Best-selling novel "Fifty Shades of Grey" can't compete with the seven shades of green for St. Patrick's Day.
Food color, after all, is the key ingredient to making Irish goodies for March 17. It doesn't take much more than that to turn golden beer emerald and whipped cream minty green. But, you'd be wrong if you thought all you had to do was indiscriminantly squirt food color and produce, say, that hue that says faith and begorrah: shamrock.
Nope, it's all about the correct formula. To turn, for example, a 16-ounce can of white frosting shamrock green requires 25 drops of green food color and two drops of blue, says the Seven Shades of Green chart compiled by McCormick.
And, as long as you've got your basic green, yellow and blue bottles of food colors, you can create emerald, mint, shamrock and garden green. Invest in bottles of Neon Green and Neon Blue food color and well, you'll be able to add Green Apple and Teal to your color repertoire.
Green Beer, by the way requires about five to six drops of green food color to 12 ounces of beer.
Try out the formulas from the chart shown courtesy of McCormick on the following recipes.
Here's a new twist, though.
A green twist on classic red velvet, these cupcakes take basic cake mix to delicious new heights with the addition of vanilla extract, green food color, sour cream and cocoa powder.
Easy Green Velvet Cupcakes
1 package (18.25 ounces) German chocolate cake mix with pudding
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 bottle (1 ounce) green food color
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Minty Green Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe below)
Green sprinkles (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat cake mix, sour cream, water, cocoa powder, oil, food color, eggs and vanilla in large bowl with electric mixer on low speed just until moistened, scraping sides of bowl frequently. Beat on medium speed 2 minutes.
2. Pour batter into 24 paper-lined muffin cups, filling each cup 2/3 full.
3. Bake 20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center of cupcake comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Remove from pans; cool completely on wire rack. Frost with cream cheese frosting. Decorate with sprinkles, if desired. Makes 24 servings.
Minty Green Cream Cheese Frosting: Stir 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract and 1/2 teaspoon green food color into 16-ounce can cream cheese frosting or vanilla cream cheese frosting.
Green with Envy Cheesecake Bars
1 1/2 cups chocolate wafer cookie crumbs (about 30 cookies)
1/3 cup butter, melted
3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
1/2 teaspoon green food color
2 ounces semi-sweet baking chocolate, melted
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix cookie crumbs and butter. Press firmly onto bottom of foil-lined 9-inch square baking pan. Refrigerate until ready to use.
2. Beat cream cheese and sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add sour cream and peppermint extract; mix well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating on low speed after each addition just until blended. Pour 1/2 of the batter over crust. Tint remaining batter green with food color. Pour over batter in pan.
3. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool completely on wire rack.
4. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. Lift out of pan onto cutting board. Cut into bars. Drizzle bars with melted chocolate. Store leftover bars in refrigerator. Makes 24 servings.
3 1/2 cups cold milk
1 teaspoon green food color
2 packages (4-serving size each) vanilla instant pudding
1 tub (8 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 package (18 ounces) chocolate sandwich cookies, coarsely crushed
1. Pour milk into large bowl. Stir in food color. Add pudding mixes. Beat with wire whisk 2 minutes or until well blended. Let stand 5 minutes. Gently stir in whipped topping.
2. Layer crushed cookies and pudding mixture in 3-quart bowl, beginning and ending with crushed cookies.
3. Refrigerate 1 hour or until ready to serve. Garnish as desired with shamrock candies. Makes 16 (1/2-cup) servings.