Sunday, July 31, 2011

Audra's Margarita Cupcakes

A huge thank you to Audra of the Baker Chick for this recipe. After a full day of packing and moving heavy boxes, I wanted to provide all of the friends who helped us move with a summertime "adult" sweet. Truth be told...I sort of planned the house warming around the thought of making these alcoholic cupcakes.

In an ideal world, these tequila filled and frosted gems would have been coupled with Audra's mojito cupcakes. Unfortunately, the kitchen became so beastly hot with all of the other cooking going on that I could only tolerate keeping the oven on for one batch of cupcakes.

Perhaps next time....

Adapted from Audra's recipe at The Baker Chick

The Ingredients:
The cupcake:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
3 limes, zested and juiced
½ tsp vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk

The Filling
1/2 lb fresh strawberries, washed and hulled
1 lime, zested and juiced
1/2 cup tequila
2 Tbsp sugar

The Frosting:
1 cup non-hydrogenated shortening
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly chilled
4 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup strawberry tequila filling

The Process:
For the cupcakes:
Preheat the oven to 325˚ F. Line two cupcake pans with paper liners.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt; whisk to blend. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Blend in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the lime zest, lime juice and vanilla. Slowly mix in the dry ingredient a third at a time, alternating with the buttermilk. Beat each addition just until incorporated.

Divide the batter between the prepared cupcake liners, filling each about three quarters full. Bake 20-24 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the filling:
In a blender or a food processor, add the strawberries, lime juice, tequila and sugar. Puree the mixture until there are no chunks of strawberry. Set aside.

Once the cupcakes have completely cooled, use a small paring knife to cut a cone out of the top of each cupcake. Remove the cut-out cake and spoon a tablespoon of strawberry puree into each cupcake. Replace the top part of the cone, cutting the tip to leave room for the filling. For alternative filling methods, check out the photo laden tutorials on Annie's Eats.

Prepare the frosting
in a large mixing bowl: cream together the shortening and butter on high until well mixed and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar one cup at a time alternating with a tablespoon at a time of the Strawberry puree. Mix until the frosting is thick and creamy, like the consistency of ice cream. Spread or pipe on cupcakes With a teaspoon, sprinkle some coarse sugar around the edge of the cupcake and top with a lime wedge.

My Modifications:
Were nearly non-existent...I was so excited to try these cupcakes out as is. My cupcakes lacked the sugar rim and were not nearly as photogenic as Audra's; however, they all disappeared in a heartbeat.

The Review:
I think these were the biggest hit of our house warming, and well worth reheating the entire kitchen to prepare. The tequila packed quite a punch when the cupcakes were freshly filled and frosted, but after chilling about 30 minutes, the booze was much more subdued and the strawberry flavor truly shown through. I loved the citrus-y hint of lime in the cake.

I had wanted to accompany these cupcakes with Audra' mojito ones as well, for a truly relaxing and booze end to a long day of move heavy boxes. However, one batch of cupcakes heated up our kitchen almost more the I could bear. Of course it doesn't help that our moving day was a balmy 90+ degrees...

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