Monday, June 21, 2010

DESSERT: Pistachio (Rose) Cupcakes to Write Home About

The last flavor people think of when they bake cupcakes is pistachio, but the truth is, this lovely green cupcake should be higher on the list of cupcake possibilities.  A few notes before you begin: first, stevia may be used, but only if you can deal with the aftertaste.  I recommend that you do half or three-quarters agave and 1/4 or 1/2 stevia.  Second, I highly recommend a mixer for this recipe, it's very thick.  Third, you can replace butter with one of three items: 1) apple sauce: 1:1 ratio, 2) low-fat butter: try the french brand they sell at trader joes (it comes in a little white container), 3) substitute half the butter with low-fat vanilla yogurt - do not do a 1:1 substitute. Fourth, you do not have to integrate the rose - some people just can't get down with this flavor - it's ok!

Finally, be sure to frost these cupcakes!

Serving Size: 12 (1 Dozen Cupcakes)

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup pistachios, very finely ground
  • 1 ½ tsps baking powder 
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup skim milk (or soy milk)
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp almond extract
  • 2 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 4 tsps low-fat butter (see substitution notes above)
  • ½ cup agave (see substitution notes above)
  • 1 tsp rose essence (optional)
  • Preheat oven to 350ยบ
  • Insert cupcake liners (try foil ones instead of paper) in muffin pan or prepare liners on a flat tray (you don't need the muffin pan but do note that if you use the liners by themselves on a tray, your cupcakes will be a bit wider)
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, pistachios, baking powder and salt; set aside. 
  • Stir extracts into the milk; set aside.
  • Beat the egg whites until fluffy
  • In a large bowl, beat the butter and agave (or stevia) until it is light and fluffy
  • On low speed, gradually add flour mixture. 
  • Slowly pour in milk-extract combination, and beat until mixed - avoid over-beating
  • Fold in the beaten egg whites
  • Evenly spoon batter into prepared muffin pan or liners. 
  • Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

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