After I first heard about the pot of gold in kindergarten, every time after a rainstorm, if there was a rainbow, I would crane my neck every which way, searching for this elusive rainbow end and the pot of gold. Of course, no matter how I twisted my head, I could never find the end of the rainbow. Eventually, in science class I learned about the principles of refraction and how a rainbow is created by the interaction of light and raindrops.
Despite the fact that I now know otherwise, every St. Patrick's Day I'm still reminded of these tales, and throughout the month of March, I often find myself scanning for four leaf clovers growing along the sidewalk. This year, I made Pot of Gold cupcakes: chocolate cupcakes (pot) filled with lemon frosting (gold) and topped with "play dough" cookies (rainbow).
Pot of Gold Cupcakes'Pot' Chocolate Cupcake
adapted from recipezaar
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup water
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp vinegar
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Place sugar, salt, vegetable oil, water, vanilla, and vinegar in one bowl. In another bowl, combine your dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet until thoroughly mixed.
Spray muffin tins with nonstick spray and then fill each cup 2/3 the way full with batter. Place in the oven and bake 20-25 minutes. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes, then remove to cooling rack.
'Gold' Lemon Frosting
1/2 stick butter, room temperature
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp lemon extract
yellow food coloring
Cream the butter with the powdered sugar. Add the lemon juice and lemon extract. Mix. Then mix in the yellow food coloring. If frosting is too soft, add more sugar. If too stiff, add more lemon juice.
'Rainbow' Play Dough Cookies
adapted from allrecipes / inspired by the cookie shop
3/4 cup butter, room temperature
3 oz cream cheese
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 3/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
red, blue, green, and yellow food coloring
Mix butter with cream cheese and sugar till fluffy. Add egg and mix. Add vanilla and mix. In another bowl combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Now mix the dry ingredients with the wet till a dough forms. Split the dough into four equal pieces.
Take one piece, color with a few drops of red food coloring and knead the color into the dough. Add more coloring if the color is not intense enough. Now repeat with the other dough pieces and colors. Wrap colored dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate dough for 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 350ºF. For rainbows, roll out small portions of each color into long ropes and stick them together to make the rainbow. Make sure one half of the rainbow is longer (as pictured above) so you have something that can be stuck into the cupcakes. Place on parchment lined baking sheets. Bake the tray of cookies for 8 minutes and let cool on a cooling rack.
Note: Makes lots of cookies. There will be a lot of cookie dough left over just to play with :D.
AssemblyTake your cooled chocolate cupcakes and flip them upside down. If they don't stand straight, slice a bit off of the cupcake top (actual top of the cupcake), to create a flat surface so they can balance, then reflip them so the bottom faces up once again. In the center of the bottom, with a knife, cut out a circle of cake and scoop it out with a spoon to create a shallow ditch. Fill that hole with frosting.
With a chopstick, poke into the frosting, four holes in a straight line, to make a place for the cookie (which makes it easier to stick the cookie into the frosting and prevents your cupcake from splitting apart). Now stick in the cookie into the holey line in the frosting. Add more frosting if necessary to make it look like a pile of gold. Enjoy!