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Monday, October 30, 2006

Boo-tacular Jack O' Lantern Cupcakes!

I love Halloween. What other time of year can people dress up and go door to door begging for treats? It is a great time to put on another face and be free from your everyday self, even if for just a few hours. This year, I will be missing my usual Halloween ritual. My wonderful friend B, who refers to herself as a witch (as do some others who don't understand her way), always let me participate in her family Halloween (as I am the witch's apprentice,
it was only appropriate that I participated). I would go to her home, get dressed up, watch her kids act like nuts, have a bit of wine, sit outside with her and a few others, hand out candy and probably frighten a few children(probably not on purpose). Due to our move 2000 miles west and G working long hours, I will be on my own for most of the day.
I decided to bake a treat for G's co-workers, and since I've already posted the Killer Chocolate Cupcakes that I used to make for Halloween, I decided to dust off a recipe I haven't used for years and try it out in cupcake form. I don't recall the origin of this recipe, I just know it makes wonderfully moist dark chocolate cupcakes. I present, for your eating and viewing pleasure, Chocolate Blackout Cupcakes with Jack o' Lantern decor!

Chocolate Blackout Cake (makes 20 cupcakes, or one nice 9x12" pan o' cake)

2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup cocoa powder (natural, not dutch-processed)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup buttermilk
4 ounces melted butter
1 cup brewed coffee (I used instant espresso powder in one cup boiling water)
3 large eggs
-Preheat oven to 350f
-Prepare 2 muffin tins by lining with 20 or 21 muffin liners.

-This is just like making a quick bread. Sift the dry ingredients together into a mixing bowl.
-Mix together the wet ingredients, Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until combined. This will be a fairly wet batter.
-Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin tins, filling until about a quarter of an inch from the top of the liner.
-Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the cakes spring back when lightly pressed with a finger.
-Remove from oven, let cool in pan about 10 minutes and then finish cooling on a rack. These cupcakes (or cake if you make one from this recipe) do tend to taste better the next day after the flavors have all come together.

I used a pretty basic icing for these:
2 sticks butter, room temperature
1 32 ounce bag of powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla
milk or cream as needed to make a fairly stiff consistency

-Cream together butter and powdered sugar, adding the sugar a bit at a time to incorporate, add vanilla and cream as needed. Icing should be smooth and of a good piping consistency.
-Color the icing however you want to decorate and have fun with it! I used some red and yellow food coloring to make the orange. Make bats, ghosts, pumpkins, spiders, witch hats, mummies,
the limitations are only that of your imagination! If you are strapped for time, do a quick frost and sprinkle with candy corn, Halloween M&Ms or other candies. Yum!

Wishing you all an enchanting Halloween and happy baking! Boo!

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Jacelyn said...

Lol...these are so cool! I love how you piped the jagged tooth. And the cake looks really moist and yummy. Just feel like sinking my teeth into one of these! =)

Jen the bread freak said...

Thanks so much, Jacelyn! I had a lot of fun making them :D

Nicole said...

Happy Halloween!!

Jen the bread freak said...

Happy Halloween back atcha, Nicole!

cinara said...

Your cupcakes look lovely, Jen!
I also made cupcakes for Halloween, but I went for "scary faces" this year. Hope you had a great Halloween!