Monday, March 30, 2015

Putting All My Eggs in One Basket

Easter is upon us- that magical time of the year when you scar your young children for life by taking them to your local mall to pose with a stranger dressed in a terrifying rabbit costume. I suppose there is also the Biblical significance of the holiday as well, and who knows, without Jesus and his resurrection, Marshmallow Peeps may not exist. Our heart valves would hate us a little less, but our souls would not rejoice in fluffy, sugary goodness. I'm still not entirely sure how a bunny became the official mascot of Easter...but I also don't really question why I can't eat meat on Fridays during Lent either; I'm not a rule breaker. I'm just looking forward to a time when tuna is not on my regular luncheon rotation again. Since I gave up caffeine for Lent and both of my dogs are sleep terrorists, I'm also looking forward to a time when I can slam a can of Red Bull like a 21 year old pounding a shot of apple pie vodka (kids these my time, vodka tasted like shame and raw potatoes). Anyway, I was trying to come up with some clever ideas for Easter treats because next week is also my one year anniversary of becoming the dessert maven you all know and love or hate. I'm indifferent to how you feel about me as long as you like my desserts. I realized that Easter eggs are probably one of the most prominent Easter figures alongside the bunny (I will never understand), so I made some spectacularly sparkly Easter egg cake balls alongside some extremely cute Easter chick cake balls (somehow the whole chick thing does make total sense to me...just not that damned rabbit).
I'll take four baskets of these, to go.
So my chicks look a little bit like the ghosts from Pac-Man, I know...but these little guys came about as a last minute alternative to an idea I had that failed miserably; more on that later. Really my whole plan of attack was botched and I had to come at these with a Plan B. I wanted to luster dust the eggs to make them insanely sparkly and wonderful with a smooth texture unlike sanding sugar, but my Hobby Lobby did not have luster dust even though their website indicated they did. I don't know why things like this continue to surprise me in Clovis; it's like the movie Groundhogs Day here. I seek and search and always end up back at (if I die here, that should be on my tombstone). I did not have time to order the luster dust Friday to arrive Saturday for baking, so I improvised and used sanding sugar. Here's a quick rundown on the pops if you missed my tutorial on cake balls or cake pops.
Select any box cake you like and a tub of frosting to go with it. I am committing some sort of cardinal sin here by mixing Betty Crocker and Pillsbury, but there are so many other things I could end up be smited (smote?) for. Bake the cake, but remember to sub milk for the water, butter for the oil and double the amount, and add an extra egg. This way you're getting a much richer quality and flavor out of the box. Let your cake bake according to instructions and cool on a cooling rack until room temperature. I cut off my edges since they are a bit crisper and don't crumble as well.
Take your cooled cake and crumble it up into tiny cake grains in a large bowl. I take a chunk at a time and rub it together between my palms to do this, and I go back in at the end to break up any large chunks. After this, slop (seriously) your frosting into the bowl with the cake. I use about 3/4 of a can of frosting for my taste preferences. Then get your hands dirty (after you've washed them, of course) and mix everything together until the dry cake has been coated completely in frosting. Wash or lick your hands clean after you've done this. Not gonna lie, I'm a lick first, wash later kinda gal. Take a cookie scoop or tablespoon and fill it up with your mix.
Drop the ball you've scooped up and roll it into an oblong shape. I rolled my ball of cake around like a ball of Play-Doh in between both palms, and I finished up by using the heel of my hand to press the dough into an oval. I did the same thing when making my football cake balls, but when I finished up this time, I made sure the top came to a slight point and lightly flattened the other end.
Like so. Place each egg on a Parchment-lined tray. I had to reshape a few of these a couple times to get them looking a bit more eggy. I interrupted my husband's video gaming several times to ask him what he thought these were supposed to be. Five times out of six, egg was the clear answer. The one in the middle row at the very back here looked more like a big toe. It was later reshaped. Put all your eggs into the freezer for an hour to solidify.
This photo makes my OCD really happy.
Now, since I couldn't find luster dust, I opted for sanding sugar instead. I found three bags of candy melts in a variety of light pastels for Easter and sanding sugars to match. Can someone also tell me why the hell we dye eggs the colors of a nursery? The more I think about Easter traditions, the more my head hurts. I need an adult. Preferably one with a working knowledge of the history of the Easter bunny so I can put this all to rest. I digress. If you want to make actual cake pops, gather a Styrofoam block or two and some lollipop sticks. I got these because I was planning on decorating some of the pops with lines and such, and I needed to be able to spin them around. If you don't want pops, get some mini-cupcake papers to place your finished eggs into.
And say goodbye to your clean kitchen.
Pull out however many pops you want in one color. I made 30 pops, and I did ten in each color. Melt your first bag of candy according to package directions in a bowl or Tupperware. While doing this, gather a large fork, spoon, paper towels, toothpicks, another bowl, and sanding sugar. You have to work really fast with these since the chocolate candy melts harden quickly.
Once your melts once egg on your fork and dip into the bowl. Use the spoon to...spoon...the melts over the top of your egg.
Pull your egg out once it is completely coated and use two fingers from your opposite, fork-free hand to tap your fork-holding hand gently. This will get excess melt off your egg and cause it coat more evenly. Tapping the fork itself on the bowl could cause the egg to fall off or to coat...weirdly. Once you've tapped a few times, drag the fork against the edge of the bowl to get the excess drip-age off, and then tap your wrists a few times more and swipe again for good measure.

Now stand on your head and view this photo.
I decided I wanted five eggs of each color completely coated with sanding sugar. To do this, IMMEDIATELY after you've swiped your fork the last time, hold your egg over the empty bowl and pour sanding sugar all over it evenly. Then place your fork (tilted slightly down) on the tray and use the toothpick to slide it off of the fork. I did this for my yellow and pink sparkly eggs, too, using the various matching sanding sugar colors with my melts.
Like little Robin's eggs. Aww....I'm gonna eat you later.
 I left the other five eggs of each color plain with no sanding sugar because I had great, failtastic plans ahead of me coinciding with a minor meltdown. Just another normal Saturday!
But look, so sparkly! Also pictured, a husband happy his wife stopped bugging him when playing the new Battlefield game. Clearly they're eggs. Clearly.

'Bout to get real desperate up in here.
Now, about my shortcomings. Adding a design to cake pops with melted chocolate is ridiculously hard. There's this golden moment of opportunity that lasts for about 4 minutes where the chocolate is the precise temperature to pipe without it going everywhere or hardening up and exploding out of your piping tip when you push too hard. I wanted to attempt to avoid this frustration, so I got out some light Karo syrup, a couple paintbrushes, and my sanding sugar. My plan: to paint lines and zigzags on the eggs with the syrup and coat the syrup with sanding sugar to make a decorated Easter egg. The end result: too ugly to post pictures. I needed better, smaller brushes and more patience for this to work. I will revisit it again one day, but in the meantime, I was ready to go throw these remaining eggs at my own car for my awful execution of them. However, I took a deep breath and came up with a new idea because I couldn't bear to waste any cake. It hurts my soul when cake is wasted.
Thank God for sprinkles. They've saved me time and time again.
This will come together, I promise.
Fortunately I had a moment of pure brilliance and scoured my pantry for star sprinkles (like you're surprised I have these just laying around). I pulled out enough orange sprinkles as I had plain eggs and found my food-safe pen. Once the plain eggs had completely dried, I took my paintbrush, dipped it into my small bowl of syrup, placed a small dab of syrup in the middle of the egg, and then pushed an orange star onto the syrup with a small bit of pressure to get it to stick. Walla- a beak!

He only looks sad because he knows I'm going to eat him.
Then I took my pen and drew on tiny little eyeballs. I suppose if you had planned to make chicks originally, you could've added small wings to the sides by shaping a few little pieces of your cake mix into triangles and adding them to the sides of the eggs after you shaped them. Or you could find other sprinkles in an angled shape. I was winging it sans wings in this case. The irony is not lost on me.
But my Pac-Man ghost chicks are super adorbs.
You can tell what I was going for here, and that's really all that matters. That and the fact that they taste like little strawberry pieces of Heaven. The chocolate melts act like a straightjacket of sorts, keeping the crazy flavor from bursting out. They also keep these bad boys fresh for like, ever. I was going to make a joke about resurrecting cake flavor here, but I drew the line as clouds did appear to actually be gathering outside, and I didn't want to be smited (smote? smoted? Jesu...geesh). Once finished, place your eggs into an airtight container and keep them in the fridge.
Happy Easter from Kate Bakes Pac-Man Ghost Pops.
I hope you all have a wonderful Easter weekend next weekend, and if you want to experiment with dying eggs you can actually eat later instead of accidentally break just by looking at them too hard, go with the egg cake pops. While the cake pops do take a little bit of skill and patience, they're not nearly as obnoxious as dying actual eggs or buying those crappy plastic ones and filling them with jelly beans that will inevitably be spilled out and strewn across lawns and living rooms everywhere. I'm not bitter; I just don't want to have to share my jelly beans with anyone. 'Til next time, my fellow eaters!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Light as Air, Heavy on Taste

I realized a few days ago it had probably been about ten years since the last time I had an angel food cake. Perhaps this is due to the fact that when it comes to cake flavor, I want to get the full bang for my (fatty) buck. Angel food cakes require their very own pan that can't be used for anything else, they're finicky during the cooking and cooling process, and the results leave me with an overall feeling best described by the word "Meh." Angel food cakes have certainly proven to be bland and boring, the Ann Veal's of the cake world, if you will. I realize not every cake can be a bold, in-your-face rum cake (clearly the Lucille Bluth of cakes), so I wanted to try to give Ann (her?) another chance. I will always maintain that there is never a bad time for an Arrested Development reference. Also, you can figure out who is clearly superior in your group of friends and family by viewing their recently watched history on Netflix to see if A.D. is part of that line up. This way you're clear on who is not ashamed but actually proud of the fact that they're a part of your dysfunctional hodgepodge of a family. Good times. Back to the Ann-gel food cake. I wanted to prove that these cakes could be more than just a circular, tubish platform for Cool Whip and frozen strawberries.
They can also be Bundt cakes! With flowers!
I am constantly trying to find new ways to not screw things up in the kitchen (at least I'm being honest), so I knew baking an angel food cake in a Bundt pan could turn out to be an absolutely tasteless disaster. Thankfully, both the cake and I survived this experiment, only for one of us to be eaten (Hint: clearly the blogger is still in tact). There's also NO ROOM for Cool Whip when it comes to this angel food is topped in a decadent lemon cream cheese frosting and decorated with adorable gumdrop roses. So let me give you the rundown on Bundt strategies, frosting deets, and making spring come to life for your taste buds with my gumdrop rose tutorial. Onward to greatness!
A really hefty ingredients list thanks to Betty Crocker.
I had planned on making my angel food cake completely from scratch, but then I noticed the recipe I found called for like 35 egg whites and not the kind from the carton, so I made the command decision that a box cake is DEFINITELY way cheaper than a dozen eggs. was the weekend after all, and all that egg money needed to be better spent on beer. I prepared my cake as directed on the package, and then I took a paper towel, folded it into quarters, and sprayed it heavily with cooking spray. I lightly wiped the paper towel all over my Bundt pan, coming back in a second time to grease up all the tiny crevices. I know, you're never supposed to grease the pan so that the angel food cake can "climb" up the sides of it. But I realized that if I didn't grease my Bundt pan, I'd end up with handfuls of cake instead of one whole cake after trying to remove it from the pan. I eat cake by the handful, but it would be pretty close to impossible to decorate that way.
At this point, I had eyes, fingers, and toes crossed that things would turn out well.
I baked my cake for the full amount of time advised on the back of the box (47 minutes. Such an arbitrary amount of time, Betty), and set my pan on top of a cooling rack and left it alone for about an hour and a half to cool. Do not pass go, do not collect 200 dollars, do not invert your Bundt pan at all. I know this also seems weird because you might believe the cake will totally cave in on itself if you don't flip the pan upside down. Trust me, it won't budge thanks to all those grooves in your pan sucking it in place.
See, no cave ins!
Once the pan is totally cool, take a small metal spatula and slowly work your way around the edge of the Bundt pan to loosen your cake. Don't forget to loosen the inside edge. I realize this seems obvious, but I had a mild panic attack when I couldn't get my cake to come out of the pan until I realized I had forgotten to loosen up the inside edge. Even the greatest and smartest of blondes still have their moments. I was able to place my cooling rack on top of the pan and flip it over with my cake coming out in tact after the minor meltdown I was having.
So, about that angel food cake being healthy...
I realize a lot of people like to eat angel food cake to quell a sweet tooth without being totally fatty fat fat fat, but that really makes no sense to me as I am a have my cake and eat it, too, person. As my stepdad always says, right before you die you're probably not going to be thinking to yourself, 'Thank God I had that salad for lunch.' So let's leave the Cool Whip out of this equation and go full-on fatty fat fat fat and make this delicious lemon cream cheese frosting:
  • 1.5 blocks of room temp cream cheese (you could use the reduced fat version here since a thinner consistency of frosting will work well for this cake)
  • 1/2 stick of room temp butter
  • 4 cups of powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup of lemon juice (not pictured because I am an idiot)
  • 2 teaspoons of lemon zest (I am lazy and use the kind out of a jar. Using a zester/grater normally means losing knuckle skin in my world.)
You can use a fresh lemon for the juice and zest if you so choose. I am sure it would be fantastic, and you could feel just that much better than the baking blogger because you're organic and blah, blah, blah. Damn hippie. Start by mixing your butter and cream cheese together until fluffy. Then mix in the lemon juice and zest. Finish up by adding one cup of sugar in at a time, scraping the bowl and mixing well between each cup.

I forgot to take a few pictures here because I kept eating frosting instead (again, I'll say it: skewed priorities). Dude, organic or not, this stuff is legit. Anyway, you want to get your frosting melty so that you can pour it over your cooled off cake like a glaze. I scooped all my frosting into a LARGE liquid measuring cup. Seriously, the thing can hold almost five cups of liquid. A two and a half cup measuring cup would probably work, but I'm from Texas and everything has to be bigger. I melted my frosting for 40 seconds in the microwave, and then drizzled/poured over the entire cake. You can use as little or as much frosting as you want depending on your taste preferences. No surprises here, I used every last drop of frosting.
Because I'm an adult, and I can do that.
I won't lie, you're gonna make a bit of a mess here, and you may have a moment of complete doubt in what I've just made you do, but we're gonna make things look nice like they are in the photo above. At this point after dripping frosting all over your cake, you might want to kill me (please don't, I need to bake Easter egg cake pops next weekend). Angel food cakes are obviously very spongy, so it will soak up a bit of frosting. Your cake won't be completely covered by frosting, and cake will show through because of this. It's okay. But you do want to clean up the mess a bit by taking a small angled spatula and swiping up from the base of the cake and then down into the hole in the middle of the cake. This will create the alternating ridge pattern shown above. Depending on your Bundt pan, you can just follow the natural grooves of the pan, which is what I did. I finished up by taking a damp paper towel and wiping the edge of my cake plate so that frosting wasn't everywhere. You could call it a day here, but the gumdrop roses are both tasty and delightful, so keep on truckin' through my crappy photo montage.
To make the roses, you need a bag of gumdrops, a cutting board sprinkled generously with sugar, a rolling pin/thick drinking glass, sharp knife, and a small bowl of warm water.
There's two ways of making roses. This first way is much quicker but will yield smaller roses with less detail. Start by rolling out a gumdrop to an oval about 1 1/2-2 inches long. Follow suit with two more gumdrops. Make sure you have plenty of sugar down because it will keep your gumdrop from sticking to the pin and the cutting board.
Now take one flattened gumdrop and roll it up like a carpet.
Moisten the end with a bit of warm water on your fingertip to seal the end

Then take another flattened gumdrop and wrap it over the seam on the first part you rolled. Do this again with the third gumdrop, covering up the seam from the second gumdrop. Make sure you are pinching the ends each time so the gumdrops stick together.
Then pull your "petals" out a bit and you've got a rose!

Now, this next method of making gumdrops is more labor intensive, but as a result, it will yield much more beautiful, larger roses. Take four gumdrops and roll out to 2 inches (or one Kate-sized thumb). You don't want them to get too thin, or your roses will be very droopy. No one likes droopy roses.
Cut your flattened gumdrops in half horizontally.

Take one piece and roll it up like a carpet (the cut side should be at the bottom). Moisten your finger and seal the bottom edge together.
Now take another gumdrop half and cover the seam left from the edge of the first and wrap it around. Make sure it is nice and secured at the bottom.
You want to continue covering the seams/edges left by the gumdrop halves you've secured. You will use all 8 pieces total, so your final layer will be three "petals" overlapping each other.
You can see this a bit more clearly here.

Now take each petal and bend it down a bit to open up your rose.
No rose it complete without leaves, so flatten out a green gumdrop.

Cut it into quarters. If you've rolled them too thin, you can always just fold the half in half again as I did above.
Then simply secure to the bottom of your rose with a little bit of warm water and pressure.
Use as many colors of gumdrops you like! You can even mush colors together or alternate gumdrop half colors to get the multicolor effect here.

Or keep them all one color for a classic look. So pretty you won't want to eat them. But you will eventually because hunger always wins out over beauty. Truth.
I believe I created about 16 roses. This took about two hours, but it was worth it for the end result. Plus, when I was little, I used to help my mom make these gumdrop roses to put on the various cakes she would make, so it was a lovely and sentimental trip down memory lane now that I'm the adult (or at least adult adjacent). I can now see why she wanted my tiny, nimble fingers to help her out with these because good LORD it would cut the time in half. I still do not consider this a good enough reason to have children, but a minion or two would suffice. You can also freeze these for later use, so that's a plus!
Cue Vivaldi's "Spring"...
Because these babies have sprung!
Simply place each flower wherever you'd like to on your frosted cake. Press the flowers gently into the cake, and they will stick quite well thanks to the thick cream cheese icing. You could take the time to completely border the cake, but I'm going to say I went with a more minimalist look here, and not that I was lazy and got tired of rolling out petals. Yep. Could also argue that I was trying to remain "calorie conscious" and not obliterate the angel food with too much sugar.
Thanks for the advice, Lucille.
Either way, I am happy my science experiment turned out almost as I had pictured it in my head (in my head I didn't eat so many gumdrops during the rose making process). The angel food cake itself is still so simple and "it’s as Ann as the nose on Plain’s face," but with the help of the rich frosting and delightful zing of the gumdrop roses, the overall flavor is as bold and tasteful as any other regular-consistency cake (the Michael Bluth of cakes, naturally). So if you're looking for a way to add beauty and class up an angel food cake, this is the way to go. 'Til next time, my fellow eaters!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Green is Good.

While I still maintain that blue velvet really is the best velvet, yesterday I had an enlightening moment in time when a glob of green velvet batter ended up on my arm, and I was left with no choice (or nearby paper towels) but to lick it off and continue scraping my mixing bowl. Tough times, I know. But the resounding rich, sweet, slightly chocolate-y tastes lingered on my tongue for a brief, fleeting moment in time before dissolving into a blissful memory. Poetic, right? What can I say…aside from managing to constantly find new methods and body parts to cover with cake batter, I have a way with words. I also have a really festive streak. I have adored bringing you almost four weeks’ worth of Saint Patrick’s Day dessert blogging, and I will be capping things off with these green velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. Let’s not kid ourselves, the best part of red, blue, green, purple, or plaid velvet cakes is the cream cheese frosting. 
Case in point. Although I’m not sure plaid velvet is a thing, but it really should be.
I know what you’re thinking: ‘This crazy broad is already back with another blog?! Didn’t she already bug the crap out of my Facebook news feed on Monday?’ Yes, yes I did. And although I am a firm believer in there being too much of a good thing, I’m also a firm believer in you needing this recipe before any St. Patty’s Day parties. Also, we’re going “to the city” this weekend so Derek can run an inflatable 5k, so I won’t be able to bake or blog. While a good wife would either participate or cheer her husband on from the sidelines, I will recuse myself and cash in all my good wife points I have racked up (like frequent flyer miles, but the rewards usually end in diamonds in this case) so that I can go to such wonderful places like Target, Ulta, DSW, and other fantastic stores that exist when the ratio of humans to cattle is larger and normally proportionate in your city. I remember fondly what that’s like, and then I am jarred back to reality by that lovely “cow” smell wafting through the air here.
Four leaf clovers really do bring great tidings.
I started searching for cute St. Patty’s Day cupcake stuff the first week in March, but apparently no one here knows such a holiday exists. I wonder if they do not realize the reasoning behind the Shamrock Shake they all crave so desperately.  Anyway, Walmart’s décor aisles went straight from candy hearts to candy eggs, and nary could a stitch of Kelly green be found in my Hobby Lobby.  I ended up ordering cupcake papers and toppers from Amazon, but if you have a Michael’s, Party City, or live in a town with more than five Irish families, you could probably find festive décor in town.  Onward to (greatness) the recipe!
Yeah, more on that vinegar in a minute.
·         1 egg, beaten into submission (or until fluffy)
·         ½ cup of vegetable oil
·         ½ cup of buttermilk
·         ½ tablespoon of white vinegar (I know, this really grosses me out, too, but it will work out in the end. I’m not trying to poison you. I ate these and lived to tell the tale.)
·         ½ teaspoon of vanilla
·         A buttload of green food coloring (more accurately, two tablespoons to make the color super rich)
·         1 ¼ cup of flour
·         1 cup of sugar
·         ½ tablespoon of Hershey’s cocoa powder
·         ½ teaspoon of salt
·         ½ teaspoon of baking soda
This recipe makes 12 cupcakes, which is the perfect amount for two people, right?

I do segregate my ingredients by dryness, thanks for noticing.
While your oven is preheating to 350, get your cupcake liners ready to roll. Now get ready for how stupid easy this is: in your stand mixer bowl, dump all of your dry ingredients together and simply give them a swirl or two with a spatula until lightly mixed together. Super tricky, but you can handle it.
Guess what happens next?
Now, in a small bowl, mix together all your wet ingredients. Use a whisk; I happen to have thisbad ass whisk that makes life super easy and can be found, surprisingly, at Walmart. 
And here is where things get downright cray. Dump your wet ingredients into the dry ones, and mix on medium for a minute total. Stop after 30 seconds and scrape your bowl, then continue to mix for another 30 seconds. Insert color here velvet batters are thick and can get super tough (think cabbie in the Bronx), so you don’t want to agitate them by roughing them up too much. Don’t over mix is what I’m saying. Sometimes my figurative language use just makes things more complicated. Poetically complicated, of course. 
Can I just eat these by the spoonful?
Spooning the batter into your cupcake liners can be a bit tricky because as I mentioned, the batter is really thick. I found the most effective (read: best way to keep the batter in the liner and not on you) method to distributing batter was to scoop some into a ¼ measuring cup and use a spoon to slide off any excess before pouring into a liner. Fill these just a tad more than halfway because they will expand greatly. Bake for 17 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
It needs more…green.
I noticed my green velvet was more like pimento olive velvet, and yeah, it wasn’t the prettiest. I didn’t want to add and mix in more green dye because I didn’t want really tough cupcakes asking me if I had a problem in a New York accent.  So heed my warning, you need A LOT OF DYE to make these a festive green. I seriously added a tablespoon of dye in thinking it would be enough, but yeah, olive drab it was and shall be.  Once removed from the oven, let cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes before removing and placing on a cooling rack. Now shove your (hopefully) green velvet cupcakes in the freezer for 15 minutes to cool while you make the frosting.
A few steps away from the literal icing on the cake.
Here’s what is needed to frost 12 cupcakes with a large French tip:
·         1 ½ blocks of cream cheese (12 ounces) at room temp
·         1 ½ sticks of butter (12 tablespoons) at room temp
·         1 ½ teaspoons of vanilla
·         6 cups of powdered sugar

Start by creaming together the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla. Then, one cup at a time, add in your powdered sugar. This will yield a sweet frosting that still has a distinct cream cheese flavor. If you just want to frost with a small tip or slather icing on the cupcakes, you could reduce this amount to one block of cream cheese, one stick of butter, one teaspoon of vanilla, and four cups of sugar. I, on the other hand, had plans.
Really, really big plans.
This monstrosity is known at the Ateco large star tip. Ateco is to Wilton like what the Great Value Walmart brand is to the actual name brand stuff. Not as popular, but essentially the exact same thing for a better value. I knew I wanted to use a large French tip to decorate these cupcakes, mostly because (to my knowledge) an Irish tip doesn’t exist (other than “Top o’ the morning to ya”), so I went with my own roots in lieu of this. 
This makes me want ice cream…
I simply started piping on one side of the cupcake, making a circle around, and then lifting my piping tip a bit to cover my starting point when I came full circle, and finished by piping a small mound of frosting in the middle of the circle. I pushed my tip down and pulled up and away quickly to make the “Dairy Queen” tip you see here. 
Sprinkles. Everything is better with sprinkles.
I wanted to add a real pop of actual, fun, bright, non-olive (grumble) green to the tops, so I dusted them with light green flakes I found at Hobby Lobby in the cake aisle. Of course, no Saint Patrick’s Day cupcake is complete without some clover or green flag toppers.
So go to town.
Dear Lord are these delicious. If you’re not into the amazingly deep, moist chocolate flavor from last week’s Guinness dark chocolate cake, these green velvet cupcakes are absolutely the perfect party favor for you. They are dense in consistency, but the flavoring is almost light and airy…what a wonderful paradox for your taste buds. The cream cheese frosting is absolute perfection. You could probably dye a bowl of it green and just hand out spoons if you’re really lazy. People will flock to it.  Now go forth and conquer, my fellow Saint Patrick’s Day lovers! Eat (green desserts), drink (green beer), and be merry (while wearing green). It has been my distinct pleasure to remind you all that a holiday actually does exist after Valentine’s Day and before Easter. Walmart won’t tell you that because they’re bag-candy-loving jerks. ‘Til next time, my fellow eaters!