Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Peppermint Bark

I was feeling particularly festive and been hankering to make a chocolate cupcake for some time. I've always been a big fan of peppermint and chocolate mixed together. It's one of those flavors that define the holidays and always relaxes me after coming in from the nippy weather, and makes a perfect culinary companion to sit by the Christmas tree wrapped in a flannel blanket with. I usually always bake an angel food peppermint cake for whatever holiday party seems to be approaching, but this year I decided to take a cupcake approach and utilize some rich, slightly bitter dark chocolate. This cupcake really is a winner. The cupcakes are fluffy and moist, and really have an old fashioned taste. The frosting varried; I used regular buttercream on some, and peppermint buttercream on others as some prefer a less punchy peppermint taste. Really, they were fantastic either way, but I prefer the plain buttercream as did others. The bark adds a festive touch to the whole cupcake, and that touch of peppermint. I wish I had red dye for the frosting, but that's just me. I have to say this was probably the most popular cupcake I've ever served, and I have plans to make it a few more times before the holiday season ends. I hope that this cupcake finds you well, and that your Christmas, Solstice, Kwanzaa, and Hannukah shopping isn't driving you too crazy. If it is though, this will be the perfect cure. Old Fashioned Chocolate Cupcakes Adapted from Cupcake Bakeshop