Chocolate Spice Batter:
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
½ cup hot water
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¾ cup milk (preferably whole milk)
1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
¾ cup (1½ stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1½ cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
Tip: Use standard measuring cups and spoons or scales for accurate measuring.
12 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces
¼ cup unsalted butter
1 cup whipping (heavy) cream
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
8 to 16 ounces dark chocolate (depending on the number of sugar cones you use), chopped into small pieces
Black edible glitter
Chocolate wafer cookies, such as Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers
Black sugar pearls
Gummy Spaghetti Candy
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare two standard 12-cup muffin pans; line with paper cupcake liners.
Chocolate Spice Batter:
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the cocoa powder and hot water. Stir until smooth. Set aside to cool.
- In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon; sift or whisk together to mix. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, stir the milk and vanilla extract together. Set aside.
- In a large bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Tip: To cream, start by placing the butter in the bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed begin by beating the butter about 1 minute until it is smooth and light in color.
With the mixer still on medium speed, slowly add the sugar to the butter, either one tablespoon at a time, or in a very slow steady stream, taking from 4 to 8 minutes to add all of the sugar, and beating until the butter and sugar are fully incorporated and the mixture is a light, or pale yellow color, with a fluffy texture. While adding the sugar, stop the mixer occasionally to scrape the mixture off the paddle and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula so the mixture blends evenly.
- Add eggs one at a time, beating until thoroughly mixed.
Tip: For each egg, crack the egg into a small bowl and whisk with a fork to thoroughly break up the egg before adding to the creamed mixture. Start with the mixer on low speed so the liquid from the egg doesn’t splatter, once the egg is partially mixed increase the speed to medium. Each egg should be fully incorporated into the mixture before adding the next egg, taking about one minute to blend in each egg.
- With the mixer on low speed, add the chocolate mixture, mix about 1 minute until well blended.
- With the mixer on low speed, add about one third of the flour mixture, mix just until the flour is almost completely blended. Scrape the bowl down, and add about one half of the milk mixture, blending just until mixed. Scrape the bowl down again and continue alternating with the flour mixture and milk mixture, ending with the last portion of the flour, and stirring just until blended.
- Spoon the batter into the cupcake liners. Fill 2/3 full, using about ¼ cup of batter per cup.
Tip: Avoid over-filling the liners which may cause the batter to run-over the sides when baking. It is better to bake any remaining batter separately after the first pan of cupcakes has finished baking.
- Bake, rotating pan halfway through, 18 to 20 minutes, or until the cakes are just firm and spring back when gently pressed, and a toothpick, wooden skewer, or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool slightly in cupcake pan, and turn out of pan when cool enough to handle. Repeat process with any remaining batter. Cool cupcakes completely on a wire cooling rack before frosting.
- Line a baking pan with a nonstick baking mat, parchment paper, or wax paper. Set aside.
- In top of a double boiler over hot water, melt chocolate. Or, place the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl, use 50% power and stir frequently just until the chocolate is melted; do not overheat as chocolate will burn easily. Set aside to cool slightly. Tip: Create a double boiler by filling a saucepan with 2 inches of water and bringing it to a simmer. Turn the heat off and place a stainless steel, ceramic, or glass bowl on top of the hot water, the upper pan should not touch the water.
- Holding a sugar cone over the bowl of melted chocolate, spoon the chocolate over the cone until completely covered. Sprinkle cones with black edible glitter.
- Stand the chocolate covered cones on the baking sheet. Let set until the chocolate is cooled and firm.
- When chocolate is firm, re-melt any leftover chocolate, dip the round end of the cone in the chocolate, and gently press onto a chocolate wafer. Press black sugar pearls around the edge.
- Place the chopped chocolate in a large heatproof mixing bowl.
- In a heavy, medium-size saucepan over medium heat, combine the butter, whipping cream, and sugar. Heat until the butter is melted and sugar dissolves, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon so mixture does not burn. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring constantly. Remove pan from heat.
- Immediately pour the hot sugar mixture over the chocolate. Let stand for about 2 minutes, and then stir until smooth. Stir in the vanilla. Set aside to cool for about 30 minutes.
- Set the bowl of frosting in a larger bowl of ice water. Using an electric hand mixer beat the frosting on medium speed until it thickens and turns lighter in color. This may take from 15 to 20 minutes. The frosting is ready when it no longer drips of the beaters when they are lifted; don’t over-beat or the frosting will turn grainy.
- Use an offset spatula to frost the top of each cupcake with frosting.
- Place a completed hat on top of frosting. Insert pieces of gummy spaghetti under hat, sticking out like hair.