant and promptly bought one of each box.  My favorites are Thin Mints & Samoa!  I love girl scout cookies because they freeze so well.  You can buy a bunch and they keep for several months.  Just what I need….girl scout cookies hiding out in my freezer.  Anywho.  I made you some Devil’s Food Thin Mint Cupcakes. 
 
 

Devils’ Food Thin Mint Cupcakes with Peppermint Buttercream

Ingredients

3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
3/4 cup hot water
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter
2 1/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream, room temperature
1 box of Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookies

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together cocoa and hot water until smooth. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  2. Melt butter with sugar in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring to combine. Remove from heat, and pour into a mixing bowl. With an electric mixer on medium-low speed, beat until mixture is cooled, 4 to 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add vanilla, then cocoa mixture, and beat until combined. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in two batches, alternating with the sour cream, and beating until just combined after each.
  3. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-
    quarters full. Place a crushed thin mint in each cupcake and mix in.  Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool 15 minutes; turn out cupcakes onto racks and let cool completely. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.
 
For the Buttercream:

Ingredients

12 ounces (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 pound confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract

Directions

  1. Beat butter with a mixer on medium-high speed until pale and creamy, about 2 minutes.
  2. Reduce speed to medium. Add sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, beating after each addition, about 5 minutes. Add peppermint extract, and beat until buttercream is smooth.
  3. Pipe onto cooled cupcakes using a 1M Wilton tip
 
For the Ganache:

Ingredients

8 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (we like 61 percent cacao)
1 cup heavy cream
1/8 teaspoon coarse salt

Directions

  1. Coarsely chop chocolate.
  2. Bring cream just to a boil over medium-high heat. Pour over chocolate, and add salt. Let stand for 10 minutes (don’t stir — doing so will cool the ganache too quickly, making it grainy).
  3. Stir with a whisk until smooth
  4.  

 

Cupcake recipe adapted from: Martha Stewart

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