1CUPCAKES: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake tins with 18 liners. (There are so many liners to choose from now. I get mine at craft stores.)
2In a large bowl, mix your flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Do this with a wire whisk to blend the dry ingredients thoroughly.
3Add the oil, prepared cooled hot cocoa, vanilla and eggs to the dry ingredients. Use the whisk or regular mixer to blend ingredients until no lumps remain. Stir in the mini chocolate chips.
4Divide the batter evenly into the lined cupcake tins.
5Bake the cupcakes for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center of the cupcake. Cool the cupcakes in the tins for 10 minutes and then move them to a rack to cool completely.
6FOR THE WHIPPED CREAM: In a medium bowl, combine the heavy cream, confectioner's sugar and vanilla. Mix with an electric mixer on medium speed until it's creamy and slightly stiff. Do not over beat. (You could use a Cool Whip type of cream if you desire, but not any from a can.)
7ASSEMBLY: Pipe or mound the whipped cream on top of the cooled cupcakes. Garnish with a mini candy cane tucked into the side of the cupcake to resemble a handle.
8GARNISH: Sprinkle mini chocolate chips, mini marshmallows, crushed peppermint sticks or something of your own choice on top of the whipped cream.
9Serve immediately. Cover and refrigerate any left overs. (To keep plastic wrap from touching and smashing your cupcake tops, put a mini marshmallow(s) onto a toothpick(s) and insert in the cupcake(s) and it will help keep your plastic wrap from touching it.)