Lucky Vanilla Cupcakes Recipe

These green-topped cupcakes forego the food coloring altogether. They get their festive hue from brightly colored, pulverized pistachios.
Original_Heather-Baird-Lucky-Vanilla-Cupcakes-Beauty_s3x4

Original_Heather-Baird-Lucky-Vanilla-Cupcakes-Beauty_s3x4

By: Heather Baird

Yield: 15 cupcakes

Ingredients

For the Cake:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean, seeded and hull discarded
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk

For the Honey Cream Cheese Frosting:

8-ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
1 stick butter, softened
1/4 cup clover honey
3-4 cups confectioners' sugar

Directions

For the Cake:

1. Heat oven to 350° F, and line cupcake pan with baking cups.

2. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt.

3. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until lightened in color and fluffy.

4. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well between additions.

5. Beat in vanilla bean seeds and vanilla extract.

6. Add flour mixture and milk alternately, beginning and ending with flour.

7. When completely incorporated, divide batter evenly among liners, filling them 2/3 full.

8. Bake for 15-20 minutes (check at 15). Cool completely before frosting.

For the Honey Cream Cheese Frosting:

1. Place cream cheese, butter and honey in the bowl of a stand mixer; beat until combined.

2. 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 ounces chocolate, melted and placed in piping bag with fine tip (or a zip-top bag with corner cut)

1. On a parchment-lined cookie sheet, pipe melted chocolate into 15 small "U" horseshoe shapes and place in refrigerator to harden.

2. Frost cupcakes (Image 1) and sprinkle generously with ground pistachios (Image 2).

3. Top with chocolate horseshoe (Image 3).

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