Monday, March 19, 2012

Recipe: Green Velvet Mint Chocolate Cupcakes

It isn't St. Patrick's Day any more, that was two days ago.  I debated whether or not I should write this post or pre-write it for next year.  Then I realized that I see other blogging re-promote old posts all the time so I can always remind you of this post next year, too.  My ancestors were Irish, some of them, but since we aren't Catholic we never did anything particularly sacred for the date.  Green is one of my favorite colors so even wearing that is no big deal - it goes with is ever-changing hazel eyes and auburn hair so I wear the color and variations of it a lot.  However, I won a prize from the Chocolate Moosey blog and I wanted to give Carla her due for hosting this giveaway so I decided to post this anyway.  As you can see via Carla's neat blog I was sent decorative items for cupcakes, green food dye, peppermint and vanilla extras all from McCormick.  They also included several sheets of recipes for St. Patrick's Day and I used one for Easy Green Velvet Cupcakes as inspiration for my own dessert.

The only weirdness with the giveaway in terms of St. Patrick's Day was the inclusion of Peppermint instead of Mint... maybe I'm silly but when I think mint for this Irish holiday I don't think peppermint which I associate more with winter and Christmas.  Granted March should be much colder than it has been but still.  Instead I used some Creme de Mint I had in stock to give it a bit of a kick of the mint I wanted along with some Creme de Cocoa to increase the chocolate.  My goal was to get green cupcakes that did NOT taste like food dye.  Making cupcakes was my goal, the enclosed recipe was my inspiration, and this is what I did with all of these items Friday night so that we could enjoy Saturday with semi-homemade treats.

1 box German Chocolate Cake mix (lighter color makes it easier to dye)
1 oz bottle of green food coloring
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
1/4 cup Creme de Cocoa
1/4 cup Creme de Mint
1/3 cup cocoa powder

1. Prep oven for cupcakes and line your pan with the cups.  The ones from McCormick were paper but normally I use foil cups.

2. Mix together the water, oil, and eggs with the boxed cake mix.  The batter will be thick at this point. I used this Betty Crocker mix because it was on sale and I had a coupon.  I debated a darker chocolate but realized the dye wouldn't work as well.  I really dislike tasting the dye in such holiday foods so I wanted to avoid that if at all possible.

3.  Add in the creme de cocoa and creme de mint.  Mix thoroughly then add in the cocoa powder.  I used this cocoa that a few friends of ours gave me when they visited last month.  It is lighter in color than the normal cocoa I use so I choose it again with the "no dye flavor" goal in mind.  It worked really well.

4. Dump the entire one ounce bottle of food dye into the batter and mix it well.  You'll need to scrape the bowl several times to make sure all of the batter is colored evenly.  As you can see it is a fairly dark green but still very green I think.

5.  Spoon into the cups.  I used 1 and about half another spoon full, using our soup spoons for the job.  This made it easy to control the amount and I think they turned out fairly even.

6. Bake for 20 minutes at the temperature the mix tells you.  No, really, 20 minutes was just perfect for my oven but maybe you'll need a minute more or less.  Even with all that dye the toothpick should come out clean when you check the cupcakes for doneness.  They got a touch darker in the oven but I stil think they turned out a pretty green color.  You should get 24 or more cupcakes depending on the size you make.

7. Decorate with frosting as you like.  We made half, one dozen, with plain white frosting and I added dyed shamrock candies to these.  Not a good idea since the dye on the candies was very strong and that made me sad considering how much I did not want my cupcakes to taste like dye.  The other dozen we used light green frosting on and the little shamrock flags that came from McCormick.  To be fair, my husband frosted the cupcakes because his hands have always been far steadier than mine when it comes to frosting or decorating any baked good.

Finally we had our cupcakes and we enjoyed them!  Note: the mint flavor was very light so the next time around I'm going to leave out the creme de cocoa and just put in a half cup of the creme de mint.

What did you bake or make or buy for St. Patrick's Day, Sisters and Brothers?


Guru Uru said...

This is an awesome recipe - the cupcakes look fantastic and totally festive :D

Choc Chip Uru
Latest: Come to my Tea Party

TheChocolatePriestess said...

They turned out fairly well, I'm glad I was able to use less oil by adding in the other liquid flavorings, too.

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