Sunday, December 9, 2012

12 Treats of Christmas - Day 9 - Cherry Chocolate Malt Cupcakes

I originally made these for Kat's birthday in July of 2011, but they are so festive looking, I knew I needed to include them in the 12 Treats of Christmas!

These cupcakes are dense and fudge-y, more like a brownie than a cake.

Cherry Chocolate Malt Cupcakes


1 stick (8 Tbs) softened unsalted butter
1/2 cup Hershey's semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup cherry preserves (I blended in food processor to make a smooth consistency)
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup chocolate malt powder
pinch of salt (I omitted because I used salted butter)
2 large eggs, beaten
1 cup all-purpose flour (I used 1/2 cup all-purpose white, 1/2 cup white whole wheat)

Frosting (big batch; you could make half...better if made the day before)

3-1/2 sticks butter, softened
2/3 cup cocoa
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt - only if using unsalted butter
1 teaspoon corn syrup (can omit)
2 pounds (approx. 6-1/4 cups) powdered sugar
1/4 cup water

1 (5 oz.) package of malt balls (Whoppers), crushed, for garnish
12 whole maraschino cherries

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pan with cupcake liners.

Put the butter in a heavy-bottomed pan on the heat to melt. When nearly melted, stir in the chocolate. Leave for a moment to soften, then take the pan off the heat and stir with a wooden spoon until the butter and chocolate are smooth and melted. Now add the cherry jam, sugar, salt and beaten eggs. Stir with a wooden spoon and when all is pretty well combined stir in the flour.

Scrape and pour into the muffin papers in cupcake pan and bake for 25-28 minutes, or until toothpick test comes our clean. Cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes before turning out.

To make frosting, cream together butter, cocoa, vanilla, salt, and corn syrup.  Slowly mix in powdered sugar.  Add water to desired consistency.  Frosting will be a very light brown, but will darken by the next day.  It will also have a more pronounced chocolate flavor the next day.

When the cupcakes are cool, pipe icing on cooled cupcakes using a large star tip.  Sprinkle with crushed malt balls and top each cupcake with a cherry.

Makes 12 cupcakes.

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