Do you have any St. Patrick's Day traditions?
Our one tradition each year for St. Patrick's Day is to make St. Patrick's Day cupcakes using a recipe that I found a long time ago in a magazine. I often make the cupcakes for Valentine's day too by using vanilla pudding and decorating the tops of the cupcakes with pink or red colored sugar and M & M's.
Each year around St. Patrick's Day you see corned beef on sale for a good price at many grocery stores.
Last year I found a really good recipe for corned beef brisket that can be prepared in the crock pot. It works well for us as a Sunday meal. At first I was skeptical about the need to glaze it and put it under the broiler just before serving it, but it really does add a lot of flavor and eye appeal. So, if you try this recipe please go the extra mile and make the effort to add the glaze. Here are the recipes and pictures of the finished products:
St. Patrick's Day Cupcakes
1 3/4 cups flour
4 oz. package instant pistachio pudding mix
3/4 cup chocolate chips (minis are nice here)
2/3 cup sugar
2 1/2 tsps. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup oil
1/4 tsp. almond extract
1 cup butter frosting (recipe follows)
green colored sugar
green M & M's (minis are nice here too)
Line muffin tins with papers. (I like to use the white ones.) In a large bowl stir together the flour, pudding mix, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Stir in chocolate chips. In a small bowl stir together the eggs, milk, oil, and almond extract. Stir the egg mixture into the flour mixture until the dry ingredients are moistened--you can do this by hand--no mixer needed. Fill the muffin papers 2/3 full. Bake at 375 degrees for 18-20 mins. Cool, then frost with the butter frosting, sprinkle with green sugar, and top with three green M & M's in a shamrock pattern. Makes 18 delicious cupcakes.
2 1/2 Tbsps. softened butter or margarine
1 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
3/4 tsp. almond extract
1-2 Tbsps. milk
Blend all ingredients together and use to frost cupcakes.
To save money on the M & M's buy a bag of red and green ones at Christmas time and squirrel them away. Then you will be prepared for both Valentine's Day and St. Patrick's Day!
Here are some pink ones I made for a friend's birthday in February. I did use a different icing recipe for these since I was trying to make them a little "fancier."
Orange Marmalade Corned Beef
1 piece corned beef brisket (I prefer the flat cut rather than the point cut)
3 cups water
1 bay leaf
4 whole cloves
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup dijon mustard
1/4 cup orange marmalade
potatoes (I like to use red ones cut into pieces)
carrots (baby carrots work well or use regular ones peeled and cut up)
Rinse all the goo off the corned beef and place in the crock pot. Add the water, bay leaf, and cloves. You can cook this for 6-8 hours on low, or for Sunday dinner cook 2 hours on high, add potatoes and carrots and then cook for 4 more hours. Before serving remove the beef from the slow cooker and cut off the fat. Place the meat on a broiler pan. (To ease clean up place a small amount of water in the bottom section and then spray the top slotted part with pan spray.) Prepare a glaze from the brown sugar, mustard, and marmalade. Glaze the meat and then place under the broiler for 3-5 mins. Slice and serve with the remaining glaze.
Here's the finished product: