To prepare the Dark Chocolate-Peppermint Cupcakes: Allow eggs and butter to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, line sixteen 2½-inch muffin cups with paper bake cups; set aside. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
Preheat oven to 375°F. In a large bowl, beat vegetable oil spread and butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Gradually add sugar, about 2 tablespoons at a time, beating on medium speed until well mixed, scraping side of bowl frequently. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes more. Gradually add egg, beating well. Beat in peppermint extract. Alternately add flour mixture and milk to butter mixture, beating on low speed after each addition just until combined. Stir in chocolate pieces. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling each about ⅔ full.
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near centers comes out clean. Cool cupcakes in muffin cups on wire racks for 5 minutes. Remove cupcakes from muffin cups. Cool completely on wire racks.
To prepare the Whipped Chocolate Frosting: place chocolate pieces in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave, uncovered, on 50% power (medium) for 1 to 1½ minutes or until melted and smooth, stirring once. Stir in milk; cool. Fold in ¼ cup thawed, frozen light whipped dessert topping. Fold in another 1¼ cups thawed, frozen light whipped dessert topping. Set aside.
To prepare the Peppermint Bark: place dark chocolate in a small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave, uncovered, on 50% power (medium) for 1 to 1- ½ minutes or until melted and smooth, stirring once. Pour chocolate onto a piece of waxed paper. Using a rubber spatula spread chocolate thinly to make an 8-inch circle. Sprinkle chocolate with peppermint candies. Let stand until set. Break up into shards.
Pipe or spread Whipped Chocolate Frosting onto cooled cupcakes. If desired, sprinkle with crushed candies, grated chocolate, and/or Peppermint Bark.
Tip: Choose Splenda® Sugar Blend for Baking. Follow package directions to use product amount equivalent to ¾ cup sugar. Nutrition Facts Per Serving with Substitute: same as below, except 188 cal., 22 g carb.Exchanges: 1.5 other carb. Carb Choices: 1.5.
Variation: Dark Chocolate-Peppermint Layer Cake: Prepare cake batter as directed in Steps 1 and 2. Grease and lightly flour two 8x1½-inch round cake pans. Divide batter between pans, spreading evenly. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near centers comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes.