Monday, January 18, 2016

Raspberry Chocolate Cuties

Yum
Just sent the college girl back to school after a month of being home for winter break.  It never seems like those visits are long enough.  Maybe she feels differently and can't wait to get back?  But, the momma hen in this house loves each and every time her whole roost is together.  Lots of time as a family eating food, of course, and talking about plans for the future.  It is AMAZING to see how those once little babies turn out into wonderful adults!
I guess you can't keep them in strollers forever.  Ha!
Anyhow...
It's now less than a month until Valentine's Day.  So I thought it is time to start sprinkling in some sweet Valentine's Day treats!



Raspberry Chocolate Cuties are mini!  You can bake them in the regular sized muffin pan but, I like them mini so I used the mini muffin pan.  You know bite sized treats are my fave!  And, just one will satisfy that chocolate craving.  Since they are made in the mini muffin pan, there are lots to share for school parties, book clubs or with neighbors.  It's time to share the love people!


With temperatures below freezing, spending time in a nice, warm kitchen isn't such a bad thing.  But, I know schedules are still busy so these cupcakes will have you out of the kitchen lickety split!
Shhhhhhh!  They are cheaters!  No-one will ever know when they look this scrumptious!


The raspberry chocolate flavor of the cupcake is so yummy!  You almost don't even need the frosting...almost.  What's a cupcake without frosting?  Again...there's a cheater's method.  George Washington would approve of the raspberry flavor and Abraham Lincoln would be very happy because I cannot tell a lie, I will share the cheater's method.  Is that right?  Do I have the Washington and Lincoln fables straight?  Wait a second, George Washington is cherries not raspberries!  Hmmm...let's focus on the cupcake.


Ingredients to make 3 1/2 dozen:
1 15.25 ounce box of dark chocolate cake mix
1 cup water
1/2 cup oil
3 eggs, beaten
1 tsp raspberry extract
1 tsp coffee
non-stick spray
1 can vanilla frosting
2 drops red food coloring
red hots
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray mini muffin pan with non-stick spray.  In a large bowl, mix dark chocolate cake mix, water, oil and beaten eggs.  Use an electric mixer to blend the ingredients.  With a wooden spoon, stir in the raspberry extract and coffee.  Spoon batter into prepared mini muffin pan filling each muffin cup halfway.  Bake at 350 degrees for 12-14 minutes.  Let sit in pan for approximately 2-3 minutes before removing.  Remove cupcakes from pan onto a wire rack and cool.  Once cool, frost the cupcakes.  Remove lid and inner foil lining of frosting can.  Stir in 2 drops of red food coloring until desired color is reached.  Heat container of pink icing in microwave for 1 minute on high.  If it pours, it's ready.  Otherwise, heat for an additional 30 seconds.  Pour icing over each cooled cupcake.  Top with a red hot.  



The raspberry and coffee add a new dimension to plain old box cupcake mix.  Heating the frosting is such a cool trick to creating that smooth icing finish.  I love this cheater's way to jazz up a box mix...such a time saver to cuteness!

Start getting ready to share the love!

Celebrate the little things that make life sweet,
Christine

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