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Peppermint Patty Brownie Cupcakes

Ingredients

For the Brownies:

  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 3 ounces dairy free semi sweet chocolate chips (~1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup aquafaba liquid from a can of beans—your can will probably have closer to 2/3 or 3/4 c—make sure you measure
  • 2 teaspoons peppermint extract
  • 2 teaspoons instant espresso/coffee completely optional—this does not give much of a coffee flavor, but brings out the flavor of the chocolate
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 4 1/2 ounces semi sweet chocolate chips (3/4 cups)

For the Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Frosting:

  • 4 Tablespoons shortening
  • 2 Tablespoons vegan cream cheese
  • 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar + more as needed to reach desired consistency
  • 1/2 - 1 teaspoon peppermint extract if desired
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
  • green food coloring (see below on how to make your own)

For the Green Food Coloring:

  • 2 kale leaves (don't need to be huge)
  • 1/2 c water

Instructions

For the Brownies:

  • Preheat your oven to 350°.  Line your muffin tins with Reynolds Staybrite or silicone liners, see above.
  • In a medium sauce pan over medium-low heat, melt 3 ounces of chocolate chips and 1/4 cup coconut oil.  When melted, remove from heat.  Add in brown sugar, maple syrup and pinch of salt and whisk together.
  • Whisk the aquafaba in the measuring cup for about 1 minute until slightly foamy (bubble all around).  Pour into the chocolate mix and whisk together.  Add peppermint and instant espresso and whisk to incorporate.
  • Add the flour to the chocolate mixture and mix well.  Fold in 4 1/2 ounces of chocolate chips.
  • Pour the brownie batter into the prepared cupcake liners (I could fill anywhere from 12-15).  Bake for 20-25 minutes, until centers look just slightly set.  Remove from oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

For the Frosting:

  • Place shortening and cream cheese in a mixer.  Beat until it is starting to smooth out, but it does not need to be completely smooth.  Add powdered sugar, peppermint and 2 T of kale green food coloring (see below) in a mixer (NOTE: if you are using commercial food coloring add a few drops to reach desired color, and slowly add water or milk to reach the right consistency).  Beat again until completely incorporated and smooth.  Fold chocolate chips into the frosting by hand.
  • Spoon the frosting over the cooled cupcakes, or pipe it out using either a pastry bag with a large tip (needs to be big enough for the chocolate chips) or a plastic bag with the corner clipped.  Store in the fridge until serving—refrigerating the brownies gives them an extra fudgey texture!  Enjoy!

For the Food Coloring:

  • Blend the kale and water in your blender until the leaves are quite broken down (they probably won't break down completely because of the small amount).  Drain the liquid through a strainer, reserving the liquid and discarding the solids.  Use as you would use normal food coloring (but note that it is not as concentrated as normal food coloring.  You could reduce on the stove top if desired, but it is not needed for this recipe).