Showing posts with label peppermint. Show all posts
Showing posts with label peppermint. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Peppermint Chocolate Cupcakes #Recipe and #Book giveaway from @DarylWoodGerber

Welcome to Mystery Lovers Kitchen's Christmas Week...a week filled with recipes for the holidays and good cheer!

I love this week. We all come up with some of the most fun meal and dessert items. I've made many of the recipes shared by my blogmates.

By the way, do you know there will be at least 7 books out by all of us between December and March? Actually, it might be 8…or 9...hmmm.

Krista, Cleo, and Victoria (MaryJane) all just had a release in December. Krista hit the New York Times paperback with her Murder, She Barked. Congrats, Krista!!!

Sheila, Lucy, Peg/Meg, Avery/Daryl will have books out in February and March. We're hoping we can have some of that magic rub off on us.

No matter what, we all need our sugar and/or chocolate to keep us going!

By the way, I'm having a giveaway today, so remember to read to the end. :)

When it comes to Christmas, I like getting the kids involved. How else can you build memories? 

It's important to me that kids like to cook. It helps them with chemistry (measuring); math (learning those fractions); and art (they have to make masterpieces with the sprinkles). They learn what flavors they like. They learn how lo-o-o-ong it takes to cook something and, thus, appreciate you more when you do slave over a hot stove. 

Sometimes we put on Christmas music and sing. Most importantly, we laugh. 



1 pkg. chocolate cake mix (regular or gluten-free)
1 pkg. chocolate instant pudding
4 eggs
¾ cup safflower oil
¾ cup milk

1 teaspoon peppermint oil


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Dump all the ingredients into a bowl. Mix. How easy is that?!! 

Pour into cupcake holders, about 2/3 full. Do not overfill or the batter will rise out the top. Cook  12-15 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. The top should spring back if pressed lightly with your finger.

Cool 10 minutes.

To fill with icing:

Cut out the center top of a cupcake. Fill a pastry tube (or you can make your own by using a large baggie and cutting a small tip at the end) with the icing. Squeeze about a tablespoon of icing into the hole. Put the top of the cupcake back on.

Frost as you normally would. Sprinkle with peppermint or colored sugar.

Bake at 350°F for 25-30 minutes.

Peppermint icing


(Frosts 2 dozen cupcakes)

1/2 cup butter (8 tablespoons)
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon peppermint oil


Mix all the ingredients until creamy using a mixer, whipping on high.

I made mini-cupcakes, as well, but I didn't put frosting in the middle. Perfect size for little mouths! I'm sure you could.

To print this recipe, you can get them from my website (click the pictures):


What's your favorite holiday food??

For one commenter today, I'm giving away a stocking stuffer book!  Your choice of one of the first four Cheese Shop Mysteries or the first in a Cookbook Nook Mystery. 

For one other commenter, I have a special sneak preview Advanced Reader Copy of Inherit the Word, the second in the Cookbook Nook mystery series.


Merry, Merry!


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Days of Wine and Roquefort Feb 2014, preorder here
Inherit the Word March 2014, preorder here

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Sunday, December 8, 2013

Peppermint White Chocolate Popcorn AKA the Easiest Holiday Treat Ever!

We at Mystery Lovers' Kitchen are delighted to welcome guest Paige Shelton, who gives us a wonderful (and easy!) holiday treat!

Necessity being the mother of invention and all, this quick and easy treat was first whipped up one late afternoon after my husband mentioned that he’d offered to take something to a holiday party we were to attend about one hour later. Dropping by the grocery store on the way was an option, but I thought I’d give the pantry a quick look. The popcorn box fell as I opened the door, so I took it as a sign. Well, two signs – however, I ignored the “pantry needs cleaning out” sign.

I picked up the box, started rummaging around some more and gathered the peppermint extract. Then I got lucky and found two bars of white chocolate (I think holiday elves must have put them there to help me out – it is rare and unusual that I would have such a thing hanging around), and got to work.

The best popcorn for this recipe is the Homestyle variety, which means it has only a smattering of butter. No Movie Theater here. You can also pop it yourself in a popper or saucepan on the stove and leave out the butter, but I was in way too much of a hurry the first time I made it - microwaved had to do and it worked well. 

Pop two bags and dump the popcorn into a bowl. I add another ¼ or so teaspoon of salt because that salty/sweet combination is one of my favorites, and I really like to notice the salty part.

Melt the white chocolate in a bowl in the microwave per the melting instructions and then mix ½ teaspoon of peppermint extract into the melted goodness. Pour over the popcorn. It’s pretty important to try to pour evenly – don’t just dump it in and then toss. Try to stir the popcorn while pouring and then do some extra tossing. And, when you’re stirring and tossing, keep the utensils close to the bowl sides and bottom when you first go in – fewer broken pieces that way.

When I made it for the party, I just poured it into a bowl after coating it and took along. Even though the white chocolate hadn’t had time to solidify all the way it wasn’t gooey, and the popcorn was gobbled up quickly. Other times I’ve made it, I’ve spread it out on a baking sheet and let the coating harden up before serving it.  Additionally, I’ve tried adding little pieces of peppermint candy, but I like it better without the candy. It keeps the texture consistent.
See, easiest ever, huh?

Thanks to Mystery Lovers Kitchen for letting me drop by today. Hope everyone has a delicious and happy and safe holiday season.

Paige Shelton is the author of two mystery series. Her latest book and the fifth in her Farmers’ Market series MERRY MARKET MURDER is now available at bookstores and online everywhere. For more information on Paige or her books, visit

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Dark Chocolate Peppermint Oreos

I used to love to bake.  Still do, actually.  But between my day job, a few pieces of contract work, deadlines, and my poor time management skills, I rarely find the TIME to bake.

But I hang out here in the kitchen, watching my fellow bloggers make all these wonderful tasty treats, and it makes me want to make wonderful tasty treats, too ... especially during the holiday season, when there's no better way to end the day with a cookie and a cup of cocoa.

So here's my busy-girl's fancy cookie idea:  Oreos.

Seriously.  Oreos are close to a perfect food as it is, but fudge dipped Oreos are killer.  I decided to make them a little more Christmasy by using dark chocolate, lacing it with peppermint extract, and then sprinkling a bit of crushed candy cane on top.  That last bit started off as a purely aesthetic addition, but it turns out that that little bit of pure peppermint crunch really ups the stakes.

Here's my Christmas recipe, in all its glory ... this one is dedicated to the folks who are so frantic that they occasionally leave their cell phone in the refrigerator (true story).

Dark Chocolate Peppermint Oreos

1 package of Oreos or similar chocolate sandwich cookie
1 bag dark chocolate chips
1 Tbs. shortening
1/4 tsp peppermint extract
3 full size candy canes

Getting ready:  First, you have to smash the candy canes to smithereens.  It's a great stress reliever.  (Take that, Rudolph!).  Second, line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Peppermint Aftermath

Put the chocolate chips and shortening in a microwave-proof bowl.  Microwave 1 minute at a time, stirring after each minute, until the chocolate is melted but not scorched.  (For a single bag, microwave on full power, I found 2 minutes to be absolutely perfect.)

Try not to think of the transfats involved in this recipe.

Stir the peppermint extract into the chocolate mixture.  Using a fork, drop the Oreos one at a time into the melted chocolate, turning to coat, and then using the fork to lift the cookie back out.  Drag the fork across the lip of the bowl to remove extra chocolate.  Place the chocolate-coated cookie on the parchment paper.  Pause every six cookies or so to sprinkle them with crushed candy cane.

Refrigerate the trays of cookies for about an hour, until the chocolate hardens.  Use a thin spatula to remove the cookies from the tray and plate.

Note:  A single bag of chips makes about 20 cookies.  If you want to do a whole package of Oreos, double the chocolate, shortening, and peppermint extract, and beat another candy cane to death.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Santa's Little Helper

This is the fat man's big day ... the mother of all "all nighters".  As any good college student will tell you, the only way to survive a stress-filled night is to load up on sugar and caffeine.  Personally, I think a little booze helps, too.  Not enough to get loaded, mind you, but just a hint to bring on a bit of mellow in the midst of the holiday hubbub.

So tonight, ditch the traditional milk and cookies and leave Santa a Peppermint Mocha, loaded with serious chocolate, a hint of caffeine, and a wee tipple of peppermint schnapps.  If you live in the great white north, you can make the hot version ... if it's still balmy in your clime, choose the milkshake option.  Top either with whipped cream and crushed candy cane for a festive presentation, and you're sure to earn a permanent spot on the "nice" list.

Peppermint Mocha (Icy Version)

1 pint dark chocolate ice cream
3 Tbs. strong cold coffee
3 Tbs. peppermint schnapps
2 Tbs. whole milk

whipped cream
crushed peppermint candy

Scoop ice cream into your blender.  Top with milk, and let it settle for a minute.  Add coffee and schnapps. Blend well.  Pour into one or two large cold glasses.  Top with whipped cream and crushed candy.  Serve with straws, of course.

Peppermint Mocha (Toasty Version)

3 Tbs. good dark cocoa powder (I prefer Scharffen Berger)
3 Tbs. granulated sugar
pinch salt
1/2 c. strong coffee
1 1/2 c. whole milk
1 tsp. vanilla
2 Tbs. peppermint schnapps

In a saucepan, whisk coffee, cocoa, sugar, and salt over low heat until smooth.  Simmer, whisking, for about 2 minutes, making sure you get the whisk all the way around the pan so nothing scorches.

Add milk, increase heat to medium low, and cook (whisking on occasion) until steam rises and tiny bubbles form around the edge of the pan (about 12 minutes).  DO NOT BOIL.

Add vanilla and schnapps.  Divide between two mugs (if you feel like sharing), top with whipped cream or marshmallow fluff, and sprinkle with crushed candy cane (or hang a cane off the side of the mug to use for stirring).

These recipes can both be doubled easily.


What do you leave out for the Elf-Meister?  Come on, share!

And happy holidays to one and all!!


Wendy is the author of the Mysteries a la Mode. Visit her on the web or on Facebook. She also writes the Pet Boutique Mysteries under the name Annie Knox; you can follow Annie on Facebook, too!