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Home cooking: Grasshopper Cupcakes

June 12, 2012

Linda Tantillo of Hagerstown is a veteran of Herald-Mail baking contests. Her Apple Cranberry Holiday cookies were featured in our Home Cooking recipe series in December 2010. She is also active in the Hagerstown Lioness Club.

Tantillo said her cooking career started when she was a child.

"I started cooking at 12," she said. "My mother was sick. She had asthm, which always turned to pneumonia. I could cook a whole meal at age 12."

She likes to bake with yeast — coffee cakes, breads, cakes.

Tantillo said she developed this recipe for Grasshopper Cupcakes from a chocolate cake recipe from Taste of Home magazine and a frosting recipe from Andes Creme de Menthe Thins. That's how she likes to bake —using recipes as guidelines.

"Except with yeast recipes," she added. "I don't want to cause a failure."

— Chris Copley, Lifestyle assistant editor



Grasshopper Cupcakes

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 teaspoons baking soda

3/4 cup cocoa

2 cups flour

1 1/2 cups sugar

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 cup hot coffee

1 cup milk

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla



For frosting:

1 package (4.76-ounce) Andes Creme de Menthe Thins

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

16 ounces whipped topping (see cook's note)

10 drops of green food color, optional



Heat oven to 325 degrees.

Sift together salt, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa, flour and sugar in large mixing bowl. Add oil, coffee and milk. Mix at medium speed for 2 minutes.

Add eggs and vanilla; beat 2 more minutes. Batter for cake will be thin.

Line muffin pans with 24 cupcake liners, filling 3/4 full.

Bake 23 to 25 minutes. Let cool.

With vegetable peeler shave side of mints lengthwise to make 1/2 cup of curls. Mints may break about halfway through; set aside. Chop broken pieces and more mints if needed to make 1/3 cup.

To make frosting, in a large mixing bowl on medium speed, beat cream cheese until smooth. Reduce speed and slowly mix in whipped topping. Add food coloring, if using. By hand, fold in chopped mints.

Frost cooled cupcakes generously and sprinkle carefully with mint curls. Left-over frosting can be frozen up to a month and thawed in the refrigerator for other uses such as brownies or a chocolate cake layer.

Cook's note: Linda Tantillo uses Cool Whip whipped topping.



— Recipe adapted by Linda Tantillo of Hagerstown

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