Sunday, February 2, 2014

Margarita Cupcakes

I'm willing to admit that my short hiatus from baking/blogging was much longer than expected, and of course completely not my own fault. You see, I'm pretty fond of my electricity and other creature comforts that make my life as a poor post-grad tolerable. For many months it was a constant battle at the grocery store, do I buy food  for a few days or those amazing food-safe colorful 'markers' for decorating? I lived solely off of cheap bagged cereal for a few weeks to earn those markers, too. The holidays brought with them numerous opportunities for baking, and I gladly accepted the welcome invite to destroy every dish and mixing bowl I owned. But nothing I made seemed worthy of my triumphant return to the blogging world. Cue the new year, where I have decided to adopt realistic resolutions for 2014. What better way to start off my blog than the medium that I am best known for, alcohol-infused cupcakes! Considering the unnatural (and unwelcome) presence of snow so late in the year, a spicy Mexican fiesta was in order for my dear friend's birthday, and what better way to top off green chili enchiladas, Spanish rice, and queso than a light and refreshing margarita themed cupcake. These buttermilk cakes are laced with lime zest and a dash of tequila, while the frosting is a buttery concoction of salt, margarita mix, and even more tequila. Just be sure and pace yourself, no one needs to be remembered for making a fool of themselves because they got tipsy off of a cupcake. That would mean I have done my job too well.

Margarita Cupcakes

For the Cupcakes -

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tbsp. tequila, any brand works
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
For the Frosting - 
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. margarita mix
  • 2 tbsp. tequila
  • 2 pinches of salt
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. In a medium bowl sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl beat the butter and sugar until fluffy, add the eggs one at a time. Mix lime zest, lime juice, vanilla extract, and tequila with the butter mixture. It may look slightly curdled, but have no fear it will come together in the end. In two batches combine the dry mix and buttermilk to the bowl containing the butter mixture. Scrape the sides and perform the final mixing with a rubber spatula aka The End-All-Be-All of kitchen utensils. Scoop the batter into your muffin tin lined with cupcake liners and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Allow the cakes to cool before you top them with the frosting. 

For the frosting, whip the butter until fluffy and add the lime juice, tequila, and salt in small doses. Mix in the powdered sugar until it reaches the desired consistency. Top with more lime zest, sprinkles, or even a light dusting of salt. Variations with the flavor can also be made if you want to have a flavored margarita cupcake!

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