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Monday, December 10, 2012

Hot Chocolate Christmas Cupcakes

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Dollar General for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.




Christmas is only 15 days away (or perhaps even closer now... depending on when you're reading this haha) I can't believe it. I feel like I was just shopping for Halloween decorations and now we are into the "teens" in the Christmas countdown. With Christmas being so close I've really got to get into gear and start making some more Holiday goodies! I did get a little holiday baking done this weekend though. A few cute snowy scene cupcakes where just what I needed to get me into the holiday baking spirit!

Cupcakes are one of my favorite things to make during the holidays because they can be super simple or super creative, it all depends on what you want to do with them.

I use to only decorate cupcakes with icing, then I moved into sprinkles, and then last year I even adorned some of my cupcakes with chocolate stars. This year however I wanted to make them even cuter, so I decided to decorate my Christmas cupcakes with candy this year. Not just any candy though, I wanted super cute and decorative Christmas candy!

I don't know if you've ever taken the time to browse the candy section of Dollar General, but if you haven't you need to. They've got some very cute candy and I fell in love with all of it. I may have just gone a little overboard but I couldn't help it! These adorable Lindt chocolate bears were just begging for me to buy them! Are those not the cutest little chocolate bears!


These Sixlets candies were just perfect too! I've always loved Sixlets but these were especially great for the Christmas cupcakes because they where red, green and white with a bit of a shimmer to them! I've seen shimmery Sixlets in other stores before but they always seem to be way to expensive. These were $1.00 a pack at our Dollar General.

 Those were probably my favorite cupcakes of the weekend, "snow" topped cupcakes with little chocolate bears, shimmery Sixlets and adorable mini candy canes! But I couldn't stop there, not with all of the great candy they had. Dessert cupcakes were just begging to be made in all kinds of designs. My husband's favorite where these Peppermint Patty CandyCane Pop Rock Cupcakes.



For these cupcakes, top a chocolate cupcake with white icing, sprinkle on Candy Cane Pop Rocks and add a Peppermint Patty Snowflake to the top.  BigBear LOVES Peppermint Patties, so no wonder these topped his list!

But what Christmas dessert is complete with out a little bit of Santa. I used the Santa Hershey bars I picked up to make these little Santa Cupcakes.


Top a chocolate cupcakes with white icing, adoren with chocolate Sixlets and a Santa Hershey bar. I loved that I could get everything I needed for these cupcakes at Dollar General ! I am always amazed at the things I find in there at such a good price. If you're not already in love with Dollar General, go on over to your local store and check it out. I don't think you'll be disappointed at all.

You can see what they're up too and get information on what's on sale and even snag a coupon here or there on their Facebook page  ! You can also check out their website for some quick and easy "Dollar General easy meals".


Here is a tip for you if you're going to be using canned frosting to frost the cupcakes. Scoop icing into a mixed bowl and whip on high for 3-5 minutes for light and fluffy icing. In the picture below you'll see two scoops of icing from the exact same container. The icing on the right was scooped directly from the can, the icing on the left was scooped into a mixing bowl and whipped for 3-5 minutes on high.



I love the difference that it makes!


Hot Chocolate Christmas Cupcakes                  (Printable Recipe Here)
  
Ingredients
  • 1 box  chocolate cake mix
  • 3 packets hot chocolate mix (with or without marshmallows)
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup oil
  • 1 ¼ cup of milk
  • Christmas candies (for garnish)
  • White Icing (homemade or canned)* 
*If using canned icing, scoop icing into a mixed bowl and whip on high for 3-5 minutes for light and fluffy icing)
  • White sugar for dusting the tops of cupcakes

Instructions


Pre-heat oven to 325F.

In a large bowl, mix together cake mix, hot chocolate packets, eggs, oil and milk.
Line a muffin/cupcake tin with paper liners.

Fill each cupcake liner 1/2 full of batter.

Bake at 325F for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack.

Once the cupcakes are cool, use a spoon to scoop some of the icing onto the cupcakes. Use the back of the spoon to cover the cupcake top with icing forming a bit of a mound in the middle.


Sprinkle sugar onto the top of the cupcake to resemble "snow".


Decorate the cupcakes with different Christmas candies.


Total Prep: 5-10 minutes
Total Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time  (not including decorating ) 30-45 minutes





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