Archive | February, 2013

Goldschlager Red Hot Cupcakes

14 Feb

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Valentine’s Day is all about emotion. There are those that look forward to it with eager anticipation – pre-teens in puppy love, the newly engaged, the newly wed, who can’t wait for the day that celebrates the wonder of their love. And there are some that face the day with dread or sadness – the just widowed, the just divorced, the newly single, the still single.

But I think somehow the idea of Valentine’s Day got tangled up with the message that love = couples. Which is completely untrue. Valentine’s Day is not just for celebrating romantic relationships – that’s what anniversaries are for. The truth is, there are a bazillion different kinds of love. There’s love of a child, a sister or a best friend. We love our dogs and cats in ways that can’t be described. We love a favorite color, a new song, an author, or that fantastic dress we just bought on sale. I love to bake. Thankfully, I have friends that love to eat cupcakes.

So the point is this: Valentine’s Day is a day for celebrating Love, in all its forms, whatever its form. Do something you love, be with someone you love, give your dog an extra big hug today, give yourself a big hug! Because the best thing about love is, the more you put out there, the more you get back.

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For me, baking is one way to show my love…and these cupcakes are a great way to do that. They taste just like those red hot cinnamon hearts, without the heat. An absolutely delicious way to share your love.

Goldschlager Red Hot Cupcakes

Adapted from a recipe at http://www.bakeitwithbooze.com/2011/12/red-hot-holiday-cupcakes.html 

Makes approx. 24 cupcakes

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2 1/2 cups flour

3 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp cream of tartar

1/2 salt

1 1/2 cups sugar

12 tablespoons butter, room temperature

2 whole eggs + 1 egg white

2 tsp vanilla

1/4 cup Goldschlager

1/2 cup buttermilk

red hot cinnamon hearts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tins with paper liners.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cream of tartar and salt.

In a separate bowl, combine buttermilk and Goldschlager.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together sugar and butter until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes.

Add eggs and egg white, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

Add vanilla.

Add flour mixture, alternating with the wet ingredients, beginning and ending with flour mixture.

Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full. Sprinkle several red hots over each cupcake and push down into batter (they tend to rise to the top).

Bake  for 15-17 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan 5 minutes, then on wire rack until completely cool. Frost as desired.

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Red Hot Buttercream Frosting

When I made these cupcakes, I knew there was a chance some children might be enjoying them, so I omitted the Goldschlager from the frosting. However, you could probably substitute some of the milk with the Goldschlager if you wanted to give it a little extra “spice”.

1 cup butter, room temperature

3-4 cups powdered sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon vanilla

up to 4 tablespoons milk or cream

1/4 cup red hot cinnamon hearts, crushed (a mini coffee grinder works well for this)

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Beat butter in stand mixture for several minutes, until light. Add 3 cups powdered sugar, on low until mixed in, and then at medium speed. Add vanilla, salt, red hots and 2 tablespoons milk. Mix for several minutes, adding more sugar or milk, until desired consistency is reached. Frost as desired.    IMG_0006

Frangelico Cupcakes with Nutella Frosting

2 Feb

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February 5, 2013 is the 7th annual World Nutella Day. Yeah, I had no idea either, but what a great reason to celebrate! While not a true Nutella fanatic myself, I know of plenty who are – and why not? This luscious chocolate hazelnut spread lends itself perfectly to so many pairings: bananas dipped in Nutella, Nutella-laced brownies, Nutella-stuffed crepes…I’ve even seen a recipe for Nutella pizza!

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But of course, my thoughts immediately turned to Nutella cupcakes, which in turn led to daydreams of Nutella’s 40-proof cousin, Frangelico. Talk about something that pairs well with others! Mix this smooth hazelnut liqueur with a little Irish cream, and you’ve got yourself quite a delightful shooter. But that’s a subject for another day. Suffice it to say, Nutella and Frangelico might be the best combo out of Italy since spaghetti and meatballs.

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And these cupcakes are proof of that – light, Frangelico-infused chocolate cupcakes topped with a rich, smooth Nutella frosting and finished with a roasted hazelnut – these cupcakes are definitely something to celebrate!

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Roasted Hazelnuts

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Toast hazelnuts in shallow baking pan for approximately 10 minutes. Remove to clean kitchen towel, and gentle rub hazelnuts together until the skins come off. Set aside.

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Frangelico Chocolate Cupcakes – adapted from bakedbree.com

Makes 24 cupcakes

1 box Devil’s Food cake mix

3/4 cup Frangelico

1/2 cup water

1/2 vegetable oil

3 eggs

Prepare cupcakes according to the box directions, but substitute some of the water with the Frangelico. Bake as directed for 18-22 minutes. Cool

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Nutella Buttercream Frosting – adapted from hicookery.com

2 cups confectioners sugar

3 tablespoons cocoa powder

6 tablespoons butter, room temperature

3 tablespoons Frangelico, or to taste

1/2 cup Nutella

Sift together the sugar and cocoa. In a separate bowl, cream the butter until light. Gradually add the sugar mixture, beating until smooth. Stir in the Frangelico and Nutella until desired spreading consistency is reached, adding more Frangelico, if necessary.

Frost cupcakes and top with roasted hazelnut. Enjoy!!!

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