Archive | January, 2014

Irish Coffee Cupcakes

27 Jan

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Yes, it’s another brutally cold night here in the Mid-Atlantic as we brace for yet another snow storm. But as others scavenge about for rock salt and space heaters, I sit toasty warm, cocooned in a big fluffy blanket, oblivious to the howling winds and sub-zero wind chills. Why? Because I have discovered the magic elixir guaranteed to chase Jack Frost away! While others fruitlessly try to warm themselves from the outside, I have tapped into the ancient wisdom of my ancestors to know that to truly become warm, one must start from the inside. And the best way to do so? Irish Coffee – the perfect beverage on a cold winter’s night.

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I think everyone probably has her own recipe for the perfect Irish Coffee. I start with my favorite coffee mug (we all have one) and spoon in enough raw sugar to cancel out the day –  the tougher the day, the more sugar I add. I tuck the mug under the Keurig, pop in a nice strong decaf K-cup and brew. Ahhhh, who doesn’t love the aroma of fresh brewed coffee? Now, here’s the best part – adding the Irish Whiskey. No measuring needed, just count: 1 glug for a chilly day, 2 glugs when there’s a definite nip in the air, and 3 glugs whenever there’s a minus sign in front of the temperature. Top it all off with piles and piles of whipped cream.

Now, grab your warmest old blanket, put something mind-numbing on the tv, and you are fully equipped to ride out the harshest winter night Mother Nature could ever dish out. One mug is all you need to send a soothing warmth coursing though your entire body, gently lulling you into blissful contentment – as I said, a magical elixir.

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It just so happens this past Saturday was National Irish Coffee day. What better way to celebrate (besides having an actual Irish Coffee…which I did) than to bake up some Irish Coffee cupcakes? Not to be confused with the Irish Car Bomb cupcake (check out Brown Eyed Baker’s recipe, it’s absolutely the best!), the Irish Coffee cupcake stays true to the beverage, using real coffee, Irish Whiskey and Kahlua – no chocolate allowed here.

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So turn down the thermostat and crank up the oven – these fabulous cupcakes will warm you up, body and soul!

Irish Coffee Cupcakes

Recipe originally posted by bettycupcakes.com.

Makes 16-18 cupcakes.

2 cups flour

1 cup white sugar

1 cup brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 sticks butter

3/4 cup fresh brewed coffee

1 oz Kahlua

1 oz Irish Whiskey

1/2 cup buttermilk

2 eggs

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with paper liners.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, both sugars and salt. Set aside.

In saucepan, melt butter over low heat. When melted, add coffee, Kahlua and Irish Whiskey and stir to combine.

In a glass measuring cup, whisk together the buttermilk, eggs, baking soda and vanilla.

Add the butter mixture to the flour mixture and gently stir to cool the butter. Add the buttermilk mixture and stir until completely combined.

Fill prepared muffin tins using 1/3 measuring cup.

Bake 20-25 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.

Cool completely before frosting.

Irish Coffee Frosting

3/4 cups butter, softened

1 lb confectioner sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 -2 tablespoons Irish Whiskey

1-2 tablespoons Kahlua

1 tablespoon milk, as needed

chocolate covered espresso beans (optional)

Cream butter in stand mixer. Add powdered sugar, salt and 1/2 liquors and beat at low speed until incorporated and then high speed, adding remaining liquors and/or milk, until desired consistency is reached. Frost and decorated as desired.

Enjoy!

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Chocolate SnoBall Cupcakes with Coconut Rum

7 Jan

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2014! Only a few days in, but what a winter already! The new year has arrived with a bang, blanketing most of the country and the entire East Coast with loads of snow – fluffy, sparkling, keep-you-out-of-work snow.

Snow is one of those love it/hate it things. I absolutely love it. Even just and inch or so can turn the most commonplace street corner into a beautiful dazzling white landscape. And stepping out into the muted quietness just after a snowfall makes you feel like you’ve intruded upon one of Mother Nature’s secrets.

Peering out of the kitchen window, I can see my ordinary backyard has been transformed into a collection of mysterious shapes, everyday objects rendered unrecognizable by rounded mounds of snow. Which makes me think of snowballs. And from there it’s an easy leap to thinking of SnoBalls…those awful(ly good), pre-packaged, creme-filled round chocolate sponge-cakes, covered with marshmallow and coconut, usually in a bright neon pink color. (Although sometimes in summer, I can find them decorated like baseballs, which makes them even more irresistible.)

Too cold to venture outside on such a fool’s errand, I wonder if I can recreate them at home? Maybe a yummy chocolate-coconut combination, with a little coconut rum added in to warm the soul? Sure, why not? A quick scan of the cupboard proved I had everything I needed and then some. The idea of a  toasty, oven-warmed kitchen didn’t hurt either.

So here you go, the b.u.i. cupcakes version of the SnoBall – much tastier than store-bought, give them a try.

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SnoBall Chocolate Cupcakes

This recipe starts with a box mix. Follow the ingredients on the box, but substitute a 1/4 cup of the water with coconut rum.

1 box chocolate cake mix

1 cup water

1/4 cup Malibu Coconut Rum

1/3 cup vegetable oil

3 eggs

18-24 Raffaello candies, unwrapped (optional)

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Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Line two cupcake tins with paper liners.

Combine the cake mix, water, rum, oil and eggs, as directed on the cake mix.

Fill cupcake tins about 2/3 full. If using, place one Raffaello candy in the center of each.

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Bake as directed, testing for doneness after 15 minutes. Cool in pan for 5 minutes, then remove from pan to cool completely.

Marshmallow Vodka Buttercream Frosting

1 stick (1/2 cup) softened butter

4 ounces marshmallow fluff

3 cups confectioners sugar

2 tablespoons marshmallow vodka

1 – 2 cups shredded, sweetened coconut

Beat butter and fluff in stand mixer until smooth and combined. Add confectioners sugar, at slow speed until mixed in. Add marshmallow vodka. Mix at highest speed until light and fluffy.

Cover cupcakes with frosting, then roll in coconut to cover.

Enjoy!

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