Jennifer McKinlay’s Kiss Me Cupcakes!

Kiss Me Cupcakes
(Makes 16 cupcakes)

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 1/4 tspns baking powder
1/8 tspn salt
1 tspn peppermint extract
1/2 cup milk
1 stick butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
1 cup chocolate chips
1 bag Hersey's Kisses

Preheat oven to 350. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well with each addition, then stir in the peppermint extract. Add the flour mixture alternately with the milk, beat well. Add the chocoalte chips after dusting them with flour to keep them from sinking while baking. Bake for 15-17 minutes.

Peppermint Buttercream Frosting

1 cup butter, softened
1 tspn peppermint extract
4 cups confectioner's sugar
2 tablespoons milk

In a large bowl, cream the butter and the extract. Gradually add the sugar, beating well on medium speed. Add milk and continue mixing until frosting is light and fluffy. Divide in half into separate bowls.
Use red food coloring to dye one half of the frosting red. To decorate the top of the cupcake use a pastry bag with a star tip and working from the center of the cupcake to the edge, pipe the frosting in alternating colors so that it resembles a hard candy. Top with a Hersey's Kiss.