I'll never forget the cupcakes my mom made for the class Easter party when I was in third grade: Little bird's nests topped with light green frosting and jelly beans -- waaaay cooler than any of the treats the other kids brought, which pretty much made me the Rock Star of the third grade Easter party. I love these Chocolate Easter Nest Cupcakes because they remind me of those killer third grade goodies ... except they're more delicious, obviously, because they're super-chocolate-y. YUM.
By the way, these are too good to waste on a bunch of third graders.
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1 1/3 cups flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup strong coffee
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line 4 mini muffin tins with cupcake liners.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, combine the sour cream, vanilla, and almond extract. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the butter and sugar and beat on medium speed until smooth.
Set the mixer to low speed and add the egg.
Alternately add the flour and sour cream mixtures to the butter mixture in two batches, starting and ending with the flour mixture. Scrape down the bowl after each addition.
Gradually pour in the strong coffee. Scrape down the bowl and beat until thoroughly combined.
Divide the batter evenly between the muffin tins. Bake for 12-15 minutes, for mini cupcakes, and 20-25 minutes for regular cupcakes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Allow the cupcakes to cool for 20 minutes on a wire rack.
Makes 12 cupcakes
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Chocolate Fudge Frosting
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons boiling water
1 1/2 cups butter, room temperature
1/2 cup confectioners’ (icing/powdered) sugar
1 pound good-quality semi-sweet chocolate, melted and cooled
Combine cocoa powder and the boiling water in a small bowl or glass measuring cup, and stir until it cocoa has dissolved.
In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (flat beater), beat the butter, the icing sugar, and salt on medium-high speed until it is pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
Reduce mixer speed to low, and add melted chocolate (cooled), beating until combined and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Beat in the cocoa mixture until well incorporated.
Makes 5 cups
8 oz. Baker’s Semi-Sweet Chocolate
2 cups chow mein noodles
1 package (115 g) Cadbury Mini Eggs
MICROWAVE chocolate in large microwaveable bowl on MEDIUM 2 to 3 minutes or until almost melted; stir until completely melted. Stir in noodles.
DROP heaping tablespoonfuls of noodle mixture onto parchment- or waxed paper-covered baking sheets; indent centres slightly to resemble nests. Fill with Mini Eggs.
REFRIGERATE 2 hours or until firm.
Makes 18 Chocolate Nests