Watergate Cupcakes: A Scandalous Green Treat for St. Patty’s Day

Hello SCBD Readers! Antoinette, your South Jersey home cook here. For St. Patrick’s Day I wanted to bring a festive cupcake recipe that is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth- Watergate Cupcakes. This Watergate dessert is a classic recipe and actually started off as a sweet salad of pistachio pudding mix, pineapple, walnuts, cool whip and marshmallows. In fact, the recipe for Watergate Salad can still be found on the pistachio Jell-o box today.

Legend has it that Kraft came up with the recipe to market their pistachio pudding mix. It was formerly called Pistachio-Pineapple Delight, but once the Watergate scandal happened, Kraft changed the name to market their recipe. The name has stuck since then!  I am making these cupcakes for a St. Patty’s Day party that I am attending with some political peers and it only makes sense to have these green-tinted, political-themed cupcakes. This recipe yields a lot of batter and can easily be converted to a bundt or layer cake.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 Box of Betty Crocker Super Moist Golden Vanilla cake mix
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 stick of  unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup of lemon-lime soda
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of finely chopped walnuts
  • 1/3 cup of finely chopped coconut flakes
  • 1 4 oz box of Instant Pistachio Jell-o Pudding Mix
  • 1 jar of Whipped Buttercream Frosting
  • 2 12-cup muffin tins

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. As oven preheats, line your muffin tins with baking cups, chop walnuts and coconut flakes.

2. In a medium mixing bowl, wisk cake mix with Jell-o pudding mix. Add vanilla extract, eggs, and butter. and mix for 30 seconds on low, slowly add the lemon-lime soda to the mixture,  and then 2 minutes on high.  If you don’t have a stand or hand mixer, just wisk until ingredients are well combined. If you desire a greener cupcake, feel free to add a few drops of food coloring.

3. Fold in 3/4 cup of finely chopped walnuts.

4. Fill each baking cup no more than 2/3 of the way full.  Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Allow cupcakes to completely cool before frosting.

“Cover-up” Frosting:

What better way to top a scandalous Watergate cupcake than with a cover-up frosting!

1. As the cupcakes are cooling, in a small bowl wisk together the butter cream frosting and some pistachio pudding mix until it becomes a nice pastel green. Be careful not to add too much pistachio pudding mix, or the frosting will become grainy. If you add too much pudding mix to the frosting, add water to further dissolve the pudding. Wisk until frosting is smooth and insert the bowl into the freezer to set for 10 minutes.

2. Once both the icing and cupcakes are cooled use a knife to spread icing onto the cupcakes. I recommend using a cheese spreader, as the smaller knife is easier to control.

3. Spread out walnuts and coconut flakes onto a plate and gently dip each cupcake to achieve an even coating on each cupcake. Voila! You’re done!

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Adding soda to the mixture makes the cake light and airy while the coconut and walnuts add a  crunchy texture. Warning: these cupcakes are so good it’s hard to have just one!

Happy St. Patty’s Day!

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Homemade Vegan No-Bake “Thin Mints”

As much as I love eating out, I hate not knowing exactly what ingredients are used in a recipe.  It’s a weird quirk of mine and most likely the reason that I love making food at home.  That being said, it was only a matter of time that I made my own Thin Mints.  I can’t afford to purchase enough Thin Mints to last me until the next Girl Scout Cookie season, so I am excited to have this insanely easy recipe in my book.  If you like Thin Mints, you’ll like these!

Note: Although I am not Vegan myself, I did quite a bit of research on the ingredients to be absolutely positive that they are Vegan.  Ritz Crackers? Who knew!

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Ingredients

  • 1 box Ritz Crackers
  • 1 package Ghiradelli Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 1 tbsp Crisco All Vegetable Shortening
  • 1.5 tsp peppermint extract

Instructions:

  1. Put your chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl with the crisco and microwave until melted.  Mix well.
  2. Add in the peppermint extract.  Taste the mix to be sure it’s enough, and if you want it even more minty, add some.  Just be careful that you don’t add TOO much or your cookies will taste like mouthwash.
  3. Dunk your Ritz Crackers into the chocolate until they’re completely covered.  Lay them out on a piece of wax paper or aluminum foil.  Once you have a whole tray filled up, stick them in the fridge to harden up. The Ritz Cracker turns into a cookie once it firms up! 
  4. After the chocolate is firm, I placed all the cookies into a tupperware container and threw them in the freezer for easy storage.

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For St. Patty’s day, I am planning on making some Thin Mints with green sprinkles on top for a fun addition.

What’s your favorite Girl Scout cookie?

These Are a Few of Katrina’s Favorite Things…

Like raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, I happen to fancy the art of baking. I get my jollies by going to the local grocery store and taking my time walking up and down the isles, until I find the best deals for the best brands of fresh food. I am not a big fan of processed food (or “crap” as Jillian Michael’s calls it), so to me, I like to bake and cook from scratch most of the time. While others see nothing wrong with buying cookies and cupcakes, I prefer to bake them myself.

cookies

I started baking back when I was about 10 years old; after I checked out the All American Girl Cookbook from my local library. I immediately wanted to try Samantha’s Blueberry Muffins and Felicity’s Scones…you catch my drift. And there I was…not even a teenager, but I was washing fresh blueberries, sifting flour, and cracking eggs in a bowl. To this day, I LOVE to bake. I love the feeling of patting the homemade crust on the top of an apple pie, or sprinkling sugar into chocolate chip cookie dough. The smell that floats through the air as my banana nut bread bakes is one that not only makes my family all hover around the kitchen, but makes me eager to try a piece too.

Tonight after working a full day in the office, I came home and baked. And baked. And baked. I have a function the next evening and promised I would bake, so I did! chocolate chip-walnut cookies, Banana Walnut bread, and an apple pie. Yes, call me crazy, but it was fun! Although time-consuming, I enjoyed it and my treats look decadent and are just waiting to be gobbled up.