A Treat for Santa

A Treat for Santa

I don’t know about you but this is my absolute, favorite time of year! It’s so happy and joyful! It’s the one time of year that my family and I are in the kitchen baking together. As you know, I have a sweet tooth (or perhaps 30 sweet teeth). The treats we make in the kitchen range from candy, cookies, pastries, and cakes. Every year I try to find a new recipe to try, one that Santa might like! This year I have decided on peppermint cupcakes with classic vanilla frosting.

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Looks good, right?! Anyway, this is a really simple recipe that looks so beautiful for Christmas! The cake is made from the Betty Crocker white cake mix. This cake mix is so light and fluffy and just plain good! Once I made the batter, I divided the cake in half and dyed one half red and left the other white. I used a cupcake scoop (three tablespoon scoop) and picked up half in white and half in red and poured the batter in each cupcake liner. Then with a toothpick, I marbled the two colors. Here is the complete recipe from the Betty Crocker website:  http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/swirled-candy-cane-cupcakes/b255e388-ed5b-4eae-bb0b-923729e05992#!

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Now for the frosting! I used the delicious Sprinkles vanilla buttercream frosting: http://www.food.com/recipe/vanilla-buttercream-frosting-from-sprinkles-cupcakes-222188. This is my favorite vanilla buttercream! This recipe says that it only makes enough frosting for twelve standard cupcakes. However, I was able to pipe 24 cupcakes, but I didn’t use a lot of frosting. Buttercream is a very sweet frosting and too much of it can be overwhelming. Also, you don’t want to lose that peppermint taste in the cake. Finally, I sprinkled the top with crushed, soft peppermint sticks. Trust me, these cupcakes are delicious!

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You might have noticed that I double line my cupcakes. This is a personal preference, but I like to do this (especially with chocolate cake) because the cake can sometime make the liners greasy or they can lose the vibrant colors and decorations. When you double line them, the outer liner stays bright and beautiful. You can also do this by using a white liner to bake with and set the cupcake in a decorative liner later.

For this post, I took some decorating ideas from this lovely blog I found that shared the Candy Land Christmas Party. This is an amazing set up! I decided to make the oversized candy frame and build an easy cake stand.

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The oversized candy picture is made my painting an 11 x 14 inch frame white. Then I covered the glass in a red and white polka dot scrapbook paper. The lollipops are made with two round styrofoam pieces (get them at the Dollar Tree at 2 for a $1). Cover the front of the styrofoam with red felt and then cut out spirals from white felt. Glue these on. Then with clear cellophane, cover the lollipops and tie with red ribbon.

The cake stand is really simple! Depending on how high you want it to stand, find a candle holder (pillar stands work best). Using a hot glue gun, glue the candle holder to a round stove top burner cover. Once the glue is completely dry, paint the entire stand your desired color. Then you can take any ribbon you like and glue it to the edge of the burner cover. I used a red lacy ribbon. I think it looks best for this theme.

It really is a lot of fun to put this altogether. I hope that these ideas inspire you to get your family and friends in the kitchen to bake and celebrate another year. Now I’m going to pop in “Elf,” “Polar Bear Express,” and “The Little Drummer Boy” and have myself a Christmas movie marathon as I satisfy my sweet craving!

If you have any of your own holiday traditions or ideas, please share them in the comments!

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