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
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.
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.