Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Peppermint

Celebrations require happy sweet desserts, and this is a perfect winter celebration treat. One of my favorite activities before returning home after visiting the family is planning what food we will eat, particularly what dessert I want to make. I forget when it started, but at some point I stopped buying desserts and just started making almost all of the ones we eat. Occasionally K wants a certain ice cream or maybe we are out at a nice bakery and pick up a few treats. In general, though, we have gotten used to homemade treats. I think he is okay with it, and I like it. It does mean that I am a BAR (Baking Aisle Regular) which makes me a bit cranky around the holidays. All of the “tourists” come to the aisle and hog prime locations near chocolate chips or confectioner’s sugar. Then, they refuse to budge or make room so that I can pick up one of my basic pantry needs. Ugh! Well, unless your pantry needs some stocking, you should be able to make these without buying anything fancy. The peppermint is super refreshing and perfect for winter, but you can also opt to leave it out. As in, leave out the chocolate entirely, or even just use regular chocolate.

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