M&M Mini's Double-Chocolate Cupcakes

I love how the M&M Mini's add a splash of color and another element of chocolate to these cupcakes.  These are perfect for any time of year, and the best treat to cheer someone up.  I love Hershey's Extra Dark cocoa powder since it creates such a rich, dark color in all my baked goods.  Oil is used here instead of butter to keep the cupcakes moist.

1 c sugar
1/3 c. canola oil
1 egg
1/2 c. Hershey's Special Dark cocoa powder
1/2 c. hot water
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. AP flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a 2 c. liquid measuring cup, add 1 c. water and place into microwave, bring to boil.  Remove from microwave and add cocoa powder, stir and set aside.  Place sugar, oil and egg into bowl of mixer and turn on low to combine - add cocoa water mixture, mixing on low.  Add baking powder, baking soda, salt, milk and vanilla - mixing on low to incorporate.  Finally add the flour and mix on low until combined.

Prepare 20 regular-sized muffin cups with muffin liners and fill 2/3 full - no more or it will overbake.  Bake for 18-20 minutes, until toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Remove from oven and allow to cool in the pan.  Chill in the refrigerator and then ice as desired.  I used a large star tip and my vanilla-bean buttercream icing - then sprinkled M&M Mini's on top!

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