Probably the easiest recipe in the world, this is my go-to cheaters trick when I need something easy and fast for a class treat or to bring the staff at work. Not only are they delicious, but I hesitate to call this a recipe since it's practically a no brainer. First of all, those of you who know me as the 'everything from scratch' girl need to know that at Christmas, I embrace the odd processed item. Not only is this a once a year thing, but long ago I realized that Mom needs to have a break and if the cheat works, use it. 

Now a word about these cupcakes. Candy cane, when it is crushed and comes into contact with icing, will last a little while but will soon begin to melt. If you want crunchy bits then don't ice them and decorate until just before serving.  If you don't mind the candy cane melting into the icing, which in my opinion makes them all sorts of minty deliciousness, then you can even make them the night before and let them sit in the fridge before you serve them. Either way, this is my favourite way to eat a candy cane.

Ingredients:

1 chocolate cake mix, baked into 24 cupcakes (mini or regular sized will do, your call) or a batch of home made chocolate cupcakes
24 mini peppermint patties, unwrapped (24 Jr. Mints for mini cakes)
1 can white icing (* see note below)
12 peppermint candy canes, unwrapped and crushed
24 Hershey's Kisses (48 for mini cupcakes, or maybe even more)

  Follow your cake mix directions to whip up the batter for the cupcakes.  When you are baking them, fill the cake tins only about 1/3 full and then place an unwrapped mini peppermint patty (for regular cupcakes) or Jr mint (mini cupcakes) in the tin on each cake before topping with more batter until they are about 2/3-3/4 full.

  Bake according to package or recipe directions. Cool completely. In fact, I want you to freeze them. What, you say?  Why would I do that?

  Freezing cupcakes makes them easier to frost, as the top layer doesn't become all crumbly and leave you with bits in your icing. Make the cakes ahead, pop them in the freezer, and then right when you are going to ship those babies off, just pull them out and slather icing all over them, while they are still frozen.  Easy. Stress free. They also will look really great, too!

  Sprinkle with crushed candy cane and then top with a Hershey's kiss.

  Try to resist from eating them all.  Shortly after I took the photo, those mini cakes were devoured in about 3 seconds flat.

Makes 24 cupcakes

 Note: I haven't found a homemade icing recipe that I like here. Buttercream is too heavy. You need something whipped, light, that goes well with peppermint.