Thursday, March 11, 2010
Many of my readers have probably figured out that I enjoy making cupcakes for just about any occasion. So, even though I don't have a drop of Irish blood, I would be remiss if I didn't prepare a cupcake for St. Patrick's Day. I love festive, bright colors, so it was natural for me to consider that the cupcakes would need to be some shade of green. Rather than peppermint extract, which I felt would be too powerful of a flavor for cupcakes, I decided to use creme de menthe liquor to flavor the cupcakes. You can buy creme de menthe liquor in a lovely shade of shamrock green, which provides both flavor and color to the cupcakes. I also incorporated chocolate chips, to add chocolate flavor as well, which mixes nicely with the mint. The end result tastes like a cupcake version of mint chocolate chip ice cream. I enjoyed making these, and they were actually not too complicated to make.
I'm a planner so it might not surprise you to know that I have already thought about my cupcake recipes and designs for the next couple of weeks. I do sometimes cook on the fly, but 85% of my meals are those that I meticulously plan in advance of my weekly Sunday grocery shopping so I don't have to think about it during the week. I'm also not so great at keeping secrets so I'm spilling my upcoming cupcake plans: pug puppy cupcakes (in honor of my pug's upcoming birthday), coconut cupcakes and s'mores cupcakes . . . So stay tuned. It make take me a month or so to get through all those flavors with the holiday of Passover approaching soon.
Creme De Menthe Chocolate Chip Shamrock Cupcakes
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
2 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup green creme de menthe
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Sasha's Creme De Menthe Cream Cheese Frosting
1 stick of butter
2 cups confectioner's sugar
8 oz cream cheese
1 T creme de menthe
drop of green food coloring
To prepare the cupcakes, mix the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. In a stand mixer, beat together the eggs, sugar butter until smooth. Beat in the dry ingredients alternating with the creme de menthe and milk. Next, mix the chips in a bowl with a teaspoon of flour. I have learned that if you mix the chips with flour first, they won't sink to the bottom of the cupcakes like they otherwise would. This is one of my "baking secrets" that I picked up from a cupcake-baking friend. Mix in the flour coated chocolate chips.
Spoon the batter into 12 cupcake liners in your silicon baking tray. Bake for about 30 minutes in an oven preheated to 350 degrees. It may take a bit longer depending on your oven. My cupcakes came out after about 35 minutes. To test if they are done, stick in a toothpick and when it comes out clean the cupcakes are ready to come out. You don't want the cupcakes to brown, so if that starts happening, it is certainly time to remove them from the oven.
To make the frosting, beat the butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add confectioners sugar until a frosting is formed. Beat in the creme de menthe and food coloring. The end result is a basic cream cheese frosting that has a subtle creme de menthe flavor. I made the little shamrocks using marzipan that I mixed with a drop of green food coloring in my kitchenaid mixer. The cupcakes are the same pretty color of mint green as my mixer.