The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

March 6, 2013

Eat your greens

Delights for dessert lovers

By Lisa Shrewsberry
Lifestyles Editor

— 2013 is shaping up to be the Year of Green. The Pantone Color of the Year is emerald green. Those with hindsight and the purchase of a flex-fuel vehicle might be in the green on this year’s tax return. And with farm-to-table season ahead, there’ll be no shortage of healthy greens to dress the table.

Green has a different meaning come March, when regionals wink at their Irish heritage around St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, and when the sweet-toothed turn their smiling eyes to verdant versions of traditional favorites.

Last year, enough green food color was sold to tint more than 26.2 million cake pops and 2012 sales of pure peppermint extract increased more than 50 percent in the weeks leading up to St. Patrick’s Day.

The baking experts at McCormick kitchens extend St. Paddy's green beyond the mug of dyed beer, into colored comestibles and, after one or two festive bites, temporarily onto our choppers.

“Flavorful green treats have never been more in style,” said Mary Beth Harrington of the McCormick Kitchens. “Whether you’re baking with the family or adding bright color to a fun gathering, our green tinting guide and festive recipes will help you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with the color and flavor of the holiday— vivid green and refreshing peppermint.”

If you weren’t among the lucky hitting paydirt on the alternative fuel tax break, find comfort in making one of these desserts to serve with a side of an Irish blessing…  like “May you have the hindsight to know where you’ve been, the foresight to know where you’re going, and the insight to know when you’re going too far” or perhaps, “May the cat eat you and the devil eat the cat.”

Recipes and images from McCormick®

 



Green Ombre Cake

A showstopper for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations — a layer cake in multiple hues of green inspired by fashion’s color fade craze.

Makes 12 servings.

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

1 package (15 1/4 to 16 1/2 ounces) white cake mix

2 teaspoons McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract

McCormick® Green Food Color

Frosting:

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

2 teaspoons McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract

1 package (16 ounces) confectioners' sugar

2 tablespoons milk

1. Prepare cake mix as directed on package, using whole eggs. Stir in vanilla. Divide batter evenly into 3 bowls. Stir 50 drops (about 1/2 teaspoon) food color into one of the bowls, tinting batter dark green. Stir 15 drops food color into another of the bowls, tinting batter medium green. Stir 2 drops food color into last of the bowls, tinting batter light green.     2. Pour each bowl of batter into a greased and floured 8-inch round cake pan.

3. Bake as directed on package. Cool cakes on wire rack.

4. For the Frosting, beat butter and vanilla in large bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually add confectioners’ sugar, beating well after each addition and scraping sides and bottom of bowl frequently. Add milk; beat until light and fluffy. Place dark green cake layer on serving plate. Spread with 1/3 cup of frosting. Top with medium green cake layer. Spread with 1/3 cup of frosting. Top with light green cake layer. Frost top and sides of cake with remaining frosting.

Test Kitchen Tip: For easier measurement, 1/4 teaspoon Food Color = 20 to 25 drops

per serving

Calories: 497

Fat: 25 g

Carbohydrates: 66 g

Cholesterol: 87 mg

Sodium: 450 mg

Fiber: 1 g

Protein: 2 g

 



Luck o’ the Irish Cake Pops

Give the cake pop trend some St. Patrick’s Day spirit with green food color and decorate with shamrock sprinkles for a festive dessert, inside and out.

Makes 4 dozen or 24 (2 cake pop) servings).

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

1 package (2-layer size) yellow cake mix

2 teaspoons McCormick® Green Food Color

3/4 cup marshmallow creme

1 bag (14 ounces) white confectionary coating wafers, such as Wilton® White Candy Melts®

Lollipop sticks

Green sprinkles (optional)

1. Prepare cake mix as directed on package, adding food color. Bake as directed on package for 13x9-inch baking pan. Cool completely on wire rack.

2. Crumble cake into large bowl. Add marshmallow creme; mix until well blended. Shape into 1-inch balls. Refrigerate 2 hours.

3. Melt coating wafers as directed on package. For each Cake Pop, dip 1/2 inch of lollipop stick into melted coating. Insert dipped end of lollipop stick halfway into cake ball. Let stand until coating is set. Dip each cake pop into melted coating. Shake gently to remove excess coating. Sprinkle or roll cake pops in green sprinkles, if desired. Place cake pops in Styrofoam blocks. Let stand until coating is set.

Test Kitchen Tips:

n Confectionary coating, also known as almond bark, is used for candy making and coating. It is packaged in wafer form and is available in a variety of colors and flavors, including milk and dark chocolate. It is found in the cake decorating aisle of craft and party stores.

n Substitute 1/2 cup canned vanilla frosting for the marshmallow creme.

n If styrofoam blocks are not available, use upside-down foam egg cartons or a cardboard box to hold the cake pops.

per serving

Calories: 226

Fat: 10 g

Carbohydrates: 32 g

Cholesterol: 23 mg

Sodium: 176 mg

Fiber: 0 g

Protein: 2 g

 



Green with Envy Cheesecake Bars

These cheesecake bars — with contrasting layers of green, white and black — get a hint of sophistication from rich dark chocolate and refreshing Pure Peppermint Extract.

Makes 24 servings.

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

1 1/2 cups chocolate wafer cookie crumbs (about 30 cookies)

1/3 cup butter, melted

3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup sour cream

1 teaspoon McCormick® Pure Peppermint Extract

1/2 teaspoon McCormick® Green Food Color

3 eggs

2 ounces semi-sweet baking chocolate, melted

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix cookie crumbs and butter. Press firmly onto bottom of foil-lined 9-inch square baking pan. Refrigerate until ready to use.

2. Beat cream cheese and sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add sour cream and peppermint extract; mix well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating on low speed after each addition just until blended. Pour 1/2 of the batter over crust. Tint remaining batter green with food color. Pour over batter in pan.

3. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool completely on wire rack.

4. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. Lift out of pan onto cutting board. Cut into bars. Drizzle bars with melted chocolate. Store leftover bars in refrigerator.

per serving

Calories: 215

Fat: 15 g

Carbohydrates: 16 g

Cholesterol: 69 mg

Sodium: 184 mg

Fiber: 0 g

Protein: 4 g

 



Easy Green Velvet Cupcakes

A green twist on classic red velvet, these cupcakes take basic cake mix to delicious new heights with the addition of Pure Vanilla Extract, green food color, sour cream and cocoa powder.

Makes 24 servings.

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

1 package (18 1/4 ounces) German chocolate cake mix with pudding

1 cup sour cream

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 bottle (1 ounce) McCormick® Green Food Color

3 eggs

2 teaspoons McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract

1 container (16 ounces) cream cheese frosting or Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe follows)

Green sprinkles (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Beat cake mix, sour cream, water, cocoa powder, oil, food color, eggs and vanilla in large bowl with electric mixer on low speed just until moistened, scraping sides of bowl frequently. Beat on medium speed 2 minutes. 2. Pour batter into 24 paper-lined muffin cups, filling each cup 2/3 full.

3. Bake 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of cupcake comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Remove from pans; cool completely on wire rack. Frost with cream cheese frosting. Decorate with sprinkles, if desired.

Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting: Beat 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened, 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened, 2 tablespoons sour cream and 2 teaspoons McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract in large bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in 1 box (16 ounces) confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Makes 2 1/2 cups.

Minty Green Cream Cheese Frosting: Stir 1/2 teaspoon McCormick® Pure Peppermint Extract and 1/2 teaspoon McCormick® Green Food Color into canned cream cheese frosting or Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting.

per serving

Calories: 213

Fat: 9 g

Carbohydrates: 31 g

Cholesterol: 30 mg

Sodium: 193 mg

Fiber: 1 g

Protein: 2 g

 



Irish Cream Swirl Brownies

This favorite takes on a seasonal twist with a splash of Irish cream liqueur and green food coloring. The decadent brownie and swirl topping will leave everyone tapping their feet to a Celtic tune.

Makes 16 servings.

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

1 package (family-size) fudge brownie mix

1 teaspoon McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons flour

1/4 cup Irish cream liqueur

1 egg

1/4 teaspoon McCormick® Green Food Color

1. Prepare brownie mix as directed on package, adding vanilla. Reserve 1 cup batter. Spread remaining batter in greased 9-inch square baking pan.

2. Beat cream cheese, flour and sugar in medium bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add Irish cream liqueur, egg and food color; beat until well blended. Pour over brownie layer in pan. Drop reserved 1 cup batter by spoonfuls over cream cheese layer. Cut through batter with knife several times for marble effect.

3. Bake as directed on package for 9-inch square baking pan. Cool in pan on wire rack. Cut into squares. Serve with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream, if desired.

Test Kitchen Tips:

n For easy clean-up, line pan with foil with ends of foil extending over sides of pan. Use foil handles to remove brownie from pan. Place on cutting board and cut into squares.

n If desired, 1 teaspoon McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract may be used in place of the Irish cream liqueur. Omit flour.

per serving

Calories: 292

Fat: 16 g

Carbohydrates: 34 g

Cholesterol: 53 mg

Sodium: 179 mg

Fiber: 1 g

Protein: 3 g

— E-mail: lshrewsberry@register-herald.com