Mint Chocolate "Cupcakes"

>> Tuesday, February 16, 2010

More like cup-pies! These vegan treats require no bake time -- just a few flicks of the whisk, then a pour, some cooling action, and you're done. OK, there's a bit more involved, but -- come on! Very easy. I picked up some mint extract at the store a few weeks ago and had been trying to figure out the best way to use it. So, I thought back to my childhood days . . . when one of my favorite desserts was worms 'n dirt . . . this recipe just poured out of me.

At heart, this "cupcake" is really just worms 'n dirt all grown up -- and vegan-style! It's somewhat similar to our favorite chocolate-coconut pie, but in a bite-sized portion.

Also, before the recipe -- I wanted to say thanks to all of you who have posted such wonderful comments. I've been trying to reply to all of them, but work and life (yeah, life) gets in the way. I'm loving that you're all loving the recipes and photos and running tips. As well, those of you who are trying vegan for the first time, being inspired to start exercising . . . etc., etc., etc. I LOVE IT! You all make my day brighter. So, thank you!


What you'll need . . . for the crust:
  • 1-1/2 cups coarsely crushed Newman O's (vegan Oreo's -- R.I.P., Paul Newman) WITH the cream filling left IN
  • 3 tablespoons vegan butter substitute (like Earth Balance)
. . . for the pudding:
  • 2 cups soy milk
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa
  • 5 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup natural sugar (like Sugar in the Raw)
  • 1 teaspoon mint extract

Method . . .
  1. Line a cupcake pan with aluminum or paper or reusable liners.
  2. Heat butter substitute for the crust in a small saucepan on medium heat.
  3. Turn off heat when melted and add coarsely crushed Newman O's. Mix until all parts are thinly coated.
  4. Transfer mixture to a food processor and pulse fine (see photo above for texture). You may need to add more butter -- but I didn't have to. Just make sure the crusty stuff sticks together when pressed.
  5. Spoon out equal portions of crust mixture into each cupcake liner. Press around the sides and the bottom to create a thin crust cup. Crust, crust, crust. Sorry.
  6. Now for the pudding: Put ALL pudding ingredients in a medium-sized saucepan and whisk together until fully incorporated.
  7. Put the pan on medium-high heat and continue to mix-whisk rapidly (to avoid cornstarch lumps) until the pudding becomes very thick. This took much longer than I thought it would. More than five minutes. You'll know when you're "done" because it will reach that pudding-like consistency.
  8. Then, after the pudding has cooled slightly, spoon into the crusts and spread so it settles evenly on top.
  9. Put cupcake pan in the fridge and cool for at least one hour.
  10. Top with mint sprigs (if you're fancy, like me), and enjoy!

You'll most likely need to use a fork to eat these. Unless you want to get all those crumbs on the floor. Not that I have experience with that. No. Not me. (Fine! I got these ALL over myself at one point. Keep a vacuum cleaner handy.)

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