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Chocolate ganache, crushed peppermint and Irish cream liqueur buttercream frosting get layered together with chocolate cupcakes for a festive holiday parfait by the sisters behind Washington D.C.'s beloved Georgetown Cupcake.
If pre-crushed peppermint topping is not available, place candy canes in a large plastic freezer bag and smash with a kitchen mallet.
For the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350 ˚F. Line a standard muffin pan with 12 baking cups, and a second pan with 3 baking cups.
Sift together flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl. Combine vanilla extract and milk in a large liquid measuring cup.
In the bowl of a standing mixer, beat butter on medium speed until fluffy. Add sugar and beat on medium speed until combined. Add eggs, one at a time and mixing slowly after each addition. Reduce speed to low, then add the flour mixture and milk mixture in thirds, alternating between both and stopping to scrape the bowl as needed, and beat just until combined. Add the cocoa powder, beating on low speed just until incorporated.
Use a standard-size ice cream scoop to fill each baking cup two-thirds full with batter. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes (start checking at 15 minutes) or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Let cool completely.
For the frosting, in the bowl of a standing mixer, beat butter on medium speed and slowly add the confectioners' sugar, salt, milk and vanilla extract. Add the Irish cream liqueur and beat on high speed for 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer about 1 cup frosting to a shallow dish and the rest to a plastic piping bag fitted with a round metal tip.
For the chocolate ganache, combine heavy cream and chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl. Fill a medium saucepan with an inch or two of water and place over medium-low heat. Put the bowl over the saucepan and let the mixture melt, stirring until shiny and smooth. Remove the bowl of chocolate ganache from the saucepan, and let cool slightly, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a plastic squeeze bottle.
To assemble the parfaits, dip the rim of each mason jar in a shallow dish of buttercream and then into a bowl of crushed peppermint to coat each rim. Squeeze a drizzle of chocolate ganache into the bottom of each jar. Remove baking cups from the chocolate cupcakes. Slice each cupcake horizontally, then place each bottom half in a mason jar and pierce several times with a fork or toothpick. Pour 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) Irish cream liqueur on top of each cupcake half, and frost with a swirl of Irish cream liqueur buttercream frosting. Sprinkle each with 1 tablespoon crushed peppermint, then repeat the layers with the top half of each cupcake. Garnish with an additional drizzle of chocolate ganache and, if desired, more crushed peppermint.