Thin Mint Cupcakes

Well the milk was still good today* so I followed through and made the cupcakes. This recipe gave me some grief but in the end it was all worth it !

So starting with the cupcake ingredients, she calls for a box of white cake mix but doesn’t say how many ounces that mix should have (I used Pillsbury 15.25 oz. box of moist supreme white cake mix). The recipe calls for butter but doesn’t say if it makes any difference on using salted or unsalted so I played it safe and chose to use unsalted butter. Five egg whites are also gonna be needed, I just presumed that she meant egg whites from large eggs. Her ganache calls for chocolate chips. Since it didn’t specify a type of chocolate, I went with semi-sweet since that was the only kind I already had at home. I’ll talk about the frosting later on. Her calling for 24-48 Thin Mint cookies gets confusing with the directions.

She naturally starts off with preheating the oven but then she mentions putting a Thin Mint in the bottom of the lined cupcake pans. At first I figure she means there’ll be 24 cupcakes but I wanna make sure so I watch the video that comes with the recipe & she only shows one (probably ’cause showing two would seem like wasted time but still, seeing two would’ve made me more confident). This little issue started to make me doubt myself so I just decided I’ll start with 12 and keep adding more paper cups and Thin Mints as needed. Time for making the cupcake batter. I accidentally screwed up and put all the batter ingredients in at the same time. Still kept to the 2 minutes suggested for blending it all together (since there was no speed recommended, I went with low speed). I thought I was filling up my cups 2/3 full with the batter but in the end I only had enough batter for 18 cupcakes so I’m no closer to knowing whether this recipe was meant to yield 24 cupcakes or not. For baking time, you’re told to just follow you own cake mix box directions but that hers took 16-17 minutes. I forgot to check the cake box and just automatically went with her time. Using the toothpick test, mine took about 17 1/2 minutes. Thank God I went with that ’cause according to the box I eventually got around to looking at, these cupcakes should’ve been done in 19-23 minutes. I mean yeah, there was just a little bit of batter sticking when I called it good but I know that there’s still a little bit of residual cooking that goes on and at 19-23 minutes, I don’t know if I would’ve ended up with dry, overdone cupcakes.

Once the cupcakes are out of the oven I move onto making the ganache. I was a little unsure if I got it to “almost a boil” or I actually did reach a boil, even if it was just for a second or two. I let it sit for the time called for and then… oops. Just as I’m typing this up y’all, I realize it says to chill the ganache. I don’t know why but when I looked at it before, I thought they just wanted the ganache to sit on the counter and cool down. This makes so much more sense now as to why it says not to let it firm up completely ! My ganache was so thin compared to what it should’ve probably been (I think it actually started to get absorbed into the cupcake when it got added later on). You’re given multiple options on how to core the cupcakes. I used a plastic knife but the cupcake corer would’ve given me a more equal amount of cake removed across all 18 instead of how they turned out. Was easy to get the cake out with the plastic knife though. I poured the ganache into the hollowed out center and was ready to move onto frosting.

The frosting… I was a little frustrated with the directions on this. The frosting ingredients called for are cream cheese, butter, 6-7 cups of powdered sugar, 2-4 tablespoons of Creme de Menthe “(to taste”, 2-4 tablespoons of milk “to reach desired consistency” and optional green food coloring. The instructions say to blend the “softened” cream cheese and butter. I’m sorry, come again? Nowhere in the ingredients list does it mention the cream cheese and/or butter should be softened, seems like it should be though. Now the powdered sugar is supposed to be added in slowly (so I only put one cup in at a time) and be alternated with Creme de Menthe until the frosting reaches “desired taste, color, and consistency”. I felt like maybe the line could be misinterpreted as just saying all you need to now get alternatively mixed in was the powdered sugar & Creme de Menthe. Just so happens that that was all that I added. I was 4 cups of powdered sugar in and had just blended in the 4th tablespoon of Creme de Menthe when I decided to take a taste of it. The sweetness was noticeable but not sickly sweet and I could taste the mint flavor but it was more subtle than I wanted it to be. Afraid of losing the mint flavor if I added anymore powdered sugar in, I decided to stop where I was. Downside to this though was that the frosting wasn’t as thick as it should’ve been. I was using a 1M frosting tip to apply the frosting onto the cupcakes and as I putting the frosting into the piping bag, it actually started to drip out of the piping tip ! I just had to fill up the bag quickly and have the piping tip facing up to the ceiling while I carried it over to frost the cupcakes. The frosting was pipeable but it didn’t have as much height to it so it was harder to get the additional Thin Mint cookies you’re supposed to decorate with to stay upright. Between the frosting and the heat/humidity of a southern kitchen in the summertime, some of the cupcakes started out looking like this:

and in the matter of 5, maybe 10 minutes if I’m lucky, they looked like this:

If you check out the original recipe you’ll notice you’re supposed to sprinkle on chopped Andes Mints but when I tried it out on one, it just looked messy and it’s called “Thin Mint Cupcakes” not “Andes Mints Cupcakes” (but that does sound delicious like a delicious cupcake though) so I skipped on adding it to the other cupcakes. Well it was finally time to taste these cupcakes and thank God they were delicious ! You get the mint without it feeling like you’re eating toothpaste or something and the chocolate ganache oozes out when you bite into the center. The cookie at the base of the cupcake didn’t lose its texture so it provided a nice textural contrast to the creamy frosting and the soft, tender cupcake. Even though this wasn’t the most easily understood recipe, the flavor will have me coming back to make this again.

*Even though this post is getting finished today, I started writing this yesterday.

If you’re interested in the original recipe, click here.

I wasn’t paid in any form to promote/mention Thin Mints, Pillsbury, Andes Mints, or Intensive Cake Unit.

Take care y’all !

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