Sunday was a special sort of football day… since Mr. M’s team was actually in contention for a spot in the Super Bowl. Sadly, years of lowered expectations for his beloved Jets had him quietly cheering them on during the game… which made the disappointment a little bit easier to bare when it arrived at the end of a 60-minute game. I’m pretty sure the game-day cupcakes helped as well… which were a slight revision to my favorite “red velvet cupcake” recipe (via the Cake Doctor).
“Green Velvet” Cupcakes
1 package (18.25 ounces) chocolate cake mix (I used Dark Chocolate Fudge)
1 package (3.4 ounces) vanilla instant pudding mix
1 cup reduced fat sour cream
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
10 drops of green food coloring or use green paste — barely noticeable but still there!
3 large eggs
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 24 cupcake cups with paper liners. Set the pans aside.
2. Place the cake mix, pudding mix, sour cream, water, oil, food coloring, and eggs in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat 2 minutes more, scraping down the sides again if needed. The batter should look thick and well combined. Fold in the chocolate chips. Spoon or scoop N cup batter into each lined cupcake cup, filling it three quarters of the way full. (You will get between 22 and 24 cupcakes; remove the empty liners, if any.) Place the pans in the oven.
3. Bake the cupcakes until they spring back when lightly pressed with your finger, 18 to 20 minutes. Remove the pans from the oven and place them on wire racks to cool for 5 minutes. Run a dinner knife around the edges of the cupcake liners, lift the cupcakes up from the bottoms of the cups using the end of the knife, and pick them out of the cups carefully with your fingertips. Place them on a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes before frosting.
4. Meanwhile, prepare the White Chocolate Peppermint Cream Cheese Frosting.
5. Use a large piping tip to swirl on the frosting. The cupcakes are ready to serve.
Store the cupcakes, in a cake saver or under a glass dome, at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Or freeze them, wrapped in aluminum foil or in a cake saver, for up to 6 months. Thaw the cupcakes overnight in the refrigerator before serving.
White Chocolate Peppermint Cream Cheese Frosting
Makes 3 cups, enough to frost 24 cupcakes (2 1/2 inch size) generously
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
6 ounces white chocolate, coarsely chopped
4 ounces (half an 8-ounce package) reduced-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
2 to 2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1. Place the white chocolate in a small glass bowl in the microwave oven on high power for 1 minute. Remove the bowl from the oven and stir with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until it is smooth. Set the chocolate aside to cool.
2. Place the cream cheese and butter in a large mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until well combined, 30 seconds. Stop the machine. Add the melted white chocolate and blend on low speed until just combined, 30 seconds. Add the peppermint extract and 2 cups of the confectioners’ sugar and blend on low until the sugar is incorporated, 30 seconds more. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat until the frosting is fluffy, 1 minute more, adding up to 1/2 cup more sugar if needed to make a squeezable consistency.
3. Fill up a piping bag 1/2-way with white frosting. Then add 5 drops of green food coloring to the rest and mix it up again. Add the remaining green frosting to the bag. Pipe your frosting on to the cupcakes… and you’ll end up with a “dip-dye” look that will progressively get greener and greener!