Real vs. Steal

6 Nov

Have you ever seen one of those shopping/fashion segments on TV where the host finds 2 outfits that look very similar, but one is a designer brand and one is a look alike? I used to watch them pretty often, and (as most teenage girls would be) was always amazed at how much some of the designer brands (the “REAL”) cost, when the look alike (the “STEAL”) looked so similar. If you’re wondering if this has to do with baking, I promise it does. 🙂
A few weeks ago I visited a new cupcake shop in town. I was impressed with their selection of flavors. They offered much more than the typical chocolate and vanilla (although I’m sure their chocolate and vanilla cupcakes were good). They had orange creamsicle cupcakes, raspberry lemonade cupcakes, and a cupcake called “Best of Bay.” I can’t remember what ingredients that one had. The nice lady behind the counter was explaining it to me, but it was sitting right next to the chocolate cupcake with mint frosting. My eyes had already found this beauty,so all  I heard about the Best of Bay variety was “blah, blah, blah…” [that Andes on top is practically screaming my name]…”blah, blah, blah…..and this next one is the mint chocolate chip.” [This is where I stated listening again.]

Here’s what I brought home that day:

It was almost lunchtime, so I was going to eat it after I’d had a sandwich. That was the plan. Was I kidding myself? Are you looking at that thing? I ate it and THEN had a sandwich. 🙂 It was amazing. The only downfall was that it cost $3.50. $3.50 for one cupcake! That seemed outrageous to me. I probably wouldn’t have even bought it if I hadn’t made a special trip to that part of town just to visit this new store. I knew that no matter how good the cupcake was, I would not become a regular at that shop. So my solution was to try to make my own “steal.” 🙂

Start with your favorite chocolate cupcake recipe. I didn’t use anything fancy, just the common boxed variety. I do have to recommend Duncan Hines Dark Chocolate Fudge. It’s the best chocolate mix I’ve ever tried. Bake them and give them some time to cool before you add any frosting. I made mostly regular sized cupcakes, but made a few minis too, just for fun.

How cute is that?

*It has been scientifically proven that if you do not think mini cupcakes are adorable, you do not have a soul. Period.*

Since I’d never made mint icing before, I tried looking up a recipe on google. There were several different varieties, but I thought I would like this one the best.

Start with a stick of butter, softened to room temperature. Paula would be proud. 🙂

Beat it a few seconds to get it nice and smooth. Then add 2 cups of powdered sugar, a tablespoon of water, and 1/2 teaspoon of peppermint extract.

Beat this together until well blended and smooth. Here’s how it will look:

Tastes good! Now it just needs a little green food coloring. 🙂 Having a mint chocolate cupcake without any green just wouldn’t seem right at all. Your brain would feel like your eyes and your taste buds were playing tricks on each other.

That’s better. I piped this onto a cupcake and then shaved a little chocolate on top and I was done!

Now I admit, I forgot to buy the Andes mints to top off the cupcake. The “real” one from the bakery did look nice with the Andes as a garnish. But other than that, I think they look pretty similar. And even without the Andes, the “steal” was a big win if you ask me. 🙂

Up Next: Not entirely sure yet, but I’m guessing it will involve chocolate.

Random Thought of the Day: I’m so excited about this cold weather, because on Wednesday my husband and I are having someone come over to our house to clean out the fireplace. We never used it last year, so hopefully by the next time I update the blog we will have built our first fire. 🙂 Pretty soon the lights and stockings will be hung around the fireplace, so it will be nice to actually have a fire going inside!

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4 Responses to “Real vs. Steal”

  1. Jessica Llanes November 7, 2010 at 11:23 am #

    I have mixed emotions about this blog post. First of all, I LOVE the idea of mint chocolate chip cupcakes-Andes rock! But, it did also remind me that I’ve yet to purchase a mini cupcake pan = ( I need one now!!!
    p.s. how did you shave the chocolate? Did you just take chocolate bark like you use for cake pops and put it through a grater?

  2. icingonyourcake November 8, 2010 at 8:50 pm #

    Yes, you do need a mini cupcake pan!
    I had a square of semi sweet chocolate left over from another baking project. I just grated it right over the top of the cupcake. I wish I knew how to get the chocolate curls. That would be even better!

    • Laura November 9, 2010 at 10:11 am #

      I have made curls before using a normal chocolate bar (I recommend Godiva, which you can get at Publix =) and just taking a vegetable peeler down the edge on long side. Not the best method, but with what I have, it works just fine!

  3. Laura November 9, 2010 at 10:08 am #

    These look absolutely amazing!! You have no idea how much I want one right now… for the past month I’ve been on a mint and chocolate kick (okay, maybe I always am, it’s my favorite combination)! I will be making these very soon!

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