Friday, March 14, 2014

Food News: A Magically Delicious St. Patrick's Day!

Goodness knows there is more than enough to do in Chicago for St. Patrick's Day for the Irish and non-Irish alike.  There's the famous river dying ceremony (where the Chicago River goes from being only slightly green to be being a much brighter green), there's the myriad of restaurants and pubs serving up all day specials laced with plenty of Guinness, Jameson, and food coloring, and of course there's the St. Patrick's Day Parade down Michigan Avenue.

Well this year, the parade will be hosting a very special guest!  Brandy has it on good authority that Lucky the Leprechaun, beloved mascot of everyone's favorite marshmallow based cereal, Lucky Charms, will be on hand at the Chicago St. Patrick's Day Parade as a part of his 50th birthday celebrations, a 50 day journey in which Lucky has been spreading his magic far and wide to fans of all ages (you can follow along by visiting Lucky's Tumblr Page or by using the hashtag #LuckyWasHere).  There's also a limited edition version of Lucky Charms in stores now, so do be on the look out!

As part of the celebrations, Lucky himself (or at least that's what Brandy has told us) has provided us with two delightfully festive recipes for your enjoyment, either of which would be sure to delight friends and family at your St. Patrick's Day festivities.  "After all," Brandy says, "One can only take so much corned beef and cabbage without wanting a little splash of color!"

Lucky Rainbow Martini 

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Start to Finish: 5 minutes

10 marshmallows from Lucky Charms® cereal (red, orange, yellow, green or blue)
1 oz vodka or gin
4 oz tonic water, lemonade or white cranberry juice, well chilled
Splash of fresh lemon or lime juice

Place marshmallows in the bottom of martini glass. Pour vodka over marshmallows; stir slightly to
dissolve if needed. Top with tonic water and lemon juice.

Make 6 cocktails, 1 of each color, to make a rainbow!
Rub fresh lemon slice around rims of martini glasses to moisten. Dip moistened rims of glasses in crushed

Lucky Charms Leprechaun Hat Cake                                                                      

Cereal treats
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 package  (10 oz.) regular marshmallows
6 cups Lucky Charms Cereal

2 boxes Betty Crocker® SuperMoist® yellow cake mix
2 cups water
1 cup vegetable oil
6 eggs
Red, orange, yellow green, blue and violet food color
2 1/2 containers Betty Crocker ® Creamy vanilla frosting
1 container Betty Crocker Decorating Cupcake Icing chocolate flavor

5 pretzel sticks

Cereal treat layer
Line a 10-inch round cake pan with sheets of plastic wrap. Lightly coat the plastic wrap with cooking spray.
Melt the butter in a large heavy-bottomed stock pot over low heat.  Add the marshmallows. Stir occasionally until the marshmallows and melted and well incorporated with the butter.  Stir in the cereal with a large rubber spatula. Pour the cereal mixture into the prepared pan. Press the mixture into the pan with buttered fingers. Cover and place in the refrigerator until solid, about 2 hours.

For the rainbow cake layers, heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 8-inch round cake pans.
In a large mixing bowl beat together the cake mix, water, oil and eggs with an electric hand mixer on low speed. Scrape down the bowl and beat again on medium speed until well combined and no streaks of powdered cake mix remain.

Divide batter evenly between six bowls, about 1 1/3 cups each. Using the food color, tint one bowl red, one orange, one yellow, one green, one blue and one violet. Pour two of the colors in each of the prepared pans. Cover and refrigerate remaining bowls of batter until needed.
Bake the cakes 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick tester comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 5 minutes and then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Wash cake pans and bake two more colors, repeating the above steps. Repeat process until all cakes are baked and cooled.

Remove cereal treat from refrigerator and unwrap. Place on a serving platter upside-down so the flattest part of the cake is turned upright. Spread a small amount of vanilla frosting in the center of the cereal treat layer and stack on the violet cake layer. Lightly frost the top of the violet layer and place the blue layer on top of the violet layer. Continue in this manner with the green, yellow orange layers. Place the red layer on top but do not frost.

Place remaining frosting in a large mixing bowl. Add green food color and mix with an electric mixer on medium until a vibrant green shade is achieved. Frost the entire cake with the green frosting. Using the chocolate cupcake frosting fitted with the plain round tip (provided) draw lines of frosting around the base of the cake creating a “hatband”. Fill in the lines with more chocolate frosting and smooth with an off-set spatula. Press four pretzels into the chocolate frosting to create a square buckle. Break the last pretzel in half and place one half, horizontally, to the right center of the buckle to create the buckle latch.

Store the cake loosely covered in plastic wrap.

12-14 Servings

4 cups of mini marshmallows may be used instead of the 10 oz. package of regular-size marshmallows.

All colors needed for the rainbow cake can be made from the three primary colors red, blue and yellow. An orange tint can be made by mixing red and yellow food color. Violet can be achieved by mixing red and blue.  Green can be achieved by mixing yellow and blue.

Three 8-inch cake pans may be used to bake three cakes at once, decreasing the time to make this cake by 20 minutes.

Recipe created by Betty Crocker birthday cake blogger Heather Baird of

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