Wednesday, March 9, 2011

St. Patrick’s Day treats

I’ve never been a big fan of food colorings, thanks in part to an incident from my childhood when my sister, Susan, and I dyed our milk blue. I still shudder when I think of swallowing that royal blue milk. Suffice it to say that neither of us drank our milk that night, and we never tried that experiment again.

So when thinking of a St. Patrick’s-themed recipe for this column, I surely did not want to suggest adding green food coloring to your mashed potatoes or biscuit dough as a way to bring a bit of the holiday spirt to your dinner table.

Instead, I propose adding some pistachio pudding to a cake mix and making some green cupcakes!

I’ve made a number of cakes where I’ve added vanilla or chocolate pudding mix to the cake batter, but I had never tried pistachio until this week. In fact, I guess I have never even used pistachio pudding for anything because I was surprised when white powder poured out of the envelope when I added it to my mixing bowl. But as soon as the liquid ingredients hit the bowl, a beautiful shade of green emerged.

I opted not to use cupcake holders for these cupcakes because I assumed they would be a pretty shade of green and I wanted to show off the green in the photograph and to my family. They are not a beautiful shade of green on the outside, more of a brown cupcake with a green tint. But once you bite into the cupcake, more green shows.

The cupcake itself is sweet and very good, but it’s not much different from other cupcakes I’ve made with a yellow cake mix. But it is green and would be fun for St. Patrick’s Day treat.

To make your cupcake even more festive, put green sprinkles on top once you’ve frosted it. I use both whipped topping and a chocolate glaze for mine.

Pistachio Cupcakes
  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • Pistachio pudding mix (3.4 oz. size)
  • 1⁄2 cup oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare 2 cupcake pans by lining or spraying with baking spray.

Pour all ingredients into a bowl. Mix on high for 2 minutes until all ingredients are blended.

Pour into cupcake pans.

Bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes.

Frost and decorate after the cupcakes have cooled.

Makes 24 cupcakes.

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