RECIPE: Pistachio Cupcakes with Milk Chocolate Frosting

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I love pistachio flavor, and pistachio nuts, pistachio color, pistachio anything really. My Dad does, too. So for his birthday last week, I was tasked to make a small dessert that the kids can easily eat and was portable and small. Cupcakes fit the bill, and this cupcake recipe I found at a great blog called yourcupofcake.com looked easy and delicious. 

When it came to the frosting, I wanted to use some of the "overage" of milk chocolate candy my daughter had been given that I had saved this year-especially Easter candy.

My daughter gets a ton of Easter eggs, and the Italians like to give these giant Easter eggs that are hollow with a prize inside. There is only so much candy a kid can eat. SO I had one of these chocolate beasts stored and waiting for some baking extravaganza. I melted it down and used it in this delicious chocolate frosting. It's very versatile, and it doesn't have the heavy tang a cream cheese based frosting has. Give it a try! It's a good way to thin out the candy loot your kids have. You can freeze that extra candy and keep it on hand throughout the year to make this easy frosting.





Pistachio Cupcakes with Milk Chocolate Frosting

Cupcake
1 box yellow cake, preferably Betty Crocker
1 box instant pistachio pudding
4 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 tsp. almond extract
3/4 cup sour cream

Frosting
3-4 oz. left over Easter milk chocolate (or milk chocolate bars)
10 Tbsp. butter, softened
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
2 Tbsp + 2 tsp. light corn syrup
1/2 cup Dutch-process cocoa
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/8 cup shelled pistachios, finely ground


Directions

Preheat oven to 350˚. Line a cupcake tin with paper liners and set aside.

Mix the cake mix and the pistachio pudding in a large bowl.

In a smaller bowl, whisk the eggs with buttermilk, oil, almond extract and sour cream. Whisk until light, foamy and combined.


With mixer on low, add the liquid mixture into the cake mix until combined. Fill the tins about 1/2 way. Bake for about 20-30 min, or until puffy and lightly golden. Toothpicks should come out clean.

Let cool on wire rack for 10 minutes, then carefully pull the cupcakes out to cool them completely on the wire rack. Meanwhile make frosting.


Melt the milk chocolate in the microwave at 50% power for about 1 minute. Mix, and heat for 30 seconds more if needed. You want things smooth and creamy. Cool chocolate down to 85˚.


Meanwhile add the butter, sugar and cocoa in a food processor. Pulse until well combined and smooth. While the processor is running, add corn syrup and vanilla extract until smooth. Next, add the cooled, melted chocolate and process until smooth and creamy. Cover and chill until ready to use, or use immediately. If chilled, you'll need to let the frosting sit out at room temp. for 10 minutes until it's workable.


Frost the cupcakes. I used a piping bag. Sprinkle the tops with the ground pistachios.You are good to go!

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