Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Mocha Kahlua Cupcakes with Irish Creme Frosting

Have I mentioned that I love my new job? Out of the cubicle and into my own office.  It’s been said if you like what you do, it doesn’t feel like work. I think the same thing goes with liking the people working around you, and I totally do.  One of the perks to this gig is the monthly happy hours the office partakes in. THEMED happy hours! (So far I’ve been to an Oktoberfest and a Hoe Down!) The theme always changes but there’s always one constant.  Duck. Fart. Shots.  (Yes, I typed that correctly.) It sounds disgusting but they’re tasty and addicting. Layer a shot glass with Kahlua,  Bailey’s and a splash of Crown Royal and a Duck Fart has been born. Our work happy hours are packed with these sugary shots and the gang loves them so much I decided to make a cupcake in their honor.

It’s been mentioned to me that mocha/coffee flavor is really hard to get into a cupcake. They often end up tasting like chocolate and not much of anything else. I decided to punch up the coffee taste by using a mixture of instant coffee, a dark roast brew and plenty of Kahlua. I was on a roll so after the cakes baked, I pierced small holes in the tops of each one and brushed more Kahlua liqueur over them so the coffee goodness would seep into the cake. This worked out superbly. I was able to achieve the coffee taste I was looking for while still having subtle hints of chocolate. I topped the cake with an Irish Crème frosting which barely made it into my piping bag. This stuff was so darn good.
My husband and I loved these cupcakes so much the first batch turned into crumbs in a matter of days. So I made them again for neighbors and the co-workers. They were gone in hours. GREAT SUCCESS!

 Mocha Kahlua Cupcakes
(recipe adapted from Brown Eyed Baker)
1 ½ cup all-purpose flour
1/3  cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup whole milk
½ cup strong brewed coffee  at room temp(I used a Kona Blend)
1½ teaspoons instant coffee granules
2 tablespoons Kahlua liqueur + 2 tablespoons for glazing
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup light brown sugar
1 egg, at room temperature

 1. Mix the instant coffee granules into the brewed coffee until dissolved. Set aside.

2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard muffin tin with liners.

3. Whisk flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt together.

4. Beat the butter and both sugars together on medium high speed until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat until combined. In a measuring cup, combine the milk, 2 tbsps of Kahlua, brewed coffee mixture, and vanilla. Slowly add the flour mixture, alternating with the coffee mixture, ending with the dry mix.

5. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups and bake for 17-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove cupcakes from muffin tins and pierce several  holes in top of each cake with a fork. Use the remaining 2 tbsps of Kahlua by brushing the top of each cake several times so a small glaze forms. Cool cakes completely before frosting.

Irish Creme Frosting

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3 to 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
3 tablespoons Bailey’s Irish Cream (you can use any Irish Crème Liqueur)
1 tablespoon milk

1.       Place the butter in a large mixing bowl and beat until creamy.
2.       Gradually add the sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition (about 2 minutes after each), until the icing is thick enough to be of good consistency. You may not need to add all of the sugar.
3.       After all sugar has been added, add Bailey’s and milk and blend until just combined.

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Monday, November 14, 2011

Beer Me! Hefeweizen Cupcakes.

Yum, Yum.

You're probably reading the title of this post and saying to yourself: Seriously, Tori? Beer in cupcakes?  Trust me, you aren't the first one. But are you REALLY surprised? Any excuse to get booze in a cupcake and I'm there. You know this.

I think it's a pretty wonderful idea to have beer in a cupcake. Not just ANY beer, but one of my favorites. Good ol' Shocktop. This "Belgian white" beer (which is more of a hefeweizen beer to me) is quite similar to the consistency of Blue Moon but has more of that orange citrus flavor I so crave. I have seen quite a few Blue Moon cupcake recipes on the web so I knew my idea of trying Shocktop wouldn't be such a bad idea. These cupcakes turned out wickedly awesome!

The cake was moist, light and fruity, with hints of citrus and wheat. The frosting was nice and frothy (just like beer foam!!) Heck, they looked like mini Shocktops! And tasted like it!

a match made in heaven.

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Wine and Cheese Cupcakes

Every year myself and a tightly knit group of women venture out into the mountains for a girls' wine weekend. Yes, it's just as fun as it sounds. We make the trip up to Delaplane,Virginia to pay a visit to some of the best wineries located in our great state. I seriously count down the days until this trip appears on my calendar again. We travel from NOVA, Pittsburgh and Virginia Beach and meet each other for a jam packed weekend of wine. A Tahoe is stuffed with tons of wine tasting grub and we mosey on over to 6 or 7 fantastic wineries. Smashing good time, ladies. I strongly suggest you planning something like this yourself for you and your gal pals!

Me and my lady friends! Martha, Sally, Shawna, Me and Stacy!
This year, instead of bringing Oreos and candy bars (yes, I ALWAYS bring the sugar. Are you surprised?) I wanted to bake a special cupcake for the occasion. So, a boozey cupcake was the obvious choice.  I mean, it's a WINE weekend for cryin' out loud! I decided to go with a cake that had wine baked into the cake. Toss in some creamy Camembert cheese and some walnuts and you have one bad ass cupcake. The frosting on top was a red wine chocolate ganache. I was really proud of these cupcakes because they felt sophisticated. They were rich, delectable, and the walnuts gave it a nice crunch that really enhanced the flavor. The gals liked them. So much, that we have some pretty hilarious pictures as a result.

Finger lickin' good, right Martha? :)

Wine and Cheese Cupcakes:
(recipe adapted from the Cupcake Project)

  • 2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup semi sweet chocolate morsels
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 oz Camembert cheese (you could also use Brie if you like!)
  • 1 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cup dry red wine (I used Shiraz)
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  1. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
  2. In another medium-sized bowl, beat the butter, cheese, and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Mix in the eggs one at a time and beat until incorporated.
  4. Mix in the vanilla.
  5. Alternately mix the dry ingredients and the red wine into the butter mixture until just combined.
  6. Fold in the walnuts.
  7. Mix in chocolate morsels.
  8. Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full. (you want the batter to rise to the tops are somewhat high to frost)
  9. Bake at 350 F for 20 minutes or until cupcakes bounce back when lightly touched.
  10. Frost cupcakes with chocolate ganache.

Red Wine Chocolate Ganache
  • 2 oz dark chocolate morsels
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 oz red wine (I used  Shiraz)
  1. Place the chocolate and the butter in a microwave-safe bowl.
  2. Microwave for 10 seconds and then remove and stir.
  3. Repeat step 2 until the chocolate is all melted.
  4. Slowly pour in the wine and mix thoroughly.
  5. Place in the refrigerator until it hardens enough to easily spread (about 10 minutes).
  6. Spread on cupcakes.

Stacy took a bite. Anything for a good shot ;)

If you want a grown up chocolate cupcake for your next wine party or wine TRIP (plan one!) these are the way to go. Enjoy!

**The fabulous pics for this post were taken by my best gal and newly engaged woman Stacy from Delightful Dish! Check out what's cooking on her blog!**

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Monday, November 7, 2011

Creme Brulee Cupcakes

My hubs and I are complete foodies. I would dine out seven days a week at posh restaurants if my wallet would allow me. For anyone that knows me, I ALWAYS order dessert. (Life is short people, get your sugar on!) My tried and true treat is Creme Brulee. If it's on the menu and nothing else tickles my fancy this is usually what you can find in front of me.

I have wanted to do a Creme Brulee cupcake for quite awhile now, but most of the recipes I found required a stand mixer to be handy which I didn't have at the time. I was finally able to tackle this recipe since my mother so kindly donated her Kitchen Aid to me.

I found the recipe on Beantown Baker and was just floored by how cute the pictures looked. Mini creme brulees chillin' on top of a cupcake. How wicked awesome!

The brown sugar swiss meringue buttercream turned out amazing. I could have bathed in this stuff. I brought these to work and people were coming back for seconds before lunchtime even hit. The cake is a little more on the dense side because you have to cone out the middle in order to "stuff" your cake with the buttercream, but nonetheless tasted delicious.

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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Pumpkin Mudslide Cupcakes

Everyone seems to be on a pumpkin craze lately. I can understand why. It's Fall. Leaves.. pumpkins... I get it.  I however, thought I was done with the pumpkin revolution after the cookie I recently made, until I saw THESE. Pumpkin mudslide cupcakes. Ummm, you had me at mudslide.  It's no secret I like to booze up my cupcakes. I swear if I ever own a cupcake shop children will never be able to eat there.

 I stumbled upon this cupcake while surfing over Paula Deen's website. (I love her YA'LL!) Much to my delight, I saw the recipe was actually from my abs fave cupcake blogger, Cupcake Project. This chick is a rock star and she became even more rad when I found out she makes cupcake recipes for Mrs. Deen herself. Swoon.

The cake is soft, moist and loaded with Irish Cream, Kahlua, coffee and pumpkin. And the frosting is absolutely addicting. (I scraped the bowl clean!)  Drizzle some chocolate sauce over these puppies and you are instantly reminded of the yummy frozen drink, except with a little pumpkin which I might add is a fantastic addition to the party.

My pals were ranting about how delectable these treats were and I would have to say this recipe is in my top five cupcakes so far. Make them and you won't be sorry. Here's how.

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