Posts Tagged 'C.O. boys'

Pipe Dream #16: To Love My Neighbor – Mint Chocolate Cupcakes

In the typical suburban neighborhood, people string up Christmas lights, walk their dogs and bring you fruitcakes bi-weekly. In my neighborhood, I’m lucky if my neighbors don’t blast gangster rap at 2 am and leave beer bottles strewn in my yard.

That being said, I will miss living here when I graduate. There is the east-facing yellow room with the yellow table that was full of beautiful light every morning. It provided endless quiet moments and cake-scapes for me.

Mostly, I will miss the people though. I made some really decent friends in college. I don’t even want to get into it now, because they deserve lots of posts on their own.

However, I would like to mention a rather shafted group of people that I came to know during my time here. I call them The C.O. Boys On The Corner.

They were not loud, inconsiderate neighbors who did drugs so that all my clothes now smell like the 60s. They were not dog-walkers or creepy old men with Hummers that blocked half my driveway on weeknights.

No, these were a bunch of polite, smiling, sweet boys who ate whatever my roommates and The Downstairs Girls and the 818 Boys couldn’t eat. Basically, every two weeks or so, they got a mish mash of all the “leftovers” pumping out of our apartment. I think they liked it, and I definitely appreciated having a cookie-swallowing abyss so conveniently located.

Sick! I just realized that 20 people couldn’t eat everything I bake. Ah well, it helped me to be a good neighbor, in a Golden Era kind of way.

These chocolate mint cupcakes were the only thing I ever made for them in a full batch. I was feeling guilty that I didn’t bring them the firstfruits of my labor, which is probably irrational. I used my standard one-bowl chocolate cake recipe and added mint extract for the cake. This recipe doesn’t always make for perfectly domed cupcakes, but it is quick, easy, and is extremely convenient when I have no butter on hand or forget to soften it beforehand.

I forget what I did for frosting. It was a quick buttercream, so 4 cups powdered sugar, 2 sticks butter, and  mint extract to taste should do it. Maybe a bit of milk thrown in for good measure. I seem to remember testing the frosting a bunch of times and always thinking that it needed more mint.

You too can be a good Mrs. Cleaver this week. At best, the dog-walkers will skip to the next house before letting their dog fertilize your yard. At worst, they will reject your cupcakes and you can eat them all yourself. At worst.

Your Samaritan friend,


One-Bowl Mint Chocolate Cupcakes

Adapted from Martha Stewart (Or her cronies, more likely. There is no way that woman could produce all the content for her website. It is inconceivable.)

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup warm water
3/4 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons safflower oil (or vegetable or canola oil)
2 teaspoons mint extract, or to taste

Preheat oven to 350º F. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners; set aside. Sift together cocoa powder, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. Add eggs, warm water, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla, and mix until smooth, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of bowl to assure batter is well mixed.

Divide batter evenly among muffin cups, filling each 2/3 full. Bake until tops spring back when touched, about 20 minutes, rotating pan once if needed. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely.

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