Tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day, and this past weekend I celebrated in the best way possible. With my sister’s tailor-made Celtic playlist on repeat, I sat in a cozy pub in a small English river town and watched the Ireland v. Wales rugby game. Though loyalties in the pub were split down the middle (and Ireland ultimately lost the game), the sense of community was very strong.

There are, however, things I miss about the US (and particularly, the Boston) way of celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. I miss the kelly-green clothing exploding on sidewalks, wondering about the disgusting process that must go into turning beer green, and most of all, sipping on a McDonald’s shamrock shake.

In so many years past, I haven’t questioned the decision to consume a frozen, neon green, fast food drink. Now, as a somewhat grown up, I can look back on the decision to partake in such an unnatural dessert. Like Briony, Ian McEwan’s main character in Atonement, decisions and judgment calls made in younger years must now be called into question. I’ve retained the minty flavor and festive sentiment, but have attempted a slightly more refined presentation. Sometimes we need to atone for our past choices.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!


Peppermint cupcakes:

1 cup flour

1/3 cup cocoa powder

1/2 cup boiling water

50 g dark baking chocolate (or milk chocolate if you prefer)

3/4 cup sugar

Pinch of salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 tsp peppermint extract

2 eggs

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 cup vegetable oil


1. Whisk boiling water, cocoa powder, and baking chocolate in medium bowl.

2. Continue to whisk, adding peppermint extract, eggs, sour cream, and vegetable oil.

3. Sift flour, baking soda, and salt in gradually.

4. Pour smooth mixture into greased or lined cupcake tin. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean.

5. Let cool, then decorate with favorite icing recipe.

Enjoy peppermint cupcakes with Ian McEwan’s Atonement, and check in at for future recipes and book reviews!


4 thoughts on “Atone-Mint

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