Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

March 13, 2012

Make it green for St. Patrick’s Day — whatever it is

Lee Ward
The Independent

ASHLAND — It’s easy to make food green, but why would you?

For St. Patrick’s Day, of course. St. Patrick’s Day is Saturday and some with a little Irish blook like to celebrate with the appropriate foods.

McCormick and Company has a guide to coloring some foods green using food coloring:

Beer — 12 ounces, 5 to 6 drops.

Lemon-line soda — 8 ounches, 6 drops.

Blue cheese dressing (for chicken wings) — 1/2 cup, 10 to 12 drops.

Ranch or French onion dip (for chips and vegetable sticks) — 1/2 cup, 10 to 12 drops.

The spice company makes making green foods easier with several recipes for the season.

EASY GREEN VELVET CUPCAKES

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

Green sprinkles (optional)

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.

Pour batter into 24 paper-lined muffin cups, filling each cup 2/3 full.

Bake 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center 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.

Makes 24 servings.

To prepare frosting

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. Nutrition Information Per Serving: 213 calories, Fat 9g, Carbohydrates 31g, Cholesterol 30mg, Sodium 193mg, Fiber 1g, Protein 2g.

IRISH CREAM SWIRL BROWNIES

1 package (18 to 20 ounces) 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

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

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.

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.

Makes 16 servings.

TIP: 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.

If desired, 1 teaspoon McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract may be used in place of the Irish cream liqueur. Omit flour. Nutrition Information Per Serving: 292 calories, Fat 16g, Carbohydrates 34g, Cholesterol 53mg, Sodium 179mg, Fiber 1g, Protein 3g

EMERALD MINT 

MILKSHAKE

1 pint (2 cups) vanilla ice cream

1 cup milk

1/2 teaspoon McCormick® Pure Peppermint Extract

1/4 teaspoon McCormick® Green Food Color

Whipped cream and green sprinkles (optional)

Place ice cream, milk, peppermint extract and green food color in blender; cover. Blend on high speed until smooth.

Pour into glasses. Top with whipped cream and sprinkles, if desired. Serve immediately.

Makes 3 servings.

TIP: For easier measurement, 1/4 teaspoon Food Color = 20 to 25 drops. Nutrition Information Per Serving: 247 calories, Fat 15g, Carbohydrates 23g, Cholesterol 53mg, Sodium 85mg, Fiber 0g, Protein 5g

GREEN WITH ENVY CHEESEBAKE BARS

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

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.

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.

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

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.

Makes 24 servings. Nutrition Information Per Serving: 215 calories, Fat 15g, Carbohydrates 16g, Cholesterol 69mg, Sodium 184mg, Fiber 0g, Protein 4g

LUCK O’THE IRISH CAKE POPS

1 package (18 1/4 ounces) yellow cake mix

2 teaspoons McCormick® Green Food Color

3/4 cup marshmallow creme

1 bag (14 ounces) white confectionary coating wafers

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.

Makes 4 dozen cake pops.

Test Kitchen Tips:

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

If styrofoam blocks are not available, use upside-down foam egg cartons or a cardboard box to hold the cake pops. Nutrition Information Per Serving: 226 calories, Fat 10g, Carbohydrates 32g, Cholesterol 23mg, Sodium 176mg, Fiber 0g, Protein 2g

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While I don’t claim to be an expert cook, I do like to cook and love to eat. Readers are encouraged to send questions about food and cooking; I’ll try to find the answers. Also, if you’re looking for a specific recipe, send your request, or if you can offer a recipe to someone looking for something specific, please send e-mail to lward@dailyindependent.com.