Tantillo said her cooking career started when she was a child.
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"I started cooking at 12," she said. "My mother was sick. She had asthm, which always turned to pneumonia. I could cook a whole meal at age 12."
She likes to bake with yeast — coffee cakes, breads, cakes.
Tantillo said she developed this recipe for Grasshopper Cupcakes from a chocolate cake recipe from Taste of Home magazine and a frosting recipe from Andes Creme de Menthe Thins. That's how she likes to bake —using recipes as guidelines.
"Except with yeast recipes," she added. "I don't want to cause a failure."
— Chris Copley, Lifestyle assistant editor
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 cup cocoa
2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup hot coffee
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla