Published in the Raleigh (NC) N&O newspaper for Valentine's Day, this recipe sounded so good that I'm going to take these to work to share. Recipe is credited to Anne Byrn's "The Cake Mix Doctor"
Preheat oven to 350. Line 24 cupcake tins with paper liners; set aside.
In a lg mixing bowl, combine cake mix, pudding mix, sour cream, water, oil, food coloring, and eggs. Blend with electric mixer on LOW for 30 seconds; scrape sides with rubber scraper. Increase mixer speed to MEDIUM and beat for 2 minutes, scraping sides if necessary. Batter should look thick and well-combined.
Fold in chocolate chips.
Spoon or scoop 1/3 c batter into each prepared cupcake cup, filling each 3/4rds full.
Bake for 18-20 minutes until they spring back when lightly touched w/ your finger.
Remove from oven and cool in pans for 5 minutes on wire rack.
Run knife around each cupcake and gently lift from the pan using the knife, grasping gently w/ fingertips. Cool on wire rack for 15 minutes before frosting.
Place white chocolate in a small glass bowl in the microwave oven on HIGH power for one minute. Remove and stir with wooden spoon or rubber scraper until smooth. Set aside to cool.
In a large mixing bowl, combine cream cheese and butter; beating with electric mixer on LOW speed for about 30 seconds til well-combined.
Add cooled white chocolate and blend on LOW speed for appx 30 seconds until well-combined.
Add peppermint extract and 2 cups confectioners sugar; blend on LOW speed until well-combined, appx 30 seconds; increase mixer speed to MEDIUM and beat til the frosting is fluffy, appx 1 minute, adding upto 1/2 c additional confectioners sugar if necessary to make it a spreadable consistency.
ICE cupcakes by placing a heaping tablespoon of frosting on each cupcake, swirling to spread with a short metal spatula, covering the tops of each cupcake.
Place in frig for appx 20 minutes until the frosting sets.
OPTIONAL: Before chilling, sprinkle tops of frosted cupcakes w/ crusted pepperment candies.