I Want My Chocolate Covered Cherries in a Cupcake, Please

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Happy National Chocolate Cupcake Day

The first mention of the cupcake can be traced back to 1796, when a recipe notation of “a cake to be baked in small cups” was written in American Cookery by Amelia Simms.  There seems to be two different derivations of the word, cupcake.  The first referring to the individual cups the cakes were baked in, the other relating to the measuring of ingredients using standard-sized cups which were also used in many cases, to bake the batter.  Regardless of which origin you choose, the name cupcake is now given to any small cake about the size of a teacup.

In the early 21st century, a trend for cupcake shops was reported in the United States, playing off of the sense of nostalgia evoked by the cakes.  In New York City, cupcake shops like Magnolia Bakery gained publicity in their appearances on popular television shows like HBO’s Sex and the City.  Sprinkles, which began in Beverly Hills, became the first cupcake bakery to expand its reach across the country with 10 stores and counting.

So in honor of National Chocolate Cupcake Day, here is an amazing twist on everyone’s favorite drugstore candy—chocolate covered cherries—in a cupcake!

 

Chocolate-covered Cherry Cupcakes

Ingredients

Cakes:

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/3 cup butter, softened

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup milk

2 (1 5/8 ounce) Hershey milk chocolate candy bars, each broken in 12 squares

12 maraschino cherries, without stems, patted dry with paper towels

Frosting:

4 ounces cream cheese

1/4 cup butter, softened

2 teaspoons maraschino cherry juice

2 cups confectioners’ sugar

Garnish:

4 ounces dark chocolate

12 maraschino cherries with stems, patted dry

Directions

Heat oven to 350°F.  Line 12 regular-size muffin cups with paper or foil liners.

Whisk flour and cocoa powder in a small bowl until blended; set aside.

In a large bowl, beat butter, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt with a mixer on high-speed 2 minutes or until well blended.  Add egg and vanilla; beat 2 minutes or until fluffy.  Reduce mixer speed to low; beat in milk, then the flour mixture just until blended.

Spoon batter evenly into lined muffin cups.   Place a square of chocolate in center of each cupcake.  Top with a cherry and another square of chocolate.

Bake 18 to 20 minutes until a pick inserted off-center comes out clean.  Cool in pan on a wire rack 5 minutes before removing from pan to rack to cool completely (cupcakes will sink in center).

Frosting: Beat cream cheese, butter and cherry juice in a medium bowl with mixer on high-speed until blended and smooth.  Reduce speed to low; beat in confectioners’ sugar.  Refrigerate 15 minutes or until firm enough to spread.  Frost cupcakes.

Garnish:  Gently melt chocolate bar at 50% power in the microwave.  Do not overheat.  Dip each cherry in melted chocolate and set on wax paper or parchment.  Chill briefly to set chocolate.  Top each cupcake with a chocolate-covered cherry.

Cover and refrigerate until serving or up to 1 day.

photo courtesy of terrbear38.blogspot.com

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