12 small strawberries, with stems, cleaned and dried
1 cup of chocolate melting wafers
Melt wafers according to melting directions. Hold each strawberry by the stem and dip strawberries into the melted chocolate. Place coated strawberries on waxed paper and allow the chocolate to harden. Approximately an hour or 15 minutes in the refrigerator.
⅓ cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon instant espresso powder (optional)
4 teaspoons canola oil
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup lightly packed light brown sugar
⅓ cup low-fat buttermilk
Preheat the oven to 350, and line a MINI muffin pan with 10 mini cupcake liners.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and espresso powder. Whisk well.
In a separate small bowl, whisk together the canola oil, vanilla extract, brown sugar, and buttermilk until well combined.
Pour the wet ingredients in the bowl with the dry ingredients, and stir to combine. Do not over mix. I'd rather see tiny pieces of cocoa powder than a very well-mixed batter.
Bake the cupcakes for 8-11 minutes. Test a cupcake with a toothpick before removing from the oven.
Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for 1 minute, then move them to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Strawberry Cream Cheese Icing
1 8 ounce softened package of cream cheese
1 cup softened unsalted butter
1/4 cup strawberry jam
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 cups confectioners sugar
1 pinch of salt
Once the cupcakes are completely cooled, make the frosting. In a medium-deep bowl, beat together the cream cheese, butter and powdered sugar using an electric hand mixer on low speed. Once thoroughly combined, add the strawberry jam and vanilla. Beat well. If needed, add a small splash of milk to help it come together.
Spread the strawberry cream cheese frosting on the mini cupcakes. We suggest using a pastry bag and a large tip, it is easier. Let the frosting set up a bit and then place the hardened chocolate dipped strawberry in the middle of the cupcake.
Leave it to a five-year-old to create the perfect dessert by combining her two favorites together. Enjoy!
*Junior Cook Contest 2015 Winner
Contest 2015 Entry