Happy St Patrick's Day

Today is St. Patrick's Day and I have a baby shower to go to for a girlfriend I have known since I was 11! I can't believe babies are entering or have entered our lives! Pretty cool! I made chocolate cupcakes with a marshmallow mint frosting. I thought these were pretty yummy! All the girls said they tasted very similar to Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies But better! I used the cupcake recipe from Eilnor Klivans' book "Cupcakes!".

1 1/2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 1/2 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Line a 12 muffin tin with cupcake liners.

In a double broiler melt the unsweetened and semisweet chocolate. Stir until chocolate has melted and is smooth. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a separate bowl sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed for about 2-3 minutes until fluffy, stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl if necessary.

Reduce speed to low, and carefully pour in the melted chocolate just until combined. Add the eggs one at a time being careful not to over beat but making sure the eggs have blended into the batter.

On medium, add the vanilla beat until creamy for about a minute. Mix in the sour cream until it has been incorporated well and no visible white streaks remain.

On low speed add half of the flour, mix until just incorporated, mix in the water. Finally add in remaining flour and mix until it is incorporated and the batter looks smooth.

Fill each liner with 1/3 cup of the batter. Bake for about 18-20 minutes until the tops feel firm and a toothpick comes out clean. Cool the cupcakes on a wire rack for 30 minutes before frosting.

Seven-Minute Frosting

(from Cupcakes! by Elinor Klivans)

1 1/4 cups sugar

1/3 cup water

3 large egg whites

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 teaspoons of mint extract

Put th sugar, water, egg whites and cream of tartar in a heatproof bowl or the top of a double boiler with at least a 2-quart capacity and beat with a handheld electric mixer on high speed until opaque,white and faomy, about 1 minute. Put the bowl over, but not touching, a saucepan of barely simmering water (or the bottom of the double boiler). The top container should sit firmly over the pan of hot water; be sure to keep the cord of the elctric mixer away from the burner. Beat on high speed until the frosting forms a soft peak that stands straight up if you stop the beaters and lift them up, about 7 minutes. The frosting should register 160 degrees F on the thermometer. Remove the container of frosting from the water, add the vanilla and mint extracts, and continue beating for 2 minutes to further thicken the frosting.