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Ok, I promised the recipe for chocolate-mint crumb topping, and here it is! Well, actually, it's not so much a recipe as a bit of a long story. You see, I don't love the creme filling of creme-filled cookies. Those commercials showing people licking their oreos? Yuck! Meanwhile, I love the cookies themselves. Especially cool flavors such as Trader Joe's candy cane Joe-Joe's. I was lucky to be around their stores back during the holidays when these limited-edition cookies came out, and stocked up on a few boxes. I love the flavor, but as usual, not so much the filling. But I felt wasteful when I would scrape it out and throw it away, so a new solution was born. I'd scrape the filling into a covered refrigerated dish. After a few cookies, there was enough leftover filling to experiment with! I notice that most crumb recipes are a mixture of fat, sweetener, and flour. I thought, we already have the fat and sweetener covered here, so I just added some cocoa powder and voilà! A very intense minty and chocolate-y crumb was born! However, I was stumped as to how exactly to convey that without saying "hi! I'm a crazy person who keeps cookie filling in a jar in the fridge! I'm cookoo for cocoa puffs!" But I realize that you don't have to do all that- just combine some shortening, some sugar, a drop or two of peppermint extract, and some cocoa powder, mixing with a fork until you get a rough crumb. Then, sprinkle the mixture on top of your cake or cupcake batter before sticking it in the oven- it can't get any easier than that!
Ok, you are probably thinking that that is enough crazy for one post, right? Wrong! I got one more crazy tip up my sleeve. All of my cake pans (2 rounds and one spring-form) are 9 inch ones. I have often heard that a cupcake recipe is enough to make one round layer of cake (with a higher baking time). However, whenever I made cakes, my layers came out very thin and disappointing. So I thought to myself, what would happen if I multiplied a cupcake recipe by 1.5? With some encouragement from the PPK, I proceeded. My nightmare was that this would be too much batter and that the cake would be under-cooked, or sink in the middle, or have too much baking powder, or some other mishap. However, this did not happen.
What did happen? I present you, THE BEST cake I have ever baked:
I used the marble cake recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World, multiplied every ingredient by 1.5, and baked it in my 9 inch spring-form pan for about 45 minutes. The results were beautiful, perfectly textured, and wonderful-tasting. Look how thick that cake is! In fact, I thought it was too pretty to frost (I love how the marble pattern resembles the marks on a cow!) so I just topped with with some organic strawberries. Since then, I've tried the 1.5 rule with another cupcake recipe, with similarly pleasing results.
In conclusion, mint crumb topping can be yours even without a stash of Joe-Joe's, and if like me, you don't have any 8 inch or smaller cake pans, fear not! 1 (cupcake recipe) x 1.5 x 9" pan x 45 minutes baking time = perfection!