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White Russian Cupcakes

26 Feb

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Back when I was in college, I’m pretty sure I worked as many different part-time jobs as I earned college credits. You name a profession, I’ve probably tried my hand at it. But in those days, it was all fun. It didn’t matter if I was flipping burgers and blending milkshakes, swinging my whistle on the lifeguard stand, or cleaning summer cottages at the beach. I was in college and I was having a good time. One job that stands out, and to this day was probably one of my favorite jobs, was serving up cocktails at the local club. Maybe not the most prestigious job, but it helped pay the tuition and I had a blast. It was hard to believe that someone was willing to pay me to listen to great live music all night long while plying my new-found friends with drinks. The tips didn’t hurt either. But the best part of the job was at the end of the night, after the patrons had gone home and the band was breaking down. That’s when the staff was allowed one drink each, on the house. Anything we wanted.

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And that’s when the addiction began. Every night, around 1:15 a.m.,  what I wanted was a tall, creamy, coffee-flavored White Russian. And not one of those little on-the-rocks size ones either. I got mine served up in a long, tall glass, full of the best vodka, cloyingly sweet Kahlua and artery-clogging cream, poured over just enough ice to keep it nice and cold. I simply loved them. Of course, my love affair with the White Russian lasted about as long as that job, and I don’t think I’ve had one since.

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I don’t know if it’s the recent Winter Olympics in Sochi or the fact that February 27 is National Kahlua Day, but the memories of those late night cocktails have recently made their way back into my consciousness. And while I still have no desire to ever drink another White Russian, it did occur to me it might make a phenomenal cupcake. And I was right. This recipe adapted from Baked Perfection turns out one rich, delicious, Kahlua spiked cupcake. Give them a try, you may score a perfect 10!

White Russian Cupcakes

Makes one dozen cupcakes

1 1/4 cups flour

1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup sugar

6 tablespoons butter, room temperature

1 whole egg

1 egg white

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/8 cup vodka

1/8 cup Kahlua

1/2 cup 1/2 & 1/2

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

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

Add eggs, one at a time, until combined.

Stir in vanilla, vodka and Kahlua.

Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, alternating with the cream, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.

Fill cupcake tins about 2/3 full. Bake 18-20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Let cool in pan for approximately 5 minutes, then remove to rack to cool completely before frosting.

Kahlua Buttercream Frosting

4 tablespoons Kahlua

1/2 cup butter, room temperature

3 cups confectioners sugar

pinch of salt

1 – 2 tablespoons 1/2 & 1/2

chocolate covered espresso beans (optional)

While cupcakes are still warm, brush the tops with 1 – 2 tablespoons of Kahlua.

Cream butter in bowl of stand mixer. Add confectioners sugar and salt at low-speed until combined, and then at high-speed, adding remainder of Kahlua and enough 1/2 & 1/2 until desired consistency is reached.

Frost as desired. Sprinkle with ground espresso beans.

Enjoy!

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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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DIRTY PIRATE RUM AND COKE CUPCAKES

18 Sep

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A few years back, when my daughter was still in high school, it seemed as though every week ushered in a new fad and the phrase, “We have to go shopping for……..” was heard with painfully expensive frequency. So when she announced after school one day that we had to go shopping for pirate stuff, my curiosity was only slightly piqued as I grabbed my keys and headed out for what was now the weekly trip to the mall.

Little did I know that this was for an international event: September 19 – International Talk Like a Pirate Day! What a wonderfully whimsical reason to celebrate a day! After all, who doesn’t love a good pirate? You’ve got Johnny Depp’s Captain Jack Sparrow, of course, and also that rascally Captain Morgan guy, but don’t forget the Goonies One-Eyed Willie, The Dread Pirate Roberts from The Princess Bride, and if you want to go really old school, there’s always Errol Flynn as Captain Blood. (Apparently Captain is the highest rank to which any good pirate can aspire.)

And let’s be honest, talking like a pirate? Aye matey, who doesn’t like to do that? Arrrrggghh!

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Speaking of Captain Morgan, it was just about this time last year that I started this blog, and my first post was Spiced Rum and Pumpkin cupcakes, featuring Captain Morgan’s. So I thought now was a good time to break out that bottle of Captain Morgan’s (ok, yeah, we finished off that bottle ages ago, so actually it’s a new bottle) and turn the classic rum and coke into a cupcake. But while I was doing my research, I came across something even better – The Dirty Pirate – basically a rum and coke with Kahlua! As far as I’m concerned, if you’re going to have a pirate, it might as well be a dirty pirate. So here it is: a delicious chocolate Coke cupcake filled with a little spiced rum ganache and topped with Kahlua frosting… definitely give these cupcakes a try….they’ll shiver yer timbers, for sure!

DIRTY PIRATE CUPCAKES

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I recommend making the ganache filling first so it can cool and thicken while you make the cupcakes. I put my ganache in the fridge while I mixed, baked and cooled the cupcakes and it was the perfect consistency for piping when I was ready to use it.

Ganache Filling

3  –  4.4 ounce bars milk chocolate or 13 ounces good quality milk chocolate chips

1 cup whipping cream

3 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces

3 teaspoons Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum

Put whipping cream into medium sauce pan over medium heat. Heat to boiling.  Meanwhile, break chocolate bars into small pieces in a medium bowl.  Pour boiling whipping cream over chocolate and let it set for 2 minutes. Stir mixture until smooth. Add butter and spiced rum and stir until combined. Set in the refrigerator to thicken.

Chocolate-Coke Cupcakes

I took a chance and figured if it works for beer, it’ll work for Coke too. So, as I did for my Blue Moon Cupcakes, I followed the directions on the box but substituted the water with the Coke. I’ve noticed that when I used carbonated beverages with the mixes the cupcakes finish baking a little sooner, so check on them after about 15 minutes to avoid over baking. The cupcakes turned out perfectly – nice and moist and light. I used Pillsbury this time, so I included those directions here.

1 box Pillsbury Devils Food Cake mix

1/2 cup oil

1 cup Coke

3 eggs

Line 2 cupcake pans with paper liners. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine cake mix, Coke, oil and eggs in bowl of stand mixer at low speed until just combined and then for 2 minutes at medium speed. Fill cupcake tins about 2/3 full. Bake at 350  degrees for approximately 15 minutes, or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.

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Kahlua Buttercream Frosting

1 1/2 sticks of butter

4 cups confectioners sugar

pinch salt

3 tablespoons of Kahlua

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

splash of milk, if needed

Cream butter in bowl of stand mixer. Add sugar, salt, Kahlua and vanilla and mix on low speed until combined and then at high speed for 4-5 minutes until light and fluffy, adding a little milk if needed.

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Using a small melon baller, scoop out the center of each cupcake. Spoon thickened ganache into a quart size ziplock bag, close the top and snip off a small corner. Gently squeeze a small amount of ganache into each cupcake. Scoop frosting into piping bag and frost cupcakes as desired.

Arrrrrrrggh!

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