Saturday, March 2, 2013

Grasshopper Cupcakes

I wanted to have some kind of treat for those coming over to the house for Matt's 'Grand Opening' of his mission call so I came up with these yummy Grasshopper Cupcakes.  I've never made the 'fancy' kind of cupcakes before but I wanted to come up with something that would not only taste great but look amazing as well...and, well...Matt has a pretty serious sweet tooth.  While browsing at Orson Gygi's in Salt Lake City with my dear friend and former mission companion Marcie, I noticed a box of Andie's Mints.  My imagination was sparked!  I purchased a box of disposable pastry bags and the proper tip for the look that I wanted to achieve. Devil's Food cupcake with chocolate ganache (pronounced guh-nahsh), mint buttercream frosting topped with an Andie's Mint...oh my!  They actually turned out to be very easy and now I'm kinda' hooked on the whole cupcake thing and thinking up other concoctions and combinations and trying to figure out just how I can send them through the mail without them arriving smooshed and not so pretty.  I'll give it some serious thought and let you know when I've got it all figured out.  Any ideas?
Grasshopper Cupcake Shopping List
Devil's Food or Chocolate cake mix
(guess you don't actually have to shop for that!)
semi-sweet baking chocolate
(not chocolate chips)
whipping cream
powdered sugar
mint flavoring
green food coloring
Andie's Mints
Follow directions on the packaged cake mix.  When making the cupcakes, don't fill the baking cups as full as you normally would.  Maybe only 2/3's full or less.  I haven't made cupcakes in quite some time and forgot this essential step.  Consequently, I had to make a lot more and my cupcakes don't look as pretty because you can see the actual cake rising above the wrapper.  I had to make quite a few (about 70...remember all those nieces and nephews that I occasionally mention?) so remembering this little step would have saved me some precious time and money.  Live and learn, right?  While your cupcakes are cooling, make the chocolate Ganache.
Note:  Sorry I forgot to take photos...whatever was I thinking?
Chocolate Ganache
8 oz. semi-sweet baking chocolate
(not chocolate chips)
1 cup whipping cream
2 tsp vanilla
powdered sugar, to taste

Break up the chocolate into a saucepan, add the cream, and stir over moderate heat until the chocolate has melted and the cream is almost at a simmer.  Stir quite vigorously (I use a wire whisk) until the chocolate and cream have melded together into a smooth brown mass.  Stir in the vanilla and powdered sugar to taste.  Turn the chocolate into a mixing bowl; set bowl in a larger bowl of ice and whisk several minutes until the ganache has firmed to spreading consistency.  May be made ahead, but don't bother to beat it over the ice; reheat to decongeal to proper consistency before using and then beat over ice if necessary.  This should look like a thick, dark chocolate frosting.
Note:  Ganache is French (gah-nahsh) and is a rich mixture of chocolate and cream
generally used for a frosting or filling.

When cupcakes have cooled completely, frost them with a layer of the chocolate ganache.  This doesn't have to be piped on.  Just frost using a butter knife or a small offset spatula.  Doesn't have to be fancy.  You will be covering it up with the Buttercream Frosting.  (see above - definately not fancy)
Buttercream Frosting
1 cup butter
3 Tbs. milk
4 cups powdered sugar
flavoring to taste
green food coloring
Cream butter.  Add milk and powdered sugar one cup at a time.  Continue to add sugar until desired consistency.  Make it a little thicker than you normally would as you will be adding flavoring and coloring and that will thin it down somewhat.  You also want it to hold a really nice, stiff peak when piping onto the cupcakes.

Make the Buttercream frosting and...just a warning, you will need LOTS!  One batch frosted almost a dozen cupcakes.  It's on there pretty thick so if you just want to frost them like you usually do you could get by with one batch of frosting easy.  On the other hand...they sure are fancy and a LOT faster to frost using the decorator tip and disposable bag shown above.  If you're using the disposable bags you will need to purchase at least the 16 inch size.  I got the 18 inch.  That way each bag will hold an entire batch of Buttercream frosting and still allow room to twist the top and apply pressure without having the frosting squish out the top of the bag.  Yeah, that would not be good.  When it's time to refill your bag, just fold the top down again and refill as before; unfold the top, twist and squeeze frosting into your tip and you're good to go.
I used the largest open star tip that Gygi's had - Ateco #826 (they were out of the Wilton but you can click on the link to see what it looks like and find one comparable to use).  You will NOT need a coupler for the extra large tip that I used.  Just slide your tip inside your disposable pastry bag and note where the end needs to be clipped off.  Take out the tip, cut the bag and reinsert tip and slide down until it's snug at the bottom.  Fold down the top of the bag and holding with one hand, load your frosting inside.  Unfold the top portion of the bag, twist and apply pressure until the frosting fills the decorative tip. 
Figure #1:
Start at the outside edge of your cupcake
Figure #2:
Continue around the entire circumference
Figure #3:
When you are back at the beginning keep applying pressure and do a smaller circle on the inside
Figure #4:
Top with an Andie's Mint
Hmmm...I wonder what I would have made
 had Marcie and her daughter not taken that cake decorating class?


  1. I just found your blog! Thank you so much for all of your wonderful ideas. I thought I was done with missionary service but now I have a daughter serving and another daughter receiving her call on Wednesday I am so grateful for all of your ideas! They are so darling.

    1. I'm so happy that you found me!! Isn't it fun having a missionary out? So excited for your family...TWO missionaries out? Can't imagine!! Keep your arms and legs inside, hang on and HAVE FUN!!!

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  3. You can buy clear plastic cups the short ones and put the cupcakes in that! Or a plastic jar cupcake parfait layer cupcake then frosting then repeat! looks the best in a mason jar!

  4. I just found your blog and I love it. I am trying to get an idea for Easter. I can't seem to find one on your blog. I sent eggs last year with the scriptures on the outside and the nails etc in the eggs. But o just don't have an idea for this year and I need to get it mailed this week. He is in Chile and his best friend is in Bolivia so I need to get them mailed. My daughter is going to Chesapeake Virginia and leaves fir the MTC April 16. Thanks so much for any ideas you can share for Easter.

  5. Hi Lisa! Glad you found my blog and I'm so happy that you like it. If you go to the sidebar on the right of the blog under 'labels' click on 'Easter' and it will take you to three links. My sons favorite missionary package of all time was this one If you need any more ideas you can go to my Pinterest board Good luck to your missionaries!