Friday, February 25, 2011

Lucky Vanilla Cupcakes


Can you believe March is only a few days away?  That means St. Paddy's day is not far behind.  I'm all for starting the celebration early, so let the baking of green treats begin! 

While shopping at the market last week I spotted some of the greenest pistachios I've ever seen!  Isn't it wonderful that such a brilliant color can occur naturally? 

I was inspired.  I had to have them.


They ended up being ground in the food processor for a colorful topping.  Sprinkled on a frosted cupcake, they make a cute little mossy knoll for a lucky horseshoe to sit atop.


The frosting is a yummy cream cheese and honey combo that goes nicely with the pistachios.  Dare I say they taste -wholesome?

We can pretend.


Lucky Vanilla Cupcakes                                [click to print]

Cake portion adapted from Martha Stewart.

Yield: 15 Cupcakes

Cake:
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
6 Tbsp butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean, seeded and hull discarded
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp milk

Heat oven to 350 and line cupcake pan with papers.

Sift together flour, baking powder and salt.  In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until lightened in color and fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time, mixing well between additions.  Beat in vanilla bean seeds and vanilla extract.

Add flour mixture and milk alternately, beginning and ending with flour.  When completely incorporated, divide batter evenly amongst liners, filling them 2/3 full.  Bake for 15-20 minutes (check at 15).  Cool completely before frosting.


Honey Cream Cheese Frosting:
8oz package cream cheese, room temperature
1 stick of butter, softened
1/4 cup clover honey
3-4 cups confectioners' sugar

Place cream cheese, butter and honey in the bowl of a stand mixer; beat until combined. Gradually add in confectioners' sugar, mixing until it is spreading consistency.  If frosting is loose, place in refrigerator until firm enough to spread.

Assembly:
1 cup pistachios, ground in food processor
3 oz. chocolate, melted and placed in a piping bag with a fine tip (or a zip-top bag with a corner cut)

On a parchment lined cookie sheet, pipe melted chocolate into 15 small "U" horseshoe shapes and place in refrigerator to harden.  Frost cupcakes and sprinkle generously with ground pistachios.  Top with chocolate horseshoe.




52 comments:

Heather Ozee said...

We were simply made for each other(taste buds and all) Love Ya and hope we can see you in June. I'll be up around the end of June.

Jennifurla said...

Heaven like always, these look so full of flavor and of course you manage to make them too gorgeous to eat..almost let's not lie, I could eat two

The Blue-Eyed Bakers said...

Oh goodness these cupcakes are completely adorable. And we're sure taste fairly fabulous as well...!

Anna said...

These look beautiful! I love pistachios and I'm loving the adorable horse shoes :D Be sure to save the vanilla husks though! I keep mine in a jar full of sugar, you never know when you might need vanilla sugar :D

cakeologist said...

Can't wait to whip up a batch of honey cream cheese frosting! I love honey and I love cream cheese frosting - never thought to put the two together...thanks for the recipe!

Wish I could get my cupcake frosting to look as pretty as yours and beautiful photographs too.

How To Be Perfect said...

Your frosting sounds gorgeous and I adore these cupcakes, the whole look is perfect, so well thought out. x

Shannon said...

Honey Cream Cheese Frosting?!!!? I so cannot wait to put that on something! What a perfect combo. Never thought of it!

Chels said...

I would of never thought to do that with Pistachios, Brilliant! And I love your frosting technique. Mine always turns out boring looking.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Beautiful cupcakes! So pretty and perfect.

Cheers,

Rosa

emily @ the happy home said...

those are stunning! i think pistachio and honey sounds like a fab combination.

linda said...

i truly adore all your posts & this one is no exception…it is exceptional!
love the little horseshoes…they look fabu on top of the cuppies!

Joy said...

I am loving this frosting recipe. It looks so good.

Megan said...

Pistachios are the prettiest! Love these. :) What piping tip did you use for these guys? They look awesome!

Helena said...

The horseshoes are really pretty, such a great idea :)

Lili said...

Oh how beautiful Heather! I was thinking those horseshoes were little decorations you found and when I scrolled down and saw you made them, I thought to myself "of course she made them, what was I thinking!!" As usual, another exquisite treat you've created for us to delight over! xo ~Lili

EmLoves said...

Oh happy day, I DO have all of the above ingredients! I really don't need these but I really need these. Cupcakes-1, Willpower-0.

Can't wait to make them! TOO cute! Thanks!

ButterYum said...

I love, love, love the idea of adding the ground pistachios! I have a St. Patrick's Day baby, and it's hard finding new ideas for her birthday each year, so I'm very excited to find this post!!

Thanks for the great idea.

Shirl said...

I am so happy to have found you!! :) You brighten my life with all your goodies!! If only I could have a taste too!! lol! :)

Shirl-thefoodie.blogspot.com

Jessica @ How Sweet said...

Absolutely LOVE the frosting! It looks perfect!

Holly said...

These look so gorgeous!! I love the pistachio "sprinkles";)

Lora said...

These are beautiful! Love the chocolate horseshoe accent.

Stef said...

I'm really enjoying this blog. You have such great ideas! Love the green without food coloring!

Bourbonnatrix said...

So pretty! Can't wait for St. Patty's day!

marla said...

Heather loving these lucky cupcakes. The little chocolate horseshoes are so cute. Think I also would have jumped for joy to see those bright green pistachios. These must taste amazing, they make a very nice grassy knoll. xo

Jenn@slim-shoppin said...

Those look amazing, love the pistaccios on top! I can't believe its almost March either! We have March Madness in my family with birthdays. Me and my twin sisters birthday, my sons birthday, my 2 nieces and my wedding anniversary crazy times!

Katie Yoon said...

Wow! Beautiful cupcakes! Thank you for sharing recipes!

Sue said...

I love how you use the natural green of the pistachio for St. Patty's Day:) Pretty and delicious! I have a son-in-law that loves pistachios and I'm sure he'd love these! Your little horseshoes look so smooth and perfect. Have a wonderful weekend, Heather! :)

Nina said...

omg...am loving that you have started early for St. Patty's day! Can't wait..these cupcakes are stunning!! Beautiful job with the piping and photos are outstanding, as always. Oh, and the honey cream cheese frosting? Brilliant. Have a great weekend!

Maryea {Happy Healthy Mama} said...

These are adorable! I love St. Patrick's Day!

Lindsey @ Hot Polka Dot said...

These are the most adorable cupcakes I've ever seen! I love the cute little horseshoe on top! Thanks for reminding me about St. Patrick's Day too. I nearly forgot!

Honey said...

Wow, these look amazing. I love the first picture. The cupcakes alone are not terribly fattening, I like that.

Su-yin said...

Brilliant use of pistachios, I've not thought of using it as a garnish before. And those delicate horseshoes are just the icing on the cake! :)

Paula said...

you know, I think when I`d try such "Lucky Cupcakes" I`ll have so many luckiness in my life :) so I`m really motivated to try some!

kitchenmisfit said...

The pistachios look really pretty on top of the cupcakes!

Pretty. Good. Food. said...

Those are so stinkin' cute! Love it!

sallaboutme said...

With a little bit of mint julep flavor, those would be perfect for Derby too!

susan said...

I need to hang out with you, seriously! I want to spend 3 days in the kitchen, baking and laughing. These are amazing. and your photos are perfect.

oneordinaryday said...

I have to say, a dusting of pistachios trumps sprinkles any time. Beautiful.

anna said...

So cute! Those are some of my favorite liners and the pistachios are gorgeous.

Rachel@oneprettything.com said...

Oh my, yes, yes, yes! Vanilla and pistachios = love. Thanks for the how-to, I'll be linking.

Darla @ Bakingdom said...

Oh my goodness! How did I miss these?? They're beautiful and sound so delicious. Your little chocolate horseshoes are just perfect!

rubelin said...

oooh, that cream cheese & honey frosting sounds inspired! Please share how you piped such perfect caps onto those cupcakes =)

nicole said...

i just happened upon your blog & i love everything! you are so talented & make absolutely beautiful desserts!

can i ask what kind of tip you used to frost the cupcakes?? i looks amazing! thank you!!

April said...

Beautiful cupcakes! If you wouldn't mind,yes please tell me what kind of tip you used as well. Thank you so much!

The Blonde Mule said...

I bookmarked this recipe a long time ago, but just made them this weekend. So good! Thank you!

--Kim

Jan said...

Beautiful little cupcakes, they look so yummy!!!

Laura said...

I am not a baker, but I made these with my 13 year old son for my daughter's 16th birthday party, and they turned out great! They looked stunning, and they tasted delicious! Thank you! Thank you! We can't wait to make them for our next occasion.

amomentforthis said...

Wow, I know this is ages from when this was posted... however because of Pinterest I found your blog and this recipe and I just have to tell you how unbelievably delicious these were. I don't even really care to eat a whole lot of sweets, but I love to make them... and these I could actually eat more than one! I plan to make these every St. Patty's day from here on out, thanks for the recipe and thanks for the inspiration for a new holiday tradition.

AnickH said...

I just made these and blogged about them, super YUM

Jessica Cronic said...

Would it be possible to omit the vanilla bean since I can't find them locally?

Christie G said...

Beginner baker and first time using one of your recipes.
Turned out so well and were a huge hit. (Even leaving out the vanilla bean).
Thanks so much!

Anonymous said...

I will definitely make these with the vanilla give away because my dad's birthday is coming up and he loves vanilla and pistachios! perfect combination :)

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