The deliciously subtle flavor of pistachios – not to mention the gorgeous sea-glass green hue of these cupcakes – is achieved by grinding pistachios into a flour. The pointy peaks of the buttercream mimic a leprechaun’s pointed hat.
|1/2 cup shelled, unsalted pistachios||2 eggs|
|1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour||2/3 cup plus 1 teaspoon milk|
|1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder||1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla|
|1/2 teaspoon plus 1/16 teaspoon salt||1/4 teaspoon almond extract|
|18 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened||2 cups confectioner's sugar|
|3/4 cups granulated sugar|
Adjust the oven rack to the middle position and preheat to 375F. Line a standard cupcake tin with cupcake liners.
Combine the pistachios and flour in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until pistachios are finely ground, 15-30 seconds. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl and stir in the baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt; set aside.
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine 6 tablespoons butter and sugar and beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium and add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down sides of bowl and paddle as necessary. Add 2/3 cup milk and extracts (1 teaspoon vanilla, 1/4 teaspoon almond extract) and mix until combined. Reduce the speed to medium-low and gradually add the flour mixture to the bowl, mixing until combined.
Give the batter a few stirs by hand to make sure it’s completely combined. Divide batter among the cupcake cups and bake until just set and the edges are golden brown, about 17 minutes. Let cupcakes cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove from the pan to cool completely on wire rack.
To make the frosting: In the bowl of a standing mixer, combine 12 tablespoons of butter, confectioner’s sugar, 1/16 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, and 1 teaspoon milk and whisk on medium-low speed until smooth.
Increase speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes.
Fill a pastry bag or resealable plastic bag fitted with a star tip with buttercream and pipe 8 stars on the top of each cupcake, pulling up the pastry bag as you pipe each one to elongate it vertically. Try to make all of the stars the same height.
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