Today is the last day of school before my kids are home for Christmas break. Yea! I am so looking forward to having them home for a couple of weeks. The kids have been studying hard for finals so I know they are ready for a break too.
It hasn't been all studying this week though. Both kids managed to fit in Christmas parties at school. Monday I sent chocolate caramel pretzels to school with my son and yesterday I took cupcakes to my daughter's class.
I was running short on time this week so I searched the Internet for an easy Christmas cupcake that I could feed to hungry teenagers. I found these cute Christmas tree cupcakes on thebatterbaker.blogspot.com. The cupcakes turned out really cute and more importantly - really easy.
I decided to make black bottom cupcakes for the party. (It really doesn't take me any more time to make cupcakes from scratch than it does to make box mix cupcakes - and they're so much better.) This cupcake recipe came from a family friend. I have been making these cupcakes for a long time. The rich chocolate cupcakes with creamy cheesecake filling are always a crowd pleaser.
Black Bottom Cupcakes
8 ounces cream cheese 1/3 cup oil
1 cup + 1/3 cup sugar 1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon +1/8 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon vinegar
6 ounces chocolate chips 1 teaspoon vanilla
1 ½ cups flour 1 cup water
¼ cup cocoa
Beat cream cheese, ¼ c. sugar and 1/8 t. salt.
Add chocolate chips.
Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, ½ t. salt and 1 c. sugar. (I accidentally left out the cocoa - one of the hazards of baking late at night when I'm tired.)
Combine water, oil, vinegar and vanilla.
Add to dry ingredients. (This is when I realized that my chocolate cupcakes had no chocolate in them. I added it to the batter along with the wet ingredients and it worked out fine.)
Fill muffin cups 1/3 full with batter.
Add a heaping teaspoon of cream cheese.
Bake 30 minutes at 350.
I filled a pastry bag with green frosting and piped it onto each cupcake. I sprinkled each little Christmas tree with white pearl ornaments. I cut stars out of gum paste and placed one on top of each cupcake. ( I don't use premade gum paste or fondant very often because its fairly costly but when I'm in a hurry - its a huge time saver.)
There is nothing like walking into a room of teenagers with a big tray of cupcakes. The kids were super excited to see the sweet treat and I got lots of compliments on the decorations. The party was a nice break for the kids during finals week.